AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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.
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OPM Grants Greater Flexibility With Senior Executive Personnel Appraisal Systems

November 15, 2018 The Office of Personnel Management announced Wednesday that it would provide agencies with additional flexibilities in the process to certify performance appraisal systems for senior executives and technical experts. In a memo to agency heads, acting OPM Director Margaret Weichert said the changes are part of an effort to implement...

Unions Sue VA Over Official Time Edict

November 14, 2018 Three federal employee unions filed a lawsuit Wednesday evening seeking to bar the Veterans Affairs Department from implementing a policy to ban the use of official time by employees in medical professions at the department. The American Federation of Government Employees, the National Federation of Federal Employees and the National...

Federal Salary Council Revives Fight Over Federal Employee Pay Comparability

November 14, 2018 Members of a group tasked with advising agency officials on how to eliminate pay disparities between federal employees and their private sector counterparts are in the midst of a debate on how best to calculate that pay gap, with Trump administration appointees on one side and labor groups on the...

Federal Salary Council Recommends Locality Pay for Des Moines, Other Areas

November 13, 2018 An advisory council of political appointees and federal employee stakeholders on Tuesday recommended that Des Moines, Iowa, be added to the list of regions where federal workers received increased pay and suggested widening two existing pay areas beginning in 2020. The Federal Salary Council, which each year re-examines disparities between...

OPM to Agencies: ‘Be Mindful’ of Policies in Trump’s Workforce Orders Despite Court Ruling

November 9, 2018 Office of Personnel Management acting Director Margaret Weichert on Thursday issued new guidance for agencies to implement three controversial executive orders, despite the fact that their key provisions were struck down in federal court in August. In a memo to agency leaders, Weichert acknowledged that provisions making it easier to...

VA to Eliminate Official Time for All Medical Positions

November 9, 2018 The Veterans Affairs Department announced Thursday that it would unilaterally stop paying union employees in medical disciplines for time spent on representational duties. Acting VA Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd announced that next week the department would “repudiate” all portions of its collective bargaining agreements with...

OSHA Faults Agriculture Department in Lead Abatement Fiasco

November 7, 2018 The Agriculture Department violated employee safety laws when conducting lead abatement activities at its headquarters offices last spring, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently ruled, nonetheless, union officials say the department has failed to address the issue. In April, workers in the Rural Development division arrived at work one...

Cost of Living Adjustments for Military Retirees, the Blended Retirement Deadline Looms and More

November 7, 2018 The Defense Department announced Tuesday that military retirees and survivors will receive an increase in their pay and annuities in 2019. Beginning Jan. 1, most military retirees, enrollees in the Survivor Benefit Plan and survivors of service members who died on active or inactive duty, will receive a 2.8 percent...

Feds Not Alone in Believing Raises Are Unfairly Distributed

November 5, 2018 When the Office of Personnel Management announced the results of its annual governmentwide survey of federal employees last month, acting OPM Director Margaret Weichert was quick to cite workers’ lack of satisfaction with how pay raises are tied to performance. “Unfortunately, our people also continue to feel that the federal...

Senators Demand OPM End Agencies' Circumvention of Workforce Court Order

November 2, 2018 A group of 16 Democratic senators on Thursday expressed “serious concerns” with how some federal agencies have appeared to move forward with implementation of provisions of a series of controversial workforce executive orders, despite a court order barring them from doing so. In August, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson...