TSA says Congressional response to airport wait times falls short

American Federation of Government Employees, the union representing Transportation Security Officers at US airports, says recent Congressional actions to reduce passenger wait times are a good step but the permanent solution remains hiring an additional 6,000 full-time screeners, the union said.

Congress on June 13 approved shifting USD28 million within the Transportation Security Administration´s current budget to convert 2,784 part-time officers to full-time positions and accelerate the hiring of 600 additional officers by the end of the fiscal year. This follows a similar action in May that enabled TSA to expedite the hiring of 768 new officers and pay additional overtime for current workers.

Congress has set an arbitrary cap on the number of officers that the agency can hire, limiting TSA to no more than 45,000 screeners, although TSA can´t meet the cap due to budget cuts.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is a large federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.