TSA agents to pay less for parking

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Transportation Security Administration agents will receive subsidies for up to 25 percent of the cost of parking at airports where they work under a labor agreement announced Monday.

The union that represents TSA workers, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), said the parking subsidy increase was one of a handful of victories that were awarded by arbitration panel.

AFGE President David Cox said the agreement tackles some longstanding issues that have frustrated TSOs [transportation security officers] for years,” including the high cost of airport parking.

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“Since the agency’s inception, many TSA employees have paid steep airport parking rates, receiving only a small subsidy to offset a portion of the cost,” Cox said in a statement. “With this decision, AFGE successfully increased that subsidy by up to 25 percent at the most expensive airports, and will bring others under the subsidy for the first time. This will give our TSOs a small, but much-needed dose of financial relief.”

The amount of parking costs that will be subsidized will be determined on an “airport-by-airport” basis, according to the TSA arbitration agreement.

Other issues covered by the agreement include changes to the process for TSA employees to bid for shift changes and changes to collective bargaining rules between union officials and the agency’s management.

AFGE’s Cox said the victories in the agreement validated TSA workers’ decision to unionize in 2011.

“This is a very important step forward for TSA employees,” Cox said. “TSOs voted AFGE as their exclusive union representative to build a movement strong enough to improve the notoriously difficult conditions they work under every day. There is still much to be done, but this decision moves us firmly in the right direction.”

“I want to applaud each and every one of our TSA brothers and sisters for coming together and taking a stand against unfair working conditions,” AFGE TSA Council 100 President Hydrick Thomas added in a statement. “There is strength in numbers, and together we can accomplish great things.”

The full TSA-AFGE arbitration agreement can be read here.