Union: Shortage of TSA Officers = Long Security Lines
The United States of America has the busiest airports in the world. For security reasons, screening of passengers is a serious job. This routine in the airport can take time. And long security lines at a busy airport usually means long delays for passengers.
To address this problem, the union representing the Transportation Security Officers for American airports is making a plea on Congress to pass emergency legislation funding the hiring of 6,000 additional full-time screeners to ease long airport security lines.
The request was sent through a letter by American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. It was addressed to House and Senate leaders on May 12.
The letter pointed out that the additional TSOs will at least begin to address the shortage of TSOs needed to cut the delays passengers are facing in airports across the Unites States.
Congress Starving TSA of Resources?
In the union’s letter, Cox said, “Congress has starved TSA of the resources it needs to meet growing demands at our nation’s airports.”
The letter also discloses that Congress is guilty of diverting the money passengers pay in security fees. The TSA funds were diverted to pay down the federal budget deficit.
In addition, the Congress failed to address problems of inadequate staffing of TSA particularly in allocating enough budget for hiring new officers.
“The long wait times we’re seeing now are a direct result of Congress’ failure to give TSA the money it needs to do its job.” – Cox
In the letter, Cox emphasized that Congress needs to provide TSA with stable, long-term funding so the overworked officers can get the help they need. Through this, passengers will not experience the burden of having to wait for hours to get through security lines.
Total Number of TSA Staff
The union has underlined that TSA is understaffed and it needs 6,000 new officers to do the job of screening the long lines of passengers.
The volume of passengers has risen 15 percent, from 643 million to 740 million. The increase has resulted in long security lines. This calls for more new officers to tackle the routine of screening of the increasing number of passengers each year.
The Transportation Security Administration currently has about 42,000 officers on the job.