TSA Temporarily Freezes New Hires and Overtime Hours

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has placed a temporary freeze on hiring and overtime until April or May as part of an effort to give its current employees raises.

According to The Washington Post, TSA Council 100 President Hydrick Thomas said the decision would leave airports short-staffed during the notoriously busy spring break travel period, which will cause long waits at airport checkpoints.

The freeze on hirings and overtime came from the House committee that oversees the TSA, which informed the agency the decision was made to cover the cost of the average 3.1 percent pay raises for federal employees approved last year.

“In anticipation of another record-breaking summer travel season, the Transportation Security Administration is managing resources by prioritizing overtime to the busiest of travel periods,” a TSA spokesperson told The Washington Post. “Additionally, TSA will continue to assess applicants for entry into TSA, and will conduct two extended hiring windows to coincide with the busy summer travel season.”

While union representatives believe the freeze would result in long lines at airports around the country, a TSA spokeswoman said the agency already hired additional employees to meet the extra demand during the spring break travel period.

“They are here and working,” the spokeswoman said. “The pause in hiring will be lifted in late April to ensure that additional TSA officers are hired, undergo training, certification and go through some on-the-job training by the time summer travel season arrives.”

TSA employees need to be ready, as the agency continues to break records. During the winter holiday travel period, agents screened more than 43.8 million passengers and crew members, a four percent increase over the same period from 2018.

Add in the fact that TSA employees discovered more firearms at security checkpoints across the U.S. than ever before in 2019, and travelers need the agents for protection now more than ever.

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