Over 1,000 TSA Employees Still Owed Government Shutdown Back Pay
During the government shutdown, TSA employees suffered without pay, and while it has been a month since the shutdown ended, more than 1,000 TSA employees have yet to receive their back pay.
The cause of the delay, is in part, because of TSA Administrator David Pekoske’s actions to pay partial paychecks to workers in order to help them pay their bills and keep them on the job.
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A TSA official who is unable to speak openly told CNN, “The problems are with pay period 26,” referring to the pay period of 2018 that was partially paid through Pekoske’s efforts.
“It appears as though their effort to partially pay people screwed things up and they are still getting their act together,” the source said.
CNN also obtained a partial phone transcript that the TSA held with field offices across the U.S. on Wednesday.
Karen Shelton Waters, who oversees human resources issues at TSA headquarters, was quoted as saying: “Pay period 26 was the partial pay that we did and then the remainder of that pay period should have been a correction that came through the system once the funding was restored.”
She added, “Our timing…could not have been poorer in terms of when we executed partial pay. We actually got approval to do that almost simultaneously with the time funding was restored.”
When the shutdown ended, President Trump said that issuing backpay would be a top priority and the Office of Management of Budgeted were instructing their agencies to prioritize these payments.
The TSA put out a statement that read: “Of TSA’s 60,000 employees, approximately 1,000 throughout the country require some sort of pay correction.”
They added that the corrections mostly affect one pay period.
Michael Bilello, the assistant administrator for public affairs at TSA, told CNN: “To help support our employee’s during the 35 days of the lapse in funding, TSA processed partial payments to its frontline employees. Coincidentally, the payment was processed on the very same day the partial shutdown ended. Of the 60,000 employees, unfortunately, 2% have experienced pay discrepancie.”
“This partial payment was complicated by a payroll process that goes from TSA to the National Finance Center (NFC).TSA leadership assumed this risk and made the best decision given the circumstances and information at the time.TSA has contacted employees with known issues to ensure they are resolved.”