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March 2023


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: screeners

Biden’s 2023 Budget Would Give Big Pay Bumps to TSA Employees

By Steve Neavling

Tens of thousands of TSA employees stand to receive a major pay increase under a spending plan proposed by the Biden administration.

The White House is asking for $9.7 billion for TSA, which is a $1.5 billion increase over 2022, Federal News Network reports.

The idea is to bring pay for TSA officers in line with others in the federal workforce. 

Under the plan, TSA security officers would receive an average 30% increase in base pay, and federal air marshals would receive a 20% bump in base pay. 

Other TSA employees would also receive a pay increase “commensurate with their federal colleagues.”

In May 2020, TSA screeners received an average annual salary of $44,920, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

If approved by Congress, TSA Administrator David Pekoske said he’d increase pay within 90 days. 

“One of the long-standing challenges at TSA has been the pay gap between TSA’s frontline workforce and their counterparts in the rest of the federal government,” Pekoske said in a statement. “Equitable compensation and sufficient pay progression support TSA’s ability to meet mission requirements in the recruitment and retention of employees and positively impacts employee morale.”

10,000+ TSA Employees Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

By Steve Neavling

More than 10,000 TSA workers have been infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year. 

The agency also reported 26 deaths related to the coronavirus since March 2020. 

Of the 10,177 TSA employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, a vast majority are screening officers. 

Miami International led the nation in COVID-19 infections, with 506 employees testing positive. Miami International had 506 infections, Los International Airport had 452, and John F. Kennedy International in New York had 438. 

Others were more than 100 infections are:

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International 370

Orland International 356

Newark Liberty International 355

Chicago O’Hare International 341

Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport 331

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International 279

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas 257

George Bush Intercontinental in Houston 238

Phoenix Sky Harbor International 219

Logan International in Boston 190

Philadelphia International 181

LaGuardia in New York 169

Denver International 152

Seattle/Tacoma International 136

San Diego International 115

Charlotte Douglas International 117

Tampa International 111

Minneapolis-St. Paul International 110

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport 109

Salt Lake City International 101

To see the entire list of airports and infections, click here.

House Democrats Urge TSA to Require Masks at Security Checkpoints to Protect Employees, Travelers

By Steve Neavling

House Democrats are urging the TSA to require face masks for travelers at airport security checkpoints to protect agency employees and others.

In a letter to TSA Administrator David Pekoske, Reps. Bennie Thompson and Lou Correa pointed out that nearly 1,000 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and seven died, Government Executive reports.

“We were pleased to see you fulfill part of that request when you announced on May 7th a requirement for TSA employees to wear masks. However, it is difficult to understand your hesitation to issue a national requirement for passenger masks to ensure that all frontline workers and passengers are equally protected across the aviation system,” they wrote.

The Democrats said mask requirements are a common sense approach to protecting frontline workers and travelers.

“The only controversy surrounding masks is a dangerous political one manufactured by President Trump and his enablers. There is a clear consensus among public health officials that masks are effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19,” they wrote. “TSA employees routinely enforce a number of requirements that are unpopular with the public, such as conducting invasive pat-downs and confiscating liquids, which you and your predecessors have deemed necessary to protect passengers.”

The TSA last month suggested there were no mask requirements because the CDC only recommends – not mandates – face coverings.

TSA May Soon Begin Temperature Screenings at Certain Airpots to Ease Coronavirus Fears

By Steve Neavling

The TSA is moving forward with a plan to administer temperature screenings at about a dozen airports as soon as next week.

The White House is reviewing the $20 million plan, which is intended to make passengers feel safer, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Under the plan, passengers with a temperature of 100.4°F or higher would be directed to the Centers for Disease Control.

The agency has expressed concerns over the plan, including whether temperature screenings fall within the scope of the TSA’s mission. Another concern is whether temperature screenings would put agents at a greater risk of getting infected.

Six TSA agents have died from COVID-19 and more than 500 have tested positive.

Nearly 500 TSA Workers Have Confirmed Coronavirus Infections; Four Have Died.

By Steve Neavling

Nearly 500 TSA employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, and four have died.

The employees include screeners and non-screeners at 60 airports nationwide.

So far, 199 TSA workers have recovered.

John F. Kennedy International got hit the hardest, with 104 employees, including 97 screening officers, testing positive for COVID-19.

At Newark Liberty International, 56 TSA workers, including 47 screening officers, have tested positive. LeGuardia reported 32 employees, including 29 screening officers, have confirmed cases.

Other airports with at least 15 positive cases are Logan International, Denver International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, Miami International, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International and Chicago O’Hare.

You can see the details here.

3 TSA Employees Die from Coronavirus, More than 400 Tested Positive

By Steve Neavling

A TSA screener at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the third employee from the agency to die from the coronavirus.

Dian Phipps was a security screener, and he had worked for the TSA for 14 years.

More than 400 TSA employees, including screeners and nonscreeners, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the agency. So far, 45 of them have recovered.

The screeners worked at more than two dozens airports across the country. At John F. Kennedy International, where 162 TSA employees have tested positive, has been hit the hardest. At Newark Liberty International, 80 TSA workers have confirmed infections. Nearly 50 TSA workers from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International have tested positive.

TSA workers, especially screeners, are especially vulnerable because they have a lot of contact with the public.

TSA Workers Sew Masks to Help Others on Their Free Time

Susan Schultz, via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

The coronavirus has ravaged TSA workers, infecting 378 of them and killing two.

Now some healthy TSA workers, while at home, are sewing masks for family, friends and first responders.

Supervisory TSA officer Susan Schultz, who works at General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) in Milwaukee, sometimes works until midnight, sewing hundreds of masks because her community needs them. She has developed a method to sew masks in about seven minutes.

More than most workers, TSA employees know the risks of the coronavirus.

Justine Waldron, a TSA officer who works at Barnstable Municipal Airport (HYA) on Cape Cod, has made more than 140 colorful masks, some of which have Native American and navigation themes. Others include comic book characters. She’s giving them to family, friends and TSA employees for when they’re off work.

“I really wanted to do my part,” Waldron says in a TSA news release. “People are scared and the masks will help,”

Waldron refuses to take others’ money to pay for the masks.

“Some people have tried to give me money, but that’s just not the right thing to do,” she said. “We all need to stay healthy and get past” the pandemic.

More than 325 TSA Employees Tested Positive for Coronavirus, 2 Died

By Steve Neavling

The coronavirus has hammered TSA workers more than previously thought.

A total of 329 TSA employees have confirmed infections and two died, according to ABC News, citing an internal briefing led by TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

In the past week, 162 TSA workers tested positive for COVID-19.

The first TSA employee to die was Francis “Frank” Boccabella III, 39, who served as an explosive detection canine handler at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey.

“Frank was dedicated to protecting the traveling public with his canine partner, Bullet, a 6-year-old German Short-haired Pointer and his previous canine partner, Zmay,” the TSA said in a statement. “Frank and his canine partners screened hundreds of thousands of passengers, keeping them and the transportation network safe.”

The second TSA employee to die was Alberto Camacho, a branch manager in the Acquisition Program Management office.

“For over 20 years Alberto dedicated his career to both transportation and aviation security, and his contributions to TSA and our mission will not be forgotten,” the agency said in a statement.

“We mourn their loss but we celebrate what they have been able to contribute over the course of their time in TSA,” Pekoske said in the briefing.

TSA employees, especially screeners, are especially vulnerable because they come in close contact with many travelers.