With paychecks missing as a result of the government's partial government shutdown on Friday, the number of TSA (non-work-related) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials has risen so that some passengers had to wait in long queues as airports with slimmer security officers get along. The federal agency has started to send reserve officers to tackle human resource challenges, but a source familiar with the situation tells CBS News that the problem could "compound" and lead to a further reduction in services in the coming days.
Around 7.6 percent of TSA employees missed out on "unplanned absences" work on Monday, more than double the 3.2 percent of those who worked the same day last year. after Michael Bilello, a spokesman for the TSA. The figure is also a significant increase over the number of workers who called a week ago on January 7, when 4.6 percent of workers stayed home.
In response to a violent mid-Atlantic blizzard, the tenders have prompted four major airports - Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Miami International Airport and Washington-Dulles International Airport Screening to stop trains and checkpoints.
The government closed theon Saturday when it entered its fourth week. TSA agents are considered "essential" federal employees, which means they will have to work without pay until Congress and President Trump reach an agreement to reopen the government.
"It is profoundly unfair and almost irreverent to get us into the border security debate when we have absolutely nothing to do with it," TSA officer Mike Gayzagian told CBS News after TSA employees released their first paycheck on Friday missed.
At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the airport was forced to reduce the number of open check strips at three key domestic checkpoints on Monday due to staff lay-offs for decommissioning, CBS News said. Passengers traveling through affected checkpoints had to wait more than an hour for security on Monday morning, according to the airport's website. TSA's mobile app, MyTSA, reports that some passengers have waited more than two hours to get through the security check. However, international travelers only had 15 to 30 minutes on the airport's website security lines.
In Washington Dulles, the airport closed its West Mezzanine employee and passenger checkpoints and consolidated them in the hub's East Mezzanine. A statement by the TSA states that many of Washington's calls were due to the storm of the weekend, but the confirmed demands were "slightly higher than a normal blizzard." TSA officials said they expect Tuesday in Washington Dulles to be a normal day with regular checkpoints.
Miami International Airport spokesman Greg Chin said on Monday afternoon that TSA checkpoints are back to normal and "no closures are currently scheduled".
On Friday, David Pekoske, the administrator of the agency, twittered The agency had paid a one-day salary for employees who worked on December 22 immediately after closure, who worked on December 22, and workers could expect to receive a payment by Tuesday. Pekoske also said he has approved a $ 500 holiday bonus for uniformed screening officers for "maintaining the highest safety standards during an exceptional period". The bonus that should be paid out this week is roughly equivalent for the average TSA employee.
On average, the average annual salary of a TSA security officer is around $ 37,000, according to Glassdoor. The average hourly rate is 16 USD.
"It's a shame, because TSA officers are already among the lowest-paid federal officials and have the least rights of almost every federal employee, and now they're being asked to risk their lives without knowing when they're going to do it I will get her paycheck, "wrote J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, in a statement.
Airport workers across the country have organized to help TSA officers during standstill. Although ethics rules prohibit agents from accepting travelers' money gifts, group-style meals are a fair game, according to a spokesperson for the TSA. Airport employees at Connecticut's Bradley International Airport and the Allegheny County Airport Authority in Pittsburgh organized complimentary meals for TSA staff, while Tampa International Airport partnered with United Way to create a food bank for the workers affected by the closure.
-Kris Van Cleave contributed to the coverage.