As the partial government shutdown continues to drag on, workers all across the country are beginning to feel the effects, and officials from the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) want to help employees with the financial strain. According to the Huffington Post, the agency is going to provide workers with a $500 bonus, as well as one day’s pay.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske took to Twitter on Friday to announce the move, which should help struggling families stay afloat during the ongoing crisis. In the lengthy thread, Pekoske praised the efforts of TSA workers across the country who have stuck by their posts even as they no longer received pay for their jobs due to the shutdown.
“To every TSA employee,” Pekoske wrote. “Despite personal hardships and professional challenges, we’ve rallied and never once compromised the security of our nation’s transportation.”
Not satisfied to sit by while TSA employees struggle during the shutdown, Pekoske worked with his team to release earnings for December 22, the first day after the government shutdown began. Employees are expected to receive their payment by Tuesday at the latest.
Additionally, Pekoske and the TSA have managed to approve $500 bonuses for every uniformed TSA screening officer. In his Twitter feed, Pekoske repeatedly thanked agents for their tireless efforts during the holiday season and shutdown. He also went to lengths to explain exactly why the TSA was able to provide this to employees — while acknowledging that they deserve so much more.
To every TSA employee– despite personal hardships and professional challenges, we’ve rallied and never once compromised the security of our nation’s transportation systems.
— David P. Pekoske (@TSA_Pekoske) January 12, 2019
“While I realize this is not what you are owed for your hard work during pay period 26 and what you deserve, I hope these actions alleviate some of the financial hardship many of you are facing,” he wrote on Twitter.
Due to the ongoing government shutdown, about 800,000 federal employees are currently working without pay or furloughed. TSA agents are required to remain on the job, as their work in security is considered to be vital to the ongoing health of the nation. About 50,000 are currently still working without pay.
This financial announcement comes in light of recent reports that indicate many TSA agents are choosing to call in sick rather than work for free. In a new report by CBS News, it was revealed that sick calls had risen by an astonishing 70% compared to the same day last year.
The TSA, as well as union officials, have been working to reduce the stress and financial hardship on their employees, who have been struggling due to the shutdown. The TSA union has warned officials that should the partial shutdown continue, TSA workers will start quitting — which could pose a serious security risk to the country.