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.
Pay & Benefits

TSP Board Reaffirms Decision to Broaden International Fund Despite Congressional Pressure

A bipartisan group of senators had demanded the board reverse a 2017 decision changing the index upon which the I Fund is based because the new benchmark will include Chinese companies.

Pay & Benefits

With Winter Approaching, OPM Reminds Agencies of Closure and Leave Policies

The 2018 decision that employees who can work remotely usually cannot take leave due to a weather event has created a complicated web of rules and exceptions.

Pay & Benefits

Federal Retirement Applications, Processing Both Down in October

The backlog of pending requests crept to nearly 18,000 last month, although the number of applications is significantly down from the same period in 2018.

Management

Union Decries VA Response to Lynched Doll Found in Staff Area of Louisiana Facility

Employees at the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center have questioned the finding that the person responsible was not an employee, given where the doll was located.

Management

Social Security’s Justification for Ending Telework Pilot Doesn’t Add Up

The agency has delayed the end until Nov. 23, but management denied the American Federation of Government Employees’ demand to bargain over implementation.

Management

The Agencies that Saw the Biggest Gains—and Losses—in Employee Happiness in 2019

Smaller agencies saw the widest swings in employee morale this year, as measured by the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

Management

Employee Engagement 'Stable' Across Federal Government

The Office of Personnel Management’s annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey saw a modest uptick in participation in its second year of a census model, but engagement scores did not improve.

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Pay & Benefits

No New Locality Pay Areas, But Salary Council Considers More Formula Tweaks

The Federal Salary Council announced that the pay gap between federal workers and the private sector, as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, now sits at 26.71%.

Management

Agriculture Dept. Announces Lease for Permanent Kansas City Location for Science Agencies

Relocation of the Economic Research Service and National Institute for Food and Agriculture still faces potential roadblocks from Congress.

Management

Labor Authority Preliminarily Finds Social Security Illegally Intimidated Union Officials

Earlier this year, management threatened leaders at the Association of Administrative Law Judges with discipline for taking official time to prepare for contract negotiations.

Pay & Benefits

TSP Portfolios Post Modest Growth in October

All funds in the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program saw minor gains last month.

Management

Labor Authority Investigator Finds EPA Violated Law with Unilateral Contract

FLRA board cannot adjudicate the case because its general counsel nominee awaits Senate confirmation.

Pay & Benefits

Social Security Ends Telework Program for 12,000 Employees

Workers in all of the Social Security Administration’s operations components have less than two weeks to find alternate arrangements.

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Pay & Benefits

TSP Board Revisits Decision to Broaden International Fund

A bipartisan group of senators has been urging officials to reconsider the decision to allow investments in Chinese companies.

Oversight

AFGE President Takes Leave Amid Harassment Allegations

The largest federal employee union will conduct an internal investigation into J. David Cox’s conduct after 10 current and former union employees told Bloomberg News of unwanted advances and inappropriate comments.

Management

OPM Proposes Ditching 'Clerk-Typist' and Other Occupational Classifications That Are Rarely Used Anymore

As many as 28 white collar job titles and 19 trade and craft occupations could be eliminated or rolled into other classifications following an administrative review.

Management

More Than 30 Lawmakers Urge Appropriators to Block Funding for USDA Science Agency Relocations

With most employees at the two research agencies declining to move to Kansas City, Democrats in both the House and Senate are urging appropriators to adopt House-passed language prohibiting spending on the move.

Oversight

Senate Democrats Decry EPA’s Decision to Unilaterally Impose Union Contract

A letter from 41 lawmakers to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the decision to cease negotiations with the nation’s largest employee union and unilaterally implement a new contract showed a “disregard” for the law.