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AFGE: TSA Must Do More to Protect Its Workforce and the Public
Date:4/28/2009

TSA workers not prepared to battle swine flu epidemic

WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Transportation Security Officers across the country are being made to work with no precautionary measures as they screen passengers who may have been exposed to the swine flu, the American Federation of Government Employees said today.

In an urgent letter to TSA Acting Administrator Gale Rossides, AFGE requested the following:

  • That a respirator, gloves and hand sanitizer be provided any TSO who requests them;
  • That TSOs be issued an N-95 respirator as prescribed by OPM Director John Berry in his April 27, 2009 memorandum;
  • That shifts during the pandemic be rotated so that TSOs can wash their hands on a recurrent basis;
  • That testing for the swine flu virus be made available for TSOs who must escort suspected infectious people to isolated areas or otherwise come in close contact (within six feet) of such passengers;
  • That any TSO diagnosed with infection of the swine flu through their exposure to the virus while on duty be provided a CA-2 form by TSA management;
  • That TSOs be afforded the same "human resources policies and flexibilities" as other federal workers if they become ill with the swine flu or must care for sick family members or children in the event of the closure of the child's school or child care center as set forth in OPM Director Berry's April 27, 2009 memorandum; and
  • TSOs who become ill due to their exposure on the job should not be forced to take their own sick or annual leave; they should be granted administrative leave.

AFGE has heard from TSOs at a number of airports throughout the system that requests for protective gear have been denied. In Denver and Miami, for example, TSOs were told they could not be given masks for fear that i
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SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees
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