TLDR Background: Trump administration was forcing hundreds of USDA scientists to choose between migrating across the country or quitting their jobs. Some news outlets reporting that the real motivation was based around displeasure at their honesty in terms of climate change and reporting on government policy impact on agriculture. They had until midnight lastnight to choose between quitting or migrating. Many were holding out for the midnight deadline in a last ditch effort to negotiate for their jobs via collective action.
I can find no news this morning what the fallout was from said midnight deadline.
It seems we still don’t know much, other than no concessions happened.
It only has this to say:
USDA REJECTS ERS, NIFA UNION DEMANDS: Monday marked the deadline for employees at the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to notify department officials if they intend to relocate to Kansas City by Sept. 30. There’s no word from USDA yet on how many have agreed to relocate.
But the department has officially said no to a list of 11 demands by the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents ERS and NIFA staff, Pro Ag’s Liz Crampton reports.
Well then: “Concerning the demands in their entirety, the Agency declines to agree to any proposal that would precondition the exercise of any management rights on the completion of bargaining,” reads a letter from a USDA labor relations officer to the union that was obtained by POLITICO.
ICYMI: Both ERS and NIFA are expecting mass attrition as many employees are more likely to leave rather than relocate. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has claimed the move will save taxpayer dollars and improve service by bringing the agencies closer to major farm states. But USDA economists say uprooting the agencies will disrupt their work, and some see it as punishment for publishing scientific reports that are unflattering to Trump’s policies.
Related: USDA isn’t the only department shifting agencies around the map. The Interior Department will move its Bureau of Land Management headquarters to Grand Junction, Colo., Pro Energy’s Ben Lefebvre reports. The plan has been floated for years, and Western lawmakers have long backed such a move. Some BLM staff will also head to Utah, Rep. Rob Bishop said Monday.
The two agencies voted to unionize in response to the move
ah, and the politico morning agriculture report you quoted also says at the top:
— The Agriculture Department has rejected requests from the union representing two of its research agencies set to be relocated to the Kansas City region. Union leadership had asked for more flexibility to work remotely and reimbursement for extra moving expenses, among other demands.
I’m just pulling that out because I didn’t know if the union was newly formed or had existed for a while.
The other links in the parts quoted go to pro! So we can’t see the letter.