sunny.png
Monday July 22nd, 2019 7:37PM

TSA absentee rate still high, but down from Sunday's peak

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TSA officials say the rate of airport screeners missing work during the partial government shutdown has stabilized — but still at unusually high numbers — just before a three-day holiday weekend that is likely to bring bigger airport crowds.

The Transportation Security Administration said Thursday that 6.1 percent of its airport screeners missed work Wednesday.

That's higher than the 5 percent absentee rate on the same day last year but the second-straight decline after the sick-out rate surged to 7.7 percent Sunday.

A TSA official said screeners this week should have received $500 bonuses and, for some, an extra day's pay, for working over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

Meanwhile, air traffic controllers who are also working without pay lost an effort to force the government to pay them. A federal judge Tuesday rejected their union's request for an immediate temporary restraining order.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the Treasury Department employees' union argued that the Trump administration is violating the Constitution and federal labor law by requiring members to work without pay. Another hearing in the case is set for Jan. 31.

The ranks of unpaid federal workers are growing. This week, the IRS said it will recall thousands of workers to handle tax returns, and the Federal Aviation Administration plans to bring 2,200 safety inspectors back to work.

The percentage of TSA officers missing work rose steadily last week but has declined slightly this week, according to the agency.

The agency said that only 4.6 percent of passengers — or about 80,000 out of 1.79 million people screened— waited 15 minutes or longer in checkpoint lines Wednesday.

The TSA security checkpoint and ticket counter at Terminal B in Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport remained closed Thursday. The checkpoint has been closed since Sunday amid staffing issues associated with the partial government shutdown.

An airport tweet Thursday said scheduled flights were not impacted and that passengers continue to be routed to Terminal C and/or Terminal E for check-in and security.

TSA could be facing a test by Friday of its ability to process airport crowds with fewer workers. Last year, nearly 8 million people flew between Friday and Monday of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. While that is less than the 9 million who flew around the Memorial Day holiday, it is busier than most January weekends.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske announced last weekend that the agency would pay each officer a $500 bonus and that TSA processed pay for screeners who worked Dec. 22, the first day of the shutdown. An agency spokesman said officers should have received the money by Wednesday.

Pekoske said he was able to make the payments "because of unique authorities provided TSA in law." He said he hoped they would ease the financial hardship facing many of the workers. Most of them earn between $26,000 and $35,000 a year, according to a TSA spokesman.

____

Associated Press writer Diana Heidgerd in Dallas contributed to this story.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Careers
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Battles expected in many states over abortion-related bills
Legislators and activists will push this year to pass high-priority bills on abortion in statehouses across the United States
7:11PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Chicago awaits 2 historic hearings in fatal police shooting
Chicago awaits 2 historic hearings in fatal police shooting of black teen Laquan McDonald
7:08PM ( 12 minutes ago )
White House denounces Rep. King's white supremacy remarks
The White House is describing comments by Republican Rep. Steve King about white supremacy as "abhorrent"
7:04PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
US lawmaker opposes drilling permit work during shutdown
The chairman of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee says the Interior Department should not be working on oil and gas development permits and leases in Alaska and elsewhere during the partial government shutdown
6:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: House OKs Democratic bill to reopen government
The House has passed a Democratic measure to reopen the government through Feb. 8 and provide $14 billion in emergency spending for recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters
6:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
3 months after deadly NY crash, NTSB has yet to inspect limo
Three months after a stretch limousine crash in rural upstate New York killed 20 people, federal investigators haven't been able to examine the vehicle for problems that might trigger safety recommendations
6:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Fed survey finds businesses worried by political uncertainty
Fed survey cites rising concerns about stock market volatility and political uncertainty
2:39PM ( 4 hours ago )
$65.5M au pair deal would be divided up under formula
A proposed $65.5 million settlement for low-paid child care workers from around the world would be divided up under a formula after a judge decides whether the agreement is fair, a conclusion that could take several months to reach
7:04PM ( 6 days ago )
Ousted Pixar chief John Lasseter to head Skydance Animation
The ousted Pixar co-founder and former Disney animation chief John Lasseter will head the recently launched animation division of production company Skydance Media
3:47PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Business - Careers
Battles expected in many states over abortion-related bills
Legislators and activists will push this year to pass high-priority bills on abortion in statehouses across the United States
7:11PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Michigan State President Engler says he'll resign next week
Former Gov. John Engler is resigning as Michigan State's interim president amid public backlash over his comments about women and girls sexually assaulted by now-imprisoned campus sports doctor Larry Nassar
7:07PM ( 13 minutes ago )
White House denounces Rep. King's white supremacy remarks
The White House is describing comments by Republican Rep. Steve King about white supremacy as "abhorrent"
7:04PM ( 16 minutes ago )
American anchor for Iranian TV is arrested on visit to US
Prominent American-born news anchor for Iranian state television arrested during US visit
7:04PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Watchdog: GSA ignored emoluments in OKing Trump hotel lease
The inspector general for the General Services Administration says the agency improperly ignored the U.S. Constitution's provision outlawing foreign gifts when it OKed President Donald Trump's management of his Washington hotel after his 2016 election
6:59PM ( 21 minutes ago )