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.
Management

House Democrats Say Title 5 Protections Would Fix TSA’s Morale, Retention Woes

Advocates say now is the time to grant airport screeners with the same protections enjoyed by the rest of the federal workforce, including their bosses.

Pay & Benefits

TSP Funds Continue Strong Performance in April

All of the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program’s portfolios finished last month in the black.

Management

Unions Continue to Fault SSA Over Stalled Contract Renegotiations

Labor leaders accuse Trump holdovers atop the agency of seeking to retain “advantages” over unions during future negotiations rather than fully comply with President Biden’s directive to eradicate the previous administration’s workforce policies.

Management

Biden’s OPM Nominee Advances from Committee

All Republican senators voted against Kiran Ahuja over her past support of diversity and inclusion programs and abortion rights.

Management

The Agencies that Saw the Biggest Gains in Employee Satisfaction in 2020, and the Few that Saw Losses

Only six agencies with at least 100 employees saw decreases in their job satisfaction score on the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

Management

Biden Signs Executive Order to Promote Collective Bargaining

A new task force made up of federal agency heads is charged with identifying ways to encourage “worker empowerment,” including acting as a model employer that fosters unions at agencies.

Management

Feds’ Engagement and Job Satisfaction Rises Despite—or Because of—Pandemic

Officials who administered the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey warned against making sweeping conclusions about the 2020 results, due to changes in the survey's timing and some of its content.

Pay & Benefits

OPM Waives Premium Pay Cap for Border Detailees

The federal government’s HR agency declared that the influx of children at the southern border is an emergency for the purposes of waiving restrictions on how much premium pay federal employees can earn.

Management

OPM Nominee Sails Through Confirmation Hearing, Pledging to Support Feds and Uphold Merit System

Kiran Ahuja outlined her vision for the federal workforce and the need for the Office of Personnel Management to transform to become a 21st century personnel policymaking agency.

Management

Union Criticizes Civil Service Carveouts in Science Bills

Two bills aimed at revitalizing the National Science Foundation include major exceptions to federal hiring rules that AFGE officials say are reminiscent of former President Trump’s controversial and aborted Schedule F initiative.

Pay & Benefits

Bill to Expand Paid Family Leave Benefits for Feds Introduced in Senate

Measure would grant federal workers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for illnesses and other situations not covered under 2019 parental leave law.

Management

Senator Seeks to Ban Nonexistent 'Meatless Monday' Policy at Agencies

USDA in 2012 briefly encouraged employees to eat vegetarian once a week on a voluntary basis, but its cafeterias never stopped offering meat, and they are currently closed due to the pandemic.

Management

Unions Drop Challenge to FLRA Rule Making it Easier for Feds to Stop Paying Dues

NTEU said it is exploring “other avenues” to reverse a controversial Trump-era decision to allow federal workers to cancel their union dues any time after one year, rather than at annual intervals.

Management

OPM Looks to Update Federal Job Competencies

Officials hope an updated list of skills required for jobs throughout the federal government will better inform federal personnel policy.

Management

EPA Begins Rolling Back Trump-era Union Policies

The Environmental Protection Agency and the American Federation of Government Employees will revert in part to their previous 2007 contract, and the parties will begin negotiations on an entirely new contract later this year.

Oversight

Nearly 90% of Pentagon Employees Said Telework Hasn't Hurt Productivity

A report from the Defense Department’s inspector general found that early IT issues following the shift to maximum telework stemmed from component agencies failing to perform required test runs.