TSA agent: Government shutdown 'demoralizing' employees

Saul Bowman
January 14, 2019

FBI protests missed pay & air traffic controllers sue as shutdown breaks records Air traffic controllers have joined several other groups of federal employees suing the Trump administration over missed pay for having to work through the ongoing government shutdown.

"The government always pays its bills", he said, "and they will furlough after this government-shutdown drama is over".

TSA agents are among the 420,000 federal workers considered essential employees required to work without their paychecks.

The Canada Border Service Agency said while some of the Nexus enrolment centres in Canada are open and completing the Canadian portion of the enrolment process, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection was not processing applications because of the shutdown. The big concern and reason for the shutdown is border control funding.

CNN reported Saturday that Miami International Airport will close a concourse early for three days because of a shortage of Transportation Security Administration screeners, who were not reporting for work.

Pittsburgh International Airport delivered lunches to TSA workers and air traffic controllers on Friday and plans to do it every Friday until the shutdown ends.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske made the announcement on Twitter Friday night, saying employees who worked on December 22, the last day in the pay period, would receive compensation by Tuesday.

You may not see them when you fly, but without air traffic controllers planes would be stuck on the tarmac.

"Yesterday, January 9, 2019, TSA experienced a rate of 5 percent compared to a 3.6 percent unscheduled absence rate one year ago on January 9, 2018", it said, lauding "the more than 51,000 officers across the country (who) remain focused on the mission". The shutdown is hurting her ability to keep up with those responsibilities, the suit said. Federal employees are not permitted to strike by law.

In similar shutdowns Congress and the White House have always agreed to pay back wages to government employees, though some contractors haven't been paid in arrears.

The longest shutdown in United States history started after President Donald Trump refused to back off a demand for $5.7 billion for his long-promised border wall.

So far, there is no evidence of increased absenteeism in the nation's airport towers and radar rooms, NATCA's Gilbert said. "We have a resilient workforce, people will come to work until they can't ー until they don't have the means to get here or feed their family ー that's what's going to happen".

The FAA closed its training academy in Oklahoma City for new air traffic controller hires.

"The system is safe and will continue to be safe".

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