Transportation Security Administration workers who worked through the partial government shutdown during the holidays will receive one day’s worth of pay, in addition to a $500 bonus.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske made the announcement on Twitter Friday night, saying employees who worked on Dec. 22, the last day in the pay period, would receive compensation by Tuesday. Employees were not initially paid because the government shutdown began one day earlier.
In a statement, Pekoske praised TSA employees who came to work despite the shutdown. “To every TSA employee– despite personal hardships and professional challenges, we’ve rallied and never once compromised the security of our nation’s transportation systems,” he wrote.
Nearly 800,000 federal workers across the country are either on furlough or working without pay through the shutdown, as thousands now apply for unemployment, CNBC reported.
“It makes a lot of sense with all the uncertainty people are facing,” Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project told CNBC.
But TSA services are considered “essential” due to the nature of security processes and more than 50,000 TSA employees are still expected to work. Many workers have started calling in sick, while others have quit altogether.
“It’s profoundly unfair and almost disrespectful to put us in the middle of this debate over border security when we have absolutely nothing to do with it,” TSA employee Mike Gayzagian told CBS News.