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Federal Eye
Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 08/26/2011

TSA to offer buyouts to workers


Colleagues of TSA airport security officers may soon be eligible for a new buyout package. (Jim Urquhart - AP)
Updated 10:50 a.m. ET

The Transportation Security Administration is soon hoping to offer buyouts to about 3,000 administrative workers, one of dozens of federal agencies aiming to trim the payroll amid a budget crunch.

Eye Opener

TSA is seeking authority from the Office of Personnel Management to offer buyouts to about 3,000 administrative and managerial workers based at its Northern Virginia headquarters and at regional offices nationwide, the agency said late Thursday.

The agency has offered voluntary early retirements to workers since December 2004 — about a year after the agency first opened.

Federal agencies must get authorization from OPM to offer buyouts and must seek reauthorization every two years.

“As part of TSA’s ongoing efforts to ensure staffing efficiency, TSA requested a new authority to be able to continue to utilize early retirement as needed through 2013,” the agency said in a statement.

Government Executive magazine first reported news of the buyouts. (The Eye apologizes to GovExec for incorrectly reporting that the Federal Times had this first.)

TSA could not immediately say which workers would be eligible for buyouts, which are usually determined by age and number of years served. The agency’s roughly 51,000 unionized airport security officers, as well as its air marshals and intelligence personnel, would not be eligible, the agency said.

At least 23 agencies adjusting to the federal budget woes are offering buyouts or laying off workers, including the departments of Agriculture, Education, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Interior and Labor, the U.S. Postal Service, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution and the Government Printing Office.

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