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Part-timers to the rescue

Ben Godar

The Transportation Security Administration is planning to bolster its

staff at the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport by hiring part-time

baggage screeners.

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The airport is one of 34 nationwide that will be adding part-time

personnel to work during peak travel times, TSA spokesman Nico

Melendez said. While it has not been determined how many screeners

will be hired to work in Burbank, Melendez said the part-timers will

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balance out the layoffs of full-time employees in late April. Eight

local screeners were laid off as part of a reduction of 6,000

nationwide.

“When we announced the job cuts, we said we’d offset those cuts

with the hiring of part-time workers,” Melendez said. “This is just

fulfilling that promise.”

While he would not say the TSA is dissatisfied with the current

speed at which travelers move through the screening process, Melendez

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said the part-time screeners will help prevent long lines during peak

hours.

“We understand the public has a need to get through security in a

speedy manner,” he said. “We don’t want to delay them because of our

lack of customer service.”

Airport spokesman Victor Gill said he was not aware of any recent

complaints about the speed of the screening process at the Burbank

Airport. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Gill said expanding

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the screening area and adding more lanes has kept travelers from

experiencing longer waits in spite of a more thorough screening

process.

Because the airport’s voluntary curfew requests that airlines not

fly out before 7 a.m., Gill said the peak time for screeners is

between about 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.

“That’s the only time we have 10 airplanes trying to board at

once,” he said.

TSA officials were accepting applications for the positions

through Tuesday, but Melendez said with background checks and other

procedures it could be a couple of weeks before they have a pool of

applicants.

After passing the background check, candidates must complete 44

hours of classroom training and 60 hours of on-the-job training.

The screeners will earn between $11.30 and $16.96 per hour based

on experience and other factors, and TSA officials said they would

also be eligible for federal benefits.


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