May 23 set for TSA union run-off election

Thursday - 4/21/2011, 3:33pm EDT

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Transportation security officers can begin voting May 23 in a run-off election to decide which of two unions they want to be represented by.

Neither the American Federation of Government Employees nor the National Treasury Employees Union received a majority vote in the union election that ended Tuesday. About 45 percent of the 43,000 eligible TSA employees voted in the election.

The run-off election will be conducted by telephone and internet by the Federal Labor Relations Authority for four weeks, ending midnight on June 21, according to an FLRA press release on Friday.

In the first election, TSA employees could choose between NTEU, AFGE or no union. NTEU received 8,095 votes, AFGE received 8,369 votes, and 3,111 TSA employees voted not to have a union, according to an FLRA statement.

In the run-off election, TSA employees can only vote between NTEU or AFGE.

NTEU President Colleen Kelley said the two unions were in a "dead heat" to win the election.

Regardless of which union wins, TSA John Pistole said in a statement Wednesday that security is one issue that will not be negotiated. Pistole agreed in February to grant screeners limited collective bargaining rights for the first time since the agency was formed a decade ago. The agency would allow negotiations related to employment, including shift bids, transfers and awards.

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