Author Archive

Erich Wagner

Erich Wagner

Erich Wagner is a staff correspondent covering pay, benefits and other federal workforce issues. He joined Government Executive in the spring of 2017 after extensive experience writing about state and local issues in Maryland and Virginia, most recently as editor-in-chief of the Alexandria Times. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Erich Wagner is a staff correspondent covering pay, benefits and other federal workforce issues. He joined Government Executive in the spring of 2017 after extensive experience writing about state and local issues in Maryland and Virginia, most recently as editor-in-chief of the Alexandria Times. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Workforce

Compromise Defense Policy Bill Repeals Pentagon’s Two-Year Probationary Period, Grants Feds Bereavement Leave

Left out of the final bill was a provision that would align the General Schedule and Federal Wage System locality pay maps.

Pay & Benefits

OPM Reminds Agencies to Provide Feds Leave for COVID-19 Boosters

Agencies should also grant leave to federal workers who need time off to take family members to get a booster of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Workforce

Ahuja: OPM Has Hired More than 300 as Part of Agency Rebuild

The director of the Office of Personnel Management said a recent report on how to reform the HR agency has “galvanized” its workforce in support of change.

Management

House Panel Advances OPM Reform Legislation

Republicans opposed the bill aimed at insulating the Office of Personnel Management from political interference, arguing that doing so would lead to “unaccountable bureaucrats.”

Workforce

House Panel Examines Recruitment and Telework for the ‘Next Generation’ of Feds

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said Wednesday that he is introducing legislation to reform the federal government’s internship programs and writing a bill to expand agencies’ metrics regarding telework following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pay & Benefits

GAO: Key Locality Pay Decisions Stalled by Lack of Biden Appointees

Although the Federal Salary Council could clear up years of disagreements that cropped up during the Trump administration, President Biden has thus far failed to appoint any members to the advisory body.

Workforce

Biden Administration Delays Vaccine Mandate Penalties Until 2022

OMB and OPM officials said agencies should extend the counseling portion of enforcement of President Biden’s vaccine mandate through the end of the year, citing recent progress in the federal workforce’s vaccination rate.

Management

White House Diversity Strategic Plan Focuses on Equity in Hiring and Pay

Many of the administration’s strategies dovetail with its efforts to revitalize the federal workforce.

Management

Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Insulate OPM From Political Interference

Legislation would require presidents to nominate OPM directors without political considerations and make them the president’s “principal advisor” on federal workforce issues.

Oversight

Lawmakers Call on GAO to Examine FBI Whistleblower Protections

Five years after Congress passed a law reforming the bureau’s whistleblower program, the Justice Department still has not issued regulations to implement those changes.

Pay & Benefits

OPM Director Reaffirms that Essential Feds Will Have Annual Leave Restored Due to COVID-19

Federal employees deemed essential to combatting the pandemic will again be able to carry over unused annual leave that exceeds the typical cap in January.

Management

Biden’s Management Agenda Puts Feds Front and Center

A focus on creating “good jobs” and fostering partnerships with organized labor marks a departure from previous agendas’ more technocratic approaches.

Pay & Benefits

Biden Signs Wildland Firefighter Pay Reform Into Law as Part of Infrastructure Package

Some federal wildland firefighters could see up to a $20,000 increase in base pay, and their positions will shift to a new “wildland firefighter” occupational series.

Pay & Benefits

OPM to Offer Same-Sex Spouses Another Chance at Survivor Benefits

A new notice this week announced that the federal government’s HR agency is waiving the requirement that a widow or widower be married to a federal worker for nine months to be eligible for survivor benefits in some cases.

Pay & Benefits

Lawmakers Introduce Another Bill to Repeal Controversial Tax Rule Affecting Federal Retirees

Bipartisan legislation would replace a provision that reduces Social Security benefits for federal, state and local agency employees who spent time in the private sector with a new formula that accounts for their time outside of government, and provide rebates for current retirees.

Workforce

OPM Encourages Agencies to Expand Telework, Remote Work Permanently in New Guidance

The Office of Personnel Management on Friday issued its first major update to its telework guide in a decade.

Workforce

AFGE Calls on Administration to Delay Vaccine Mandate for Feds

The union’s leader said the recent delay in enforcement of the vaccine mandate for contractors sets up a “double standard” in federal workplaces.

Workforce

Federal Judge Declines to Block Vaccine Mandate for Feds

Judge says the challenge is both premature and unlikely to supersede the public interest in ending the pandemic.

Workforce

Social Security Employees Slated to Return to Offices in January

Restrictions on telework and confusing vaccine rules for visitors to SSA offices rankle union officials, who have demanded to bargain over employees’ reentry to their traditional worksites.