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

Senate Appropriators Join House in Blocking OPM-GSA Merger

Senators go with Trump's latest proposal for a 2.6% civilian pay raise for 2020 but no locality increase, while the House has approved an average 3.1% raise.

Management

Senate Panel Would Not Block USDA Science Agency Relocations in Spending Bill

Democrats vow to continue to fight to stop the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture from moving to Kansas City later this year.

Pay & Benefits

TSP: Thousands Already Making Use of New Withdrawal System

The board that governs the 401(k)-style retirement savings program authorized a 6.9% budget increase for the agency Monday.

Management

OPM Moves to Implement Parts of Trump Order Easing Firing of Feds

Proposed rules would remind managers when new hires are approaching the end of probationary periods and streamline firing procedures.

Management

Weichert: Agencies Should Include Experts in Hiring Process

Guidance from the Office of Personnel Management encourages a renewed focus on competencies, rather than “minimum qualifications.”

Management

Days Before Planned Move, USDA Delays Relocation Date for Some Science Agency Employees

Feds at two research agencies have begun receiving letters pushing back the report date to Kansas City, but that decision could imperil employees' $10,000 buyouts.

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Management

Controversial OPM Nominee Confirmed Mostly Along Party Lines

Senate approves Dale Cabaniss despite concerns regarding her past governmental experience and plans to merge the agency with the General Services Administration.

Oversight

FEMA Officials Charged With Bribery Over Puerto Rico Power Contracts

A 15-count federal indictment accuses two former FEMA officials and a contractor with bribery, fraud and other offenses related to disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017.

Pay & Benefits

Defense Employee Health Support Programs Restored After Weeklong Outage

Department officials said a "previously unidentified contracting issue" led to a temporary suspension of programs designed to help employees cope with substance abuse and other mental health problems.

Management

House Democrats Urge Leadership to Stand Firm on Union Protections in Spending Bills

More than 200 lawmakers insisted that appropriators protect a House-passed provision blocking agencies from implementing union contracts mandated by the Federal Service Impasses Panel.

Workforce

Union Lawsuit Accuses Administration of Violating Injunction against Workforce Orders

A New York local argues that by implementing provisions of Trump’s workforce executive orders through collective bargaining, agencies violated a U.S. District Court injunction.

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Pay & Benefits

Most TSP Funds Take a Tumble in August

Only two of the Thrift Savings Plan’s portfolios ended last month in the black.

Pay & Benefits

Trump Endorses 2.6% Across the Board Pay Raise for Federal Workers

In a surprise move Friday, the president abandoned his quest for a pay freeze in 2020, although there will be no locality pay adjustment under his plan.

Management

Unions Request Rehearing of Trump's Federal Workforce Orders Case

Attorneys argue that a three-judge panel erred in overturning an injunction against three controversial executive orders on jurisdictional grounds. The outcome could have enormous consequences for federal employees.

Oversight

Patent and Trademark Office Examiners Receive Monetary Awards With Insufficient Oversight

Some staff are allowed to make manual changes to their hours worked, while part-time patent examiners’ schedules are often not up to date in the awards calculation system.

Management

USDA Taps Retired Former Employees to Cope With Mass Exodus at Science Agencies

With the majority of employees at the Economic Research Service and National Institute for Food and Agriculture slated to leave rather than relocate to Kansas City, the department is offering jobs to retired employees—in Washington, D.C.