Union: ‘Catastrophic Employee Attrition’ from USDA Relocation Plan

Department Of Agriculture

A union representing federal employees says workers at the Agriculture Department’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will leave in droves as a result of the plan to move 90% of that workforce out of the Washington area. 

Based on attrition data obtained and compiled by American Federal Government Employees Local 340, the union July 10 said the agency is expected to have “catastrophic employee attrition” from the decision to relocate staff to the Kansas City area. In all, 550 NIFA employees are slated to make the move before Sept. 30.

An expected 70% of the workforce being reassigned to temporary offices in Kansas City will refuse to move, however nearly 30% would be willing to consider relocation if they get enough time to make arrangements for their families and housing, AFGE said. 

USDA announced in June it had picked the Kansas City region for the relocation of two of its research agencies, NIFA and the Economic Research Service. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said early May the move aims to consolidate the agency’s workforce and make it more effective and efficient.

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