Travel warning: four days until Trump's shut-down costs TSA screeners their first paycheck

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/08/racists-vs-billionaires.html

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That’s some Inception level idea dropping there Cory.

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Finding empathy for the TSA is difficult, but alas they are are Brothers and Sisters.

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I hate to see so many actors out of work :frowning:

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Yup, the TSA is a travesty as an agency, but these are human beings who get paid a low wage to work in unforgiving conditions. In the recession after 9/11, TSA was one of the only places hiring.

Be advised that the Air Traffic Controllers are also not getting paid.

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I’m flying at the end of February. Hopefully this temper tantrum is over by then

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the employees who are furloughed will never see that money

That’s not likely — although there’s no legal requirement or anything, furloughed federal workers have gotten paid for their time after every other shutdown.

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the employees who are furloughed will never see that money

With the caveat that there’s no such thing as normal any more, after past shutdowns Congress always authorized back pay for federal workers who were furloughed. Federal contractors are the workers most at risk of not getting paid for time off during the shutdown though. They’re likely to get screwed.

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I’m actually surprised to find out that the TSA normally manages to pay employees so much more quickly than DoD. We’re funded, but if we had been furloghed, the first missed paycheck* would be dated 1/17/2019 for the pay period ending 1/5/2019

*Well the paycheck dated 1/3/2019 would not include any pay for work on 12/22/2018 if you were scheduled to work on that Saturday.

A huge blue flu in DC seems called for.

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This needs a HUGE “it depends” added on to it.

Actual federal employees that are furloughed will probably get paid, as you said.

However, just like private companies, federal agencies outsource a ton of work to third parties. Not every cleaning company, maintenance support, security guard, food service worker, etc… are actually federal workers. A huge number of them work for companies that contract with the government for services. Exactly the same way a private company may contract it’s cafeteria operations, or it’s building maintenance, or it’s security staff from a company providing that service.

Those workers are likely hourly workers too, not exempt salaried employees.

With the shutdown and closed or restricted facilities use, none of those contractors are working. The contracting company isn’t being paid and it’s not scheduling any hours for those workers.

These workers will never be paid. They’re also the most vulnerable and the least able to absorb the missed pay.

Exactly.

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Salaried employees, yes. Hourly employees and contractors not so much.

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I’m flying this Monday. Getting a bit worried.

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https://www.natca.org/

“Even though air traffic controllers and traffic management coordinators remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, they don’t know when they’ll receive their next paycheck and that adds more stress to an already stressful profession. Additionally, over 3,000 NATCA- represented aviation safety professionals have been furloughed and sent home as a result of the shutdown. This shutdown and the resulting furloughs are rapidly eliminating the layers of redundancy and safety on which the (National Airspace System) NAS is built.”

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At some level, almost all Feds are hourly employees rather than salaried. Our hours are tracked and you must have 80 hours of work or leave on your biweekly timesheet. Really the only exceptions to that rule are high level political appointees. Of course the government ALSO insists that once your pay exceeds a certain level, you are “exempt” from the FLSA, whether you are managing any other employees or not.

But yes, contractors are screwed as they usually are.

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That’s the real rub in this story, even though I feel for everyone who isn’t getting paid.

No air traffic controllers, no air travel.

The TSA is a shit agency, but it’s made up of real people who don’t deserve to go unpaid.

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That’s not the same as what people mean when they say “hourly employee” though.

Just because you have to use some crazy time tracking system to report time so you get paid. And a different system while the normal one is shutdown. This doesn’t make them a “hourly employee”. As you said, you need to submit 80 hours biweekly. This is about budget allocation and funding, so that you’re paid from the correct pool of funds.

When people say “hourly employee”, we mean someone who is scheduled by the hour. A person who doesn’t need to account for 80 hours every two weeks, but accounts for whatever hours they’ve been scheduled to work for those two weeks. Someone where the time submitted doesn’t just track where the funds come from, but the number of hours they’ve been scheduled to work and will be paid for. Hopefully, someone who is scheduled for close to 80 hours every two weeks, more or less, depending on what they signed up for. Someone who isn’t scheduled for any hours now, and is totally screwed and will not be paid when it reopens.

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However early you get to the airport, add another hour. I doubt that it will be resolved by Monday, and whatever Il Douche says in his speech tonight or does at the border on Thurs. will likely make things worse.

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But that IS how our time is scheduled, despite the claim that we are exempt from the FLSA. Any deviation from our tour of duty has to be documented with either an approved leave or premium time request. In fact, my supervisor could NOT concur my time sheet at first because I had failed to withdraw my request to use annual leave on Christmas Eve, even though the accounting code for annual or holiday leave is the same.

Oh that’s no problem. They can just double up shifts! What’s the worst that could happen?