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  • Tsa

    Recently catching a business flight interstate, I arrived early and had time to observe our TSA equivalents in action and witness their abilities to protect our airports. Just to give you a brief outline:

    1. TSA's or Security Screeners in Australia are all from private security companies and the cheapest gets the contract but needs large numbers.

    2. They are allegedly the first line of airport security (which I will argue with)

    3. They hold no special powers or authority apart from training in x-ray and metal dector screening and have minimal training without the supervision of APS or Australian Protective Services (airport, ports and occassional consulate LE force).

    I have a few questions. What training do the TSA's in the USA receive and what powers or authority do they have in their duties ? Are the pay and conditions acceptable or is their a high attrition rate within the industry ? Are we really window dressing to make people feel safe or is this really an effective methodology from the powers that be ?

    I know
    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

  • #2
    TSA falls under the homeland security department. Pay still isn't great but decent benefits. Window dressing? Maybe maybe not. The testers do manage to sneak stuff past sometimes, but on the other hand they have an impressive collection of stuff they've seized.

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    • #3
      Best one I heard of, was a bloke who had 6 loose rounds from a flight out of some US based airport. He used the bag for shooting practice and was stopped with 3 live rounds and 3 empty cartridges in 2004. I wish I had been an Avon seller when the new laws came in for liquids on flights and make up items (women were tossing out thousands of dollars in make up to comply with new flights). Full time rates / hr in Sydney for our Airport S/O's is $14 - $15 US / $21 US for Saturdays and $28 US for Sundays with shift allowances for nights on week days, discount parking, cheaper meals and only 8 hour shifts. Attrition is very high due to the quality of staff hired.
      "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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      • #4
        Well, here in Minnesota, the biggest pot-head I have ever met in my life, is a TSA screener at MSP (Minneapolis / Saint Paul) Airport. When the Fed turned all airports over to the TSA, they needed to fill the ranks quickly. The "private security" that they said were not "good enough" were actually hired to fill those ranks of the TSA. So, you have the same people that were there before that supposedly were not good enough, doing the same job, just with the "TSA" title. Anyone feel safer??? I've been top Mexico twice since 9/11, and have never had a problem with bringing my "Zippo" on a plane to or from Mexico, they never actually searched me or my carry-on, to or from...
        Last edited by sgtnewby; 01-06-2008, 03:05 AM.
        Apparently a HUGE cop wannabe...

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        • #5
          TSA stands for Transportation Security Administration. It is not a personnel acronym.

          Screeners are unsworn federal employees, except in some pilot programs, who receive training in detecting contraband. They then report said contraband to either the sworn TSA Police Officers assigned to the airport, or the local Airport Police Department or Municipal/County Police assigned to the airport.

          Most of them are Globe Aviation Security screeners who were hired on by TSA after the creation of the TSA and DHS.
          Some Kind of Commando Leader

          "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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          • #6
            FYI, TSA is currently hiring in many cities. Here in California, starting pay is $14/hour with 24% cost-of-living differential for locality. Here are job listings:

            https://tsacareers.taleo.net/

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            • #7
              The TSA here on Martha's Vineyard are all part time and have had an ad in the paper for over a year. The pay is only$13.83 per hour and requires split shifts daily and on call 24/7 due to the type of clientele. The fact is no one can live on MV that makes that little money year round. I would like to suggest that the government use contract Security and provide free transportation to and from the island. Or provide free billeting in one of those $30.000 Katrina mobile homes installed on airport property.
              THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A 911 CALL IS FOUR MINUTES
              THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A .357 MAGNUM ROUND IS 1400 FEET PER SECOND?
              http://www.boondocksaints.com/

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              • #8
                What do they consider a split shift to be?

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                • #9
                  Copied from the TSA Website as supplied in another post:

                  Work Schedule: Full-time (40) hours per week. Full-time work hours for this position consists of shift-work on any day from Sunday through Saturday, which may include irregular hours, nights, holidays, overtime, extended shifts and weekend shifts, changing shifts, and split shifts. A Split Shift schedule is defined as any two shifts, lasting at least two (2) hours each, in one 24-hour period with a break of at least two (2) hours between shifts. Exceptions include additional shifts to support morning, midday, and afternoon or evening operations. Specific work shifts and schedules will be determined by the airport.

                  Craig, IMO a split shift was say an 0600 - 1000 then 1600 - 2000 later that day. This sounds like it bites big time.

                  As a comparison TSA Private Security in Australia (well in Sydney anyway) earn about 14% more than an award rate security officers as the specialist training of being an Xray Machine Operator qualifies them as level 3 officers (they rotate every 30 minutes) Retention is low as you only need to see the quality of staff working around our airports to know why. Boarding 1 last flight, I rushed to get through security and to get to my gate when at screening, a TSA Evil Woman stopped me and told me to Xray my suit coat (Cashmere Wool - no way). I asked why and was told either you do it or don't get in. I wore my suit coat and walked through as others in suits were not wearing their suits coats through screening. After a flight delay, I hit the lounge to find airline staff approaching passengers on entry who were all making complaints about this Evil Woman - seems she had an issue with frequent flyer members.
                  Last edited by NRM_Oz; 01-16-2008, 06:49 PM.
                  "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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                  • #10
                    I'm a CBP Officer. We have several TSA refugees working at my port. From the horror stories they tell of TSA - I wouldn't work for TSA.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NRM_Oz View Post
                      Copied from the TSA Website as supplied in another post:

                      Work Schedule: Full-time (40) hours per week. Full-time work hours for this position consists of shift-work on any day from Sunday through Saturday, which may include irregular hours, nights, holidays, overtime, extended shifts and weekend shifts, changing shifts, and split shifts. A Split Shift schedule is defined as any two shifts, lasting at least two (2) hours each, in one 24-hour period with a break of at least two (2) hours between shifts. Exceptions include additional shifts to support morning, midday, and afternoon or evening operations. Specific work shifts and schedules will be determined by the airport.

                      Craig, IMO a split shift was say an 0600 - 1000 then 1600 - 2000 later that day. This sounds like it bites big time.

                      As a comparison TSA Private Security in Australia (well in Sydney anyway) earn about 14% more than an award rate security officers as the specialist training of being an Xray Machine Operator qualifies them as level 3 officers (they rotate every 30 minutes) Retention is low as you only need to see the quality of staff working around our airports to know why. Boarding 1 last flight, I rushed to get through security and to get to my gate when at screening, a TSA Evil Woman stopped me and told me to Xray my suit coat (Cashmere Wool - no way). I asked why and was told either you do it or don't get in. I wore my suit coat and walked through as others in suits were not wearing their suits coats through screening. After a flight delay, I hit the lounge to find airline staff approaching passengers on entry who were all making complaints about this Evil Woman - seems she had an issue with frequent flyer members.
                      I recently applied for a position with the TSA and remember seeing this also. And yes, it does sound like it blows "big time!" I'm wondering did I make a mistake applying there?
                      "Life In Every Breath"

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                      • #12
                        hmm, crappier than my boss calling me up at all hours and asking if I can work *** cuz soandso called off?
                        At least the benefits are good. Not like my company "we offer benefits, btw, you have to pay for them out your own pocket" crap. We'll see.

                        So the site I was banned from (for reasons I've still never been told) has a guy call off. "hey, can you work that site" Sure, whatever. Get there and the supervisor says " I can't fill in, I have no idea what to do here" ./boggle

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by N. A. Corbier View Post
                          They then report said contraband to either the sworn TSA Police Officers assigned to the airport, or the local Airport Police Department or Municipal/County Police assigned to the airport.
                          The TSA's Police Force was stillborn. They hired a bunch of people (I remember seeing the TSA Police posistion notice along with Sgt, Lt and Capt. posistions, considered applying but decided to wait and see), the 1st class was halfway through FLETC, then that part of the program got chopped.

                          The people hired to be TSA Police officers were given 3 options: re-apply and hope for a FAM posistion, take a lower paying screener posistion, or quit. I remember hearing that most quit. It was the same as what happened to the old FAA Police all over again.

                          Also existing Airport PDs raised hell about the idea as well.

                          .
                          Last edited by Black Caesar; 01-17-2008, 05:30 AM.
                          ~Black Caesar~
                          Corbier's Commandos

                          " "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

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                          • #14
                            Monday week I agreed to meet my best mate's flight at 0600. Rushing to the airport on 1 coffee, I ran into the terminal as his flight landed and moved into the screening maze. Inside I was stopped for an IONISER test and agreed to the test and was told to get my bag first. I replied I had no bag as I was not flying today. The TSA told me - yes you are flying and I replied again "nope". Seems they had screwed up as they were to target flyers only until 0645 (airport was only now accepting flights inbound). I heard another TSA say to another "she did it again with someone else not flying". Not that I had an issue with being checked but it makes me wonder about who gets to use the brain amongst the TSA shifts operators as there is only 1 to share.
                            "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Black Caesar View Post
                              The TSA's Police Force was stillborn. They hired a bunch of people (I remember seeing the TSA Police posistion notice along with Sgt, Lt and Capt. posistions, considered applying but decided to wait and see), the 1st class was halfway through FLETC, then that part of the program got chopped.

                              The people hired to be TSA Police officers were given 3 options: re-apply and hope for a FAM posistion, take a lower paying screener posistion, or quit. I remember hearing that most quit. It was the same as what happened to the old FAA Police all over again.

                              Also existing Airport PDs raised hell about the idea as well.

                              .
                              So, an unsworn federal employee is doing what? Reporting to a sworn state employee? lol. Why do we have the TSA then, if they have no sworn personnel, only unsworn screeners?
                              Some Kind of Commando Leader

                              "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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