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House passes bill to demote some TSA officers

Jul. 23, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
FILE: TSA To Raise Ticket Fee
Reclassifying some TSA personnel would lead to lowered salaries and pension benefits, according to the bill. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Transportation Security Administration would have to evaluate its law enforcement officers and remove that classification from some under legislation passed by the House July 22.

The TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act would require the agency to reclassify any law enforcement officer who did not spend 50 percent of their time on law enforcement activity – and cut out the additional pay they receive.

The bill would require this reclassification within 90 days of the passage of the bill and would save the government $17 million a year in salaries, according to Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.

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“Even though there are federal standards in place that lay out how employees qualify for higher wages, TSA pays some of its employees more for jobs they’re not doing,” Sanford said in a statement on Facebook. “That wouldn’t make sense anywhere outside of government, and as such, this bill would help fix that problem by clarifying those employees’ responsibilities.”

TSA would also be required to estimate the long-term cost savings to the federal government because of the reclassification from lowered salaries, pension benefits and for equipment, according to the bill.

Sanford said some employees make 25 percent more than they should for their work because they are classified as law enforcement officers.

“In the same way that you wouldn’t pay a famous chef to microwave your dinner, some well-qualified TSA employees are being paid higher wages for skills they aren’t using,” he said.

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