TVA outsources IT jobs

The Tennessee Valley Authority told 62 employees in its information technology workforce that they would be out of a job in 90 days as part of plan to outsource tech to contractors and managed services.

The Tennessee Valley Authority told 62 employees in its information technology workforce that they would be out of a job in 90 days as part of plan to outsource tech to contractors and managed services.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported the layoffs on June 2. The IT workers effected are based in Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.

TVA is a government-owned electrical utility founded under the New Deal in 1933 that services 10 million people across seven southeastern states.

On Feb. 24, President Paul Shearon and two other officials of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, which represents IT workers at the TVA, blasted the decision to outsource in a letter to TVA Board Chairman James "Skip" Thomson.

"We believe that TVA's agenda to outsource these jobs is fiscally irresponsible, being undertaken without transparency and in violation of TVA's own internal contracting policies, compromises the safety and security of TVA's IT infrastructure, could lead to these jobs being sent overseas, and is contrary to TVA's mission to bring and keep work in the Valley," Shearon wrote.

TVA Vice President and CIO Jeremy Fisher told the Times Free Press in January that the agency was looking to cut down on costs and improve performance by outsourcing its software development jobs to outside companies, namely CGI, CapGemini and Accenture – all of which have corporate headquarters outside the U.S.

In a May 12 letter to House majority leaders, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) expressed his concern about the outsourcing. “In the middle of a global health pandemic and national emergency, it is incomprehensible that TVA would outsource jobs held by hard-working Americans,” he wrote. He asked that the next coronavirus relief package include “language that prohibits federal government agencies, including the TVA, from privatizing federal jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and any other national emergency in the future.”

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