TSA calls in backup officers as absences of unpaid airport screeners rise
WASHINGTON - The Transportation Security Administration has been calling in officers that usually help with staffing shortages during natural disasters to compensate for a rise in the absences of airport screeners, who have been working without regular pay since the partial government shutdown began more than four weeks ago. The TSA said unscheduled absences on Saturday reached 8 percent of its 51,000 officers, compared with 3 percent a year ago. The TSA officers are among the some 420,000 government employees who have been deemed essential, and have been ordered to work during the shutdown. That group also includes air traffic controllers, reports Leslie Josephs for CNBC.
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The Intelligent Aerospace take:
January 21, 2019-With the partial government shutdown entering its second month and federal workers about to miss their second paycheck, call-outs by TSA screeners are still on the rise. While roughly 8% of TSA screeners called out on Saturday - up from just 3% a year ago - most travelers aren't yet experiencing much of a slowdown. On Saturday, the TSA screened 1.6 million passengers, and 94% of them got through security in less than the agency's standard of 30 minutes.
Related: TSA: Screeners calling out for financial reasons
Related: The shutdown is disrupting travel at America's biggest airports - and it's probably going to get worse
Related: Update on air-travel delays created by the U.S. government shutdown, and how to deal with them
Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
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