American Statistical Assn. supportive of ERS union vote

Many researchers that would be impacted by USDA’s proposed move of the Economic Research Service voted overwhelmingly to unionize as part of their effort to stay in the Washington DC area.

One of the groups supporting ERS and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture staying where they are is the American Statistical Association. “We did not take a position on unionization per se, but we believe it’s going to be beneficial.”

Stephen Pierson with the association has been critical of the Trump administration’s efforts to move ERS and NIFA away from the existing research hub, saying the move would cause the loss of experienced researchers. “If they weren’t so committed to ERS, they could easily go to other locations for better-paying jobs here in D.C. without taking their families and uprooting their lives to go somewhere else.”

ERS staffers voted 138 to 4  to join the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which has vowed to help fight USDA’s proposed move.  Another 315 workers at NIFA will vote June 11th on whether to join the union.

The USDA is supposed to announce the ERS and NIFA relocation plan May 15th.

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