Union raises questions about TSA’s end-of-year bonuses

The union says calling out sick prevents workers from receiving bonuses

RICHMOND, Va. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) introduced a Readiness Incentive Bonus this year that provides TSOs with bonuses of up to $500 per month.

An announcement from the TSA said these bonuses will increase to $1,000 from Dec. 19 through Jan. 15, instead of Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) receiving their traditional end-of-year bonuses.

However, the American Federation of Government Employees, which acts as the TSA Union, says it has a problem with the issuing of these bonuses.

Scott Robinson, TSA Union president, told NBC12, “Now, as the year is ending, they [Transportation Security Officers] are not being, what we believe to be adequately compensated for their work and dedication.”

According to the TSA, officers would be eligible for the award as long as the officer either has perfect attendance or no unexcused absences.

Scott Robinson claims that this policy encourages workers to come in sick to work so that they can receive the extra pay.

NBC 12 reached out to the TSA about the policy, to which the organization said that officers would be eligible for the readiness incentive bonus as long as they reported to their supervisors when absent.

The organization told NBC12 in a statement, “Specifically, TSA has invested nearly double the amount in monetary readiness incentives this fiscal year as compared to previous end-of-year payouts ($118M from October through January readiness incentives compared to $62M for last year),” the statement read. “This award is part of a focus on recognizing those members of the workforce who are at the frontline providing security for the traveling public.”

A list of acceptable absences from the Readiness Incentive Bonus FAQ was provided by the union to NCB12. The excused absences included Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Worker’s Compensation, and Military Leave, but the Union said that calling out sick was not on the list.

Further information to clarify the criteria on the list has not yet been received.

About the Author:

Kamryn Buza joined 10 News as an intern in September 2021.