TSA to offer buyouts to 3,000 workers

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TSA noted that its voluntary retirement program has been in place for several years.

"Voluntary early retirement authority has been available to TSA as a potential tool since December 2004," the agency said. "TSA's current voluntary early retirement authority expires on September 30, 2011."

Most of TSA's more than 60,000 employees would not affected by the buyouts.

The union that won the right to represent TSA workers earlier this year, the American Federation of Government Employees, did not comment on the proposal, though it noted the buyouts would mostly be for workers in administrative positions, not transportation security officers who work airport security checkpoints.

The offer of voluntary buyouts is expected to take place government-wide.