Up To $1000 To Workers Who Stay On Job... But Will That Be
In an effort to combat
an employee attrition rate close to 25 percent as the summer travel
seasons draws near, the Transportation Security Administration is
offering its screeners up to $1000 in bonus pay in order to
convince them to stay on the job.
Associate TSA Administrator Gale Rossides told USA Today the
bonus program -- which will cost $20 million -- is intended to
prevent a screener shortage during peak travel months.
Here's how it works: screeners who have been on the job at least
one year -- and are thus less likely to leave -- will be paid $500
on May 11. Screeners who have been with the TSA less than one year
will get their $500 bonuses after they've worked through the
summer. And if a screener happens to work at a "hard-to-hire"
airport -- one that has trouble filling vacancies -- that's another
$500 in their pocket.
"We understand the $500 may not be as much as some people want,
but it is a commitment on our part to try to begin to invest in the
workforce," Rossides said.
While extra money in pocket is seldom a bad thing, some
screeners -- whose pay ranges from just over $23,500 to $44,500 per
year, based on experience and location -- questioned the size of
the TSA's commitment.
The $500 bonus "isn't going to retain anybody," said Kimberly
Kraynak, a $39,000-a-year screener at Pittsburgh International
Airport. She called the amount the TSA is offering "a joke."
"What will $500 mean? I could probably take a weekend off
somewhere and de-stress a little," added Boston screener A.J.
Castilla, who makes $37,064.
The TSA has been
concerned about screener turnover rates -- which now run as high as
24.5 percent -- for several years. In a letter to TSA chief Kip
Hawley dated April 12, administrators at LAX warned they were
losing 40 to 50 screeners a month -- which could lead to a shortage
of 300 screeners by August. Approximately 2,000 screeners work at
The resulting long checkpoint lines could present a tempting
terrorist target, LAX executive director Lydia Kennard and chairman
Steven Holt wrote.
Hawley replied in an April 20 newsletter that the longer TSA
screeners stay on the job, "the higher the performance of their
security duties will be."
Hiring and training a new screener costs the TSA $12,000,
according to USA Today.