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

Biden Signs Executive Order Killing Schedule F, Restoring Collective Bargaining Rights

The president also named Federal Labor Relations Authority Member Ernest DuBester to serve as the agency’s chairman.

Management

Social Security Boss’ Job Status Unclear Following Inauguration

The White House named Commissioner Andrew Saul among its list of “acting” agency officials, despite the fact that he has five years remaining in his term.

Pay & Benefits

Lawmakers Propose 3.2% Raise for Feds in 2022

Democrats in both chambers of Congress have reintroduced legislation to boost basic pay by 2.2% across the board next year, along with an average 1% increase in locality pay.

Management

Biden Order Rescinds Diversity Training Restrictions, Requires Review of Agency Equity

An executive order instructs all federal agencies to “root out” systemic racism from programs and institutions and rescinds Trump's controversial effort to excise so-called “divisive” diversity training programs from agencies and federal contractors.

Management

Don’t Expect Trump’s Workforce Policies to Be Reversed Overnight

With the Biden team focused on issues like COVID response and immigration reform, significant action to rescind the Trump administration’s harmful federal workforce policies could take a back seat.

Pay & Benefits

Biden COVID-Relief Plan Offers More Leave for Frontline Feds

Although the plan calls for private sector employers to provide hazard pay to essential workers, it is unclear whether the president-elect would call on federal agencies to do the same.

Management

Bipartisan Bill Would Block Schedule F, Similar Future Efforts

The Preventing a Patronage System Act would require congressional action before transferring competitive service employees to a new job classification.

Management

Social Security Unions Urge Biden to Oust Agency Leadership on Day One

Although most political appointees are expected to resign ahead of the president-elect’s inauguration next week, the two top employees at the Social Security Administration have terms that run until 2025.

Management

OPM Issues Post-Election SES Hiring Freeze Weeks Later than Previous Administrations

The moratorium on senior executive appointments comes more than a month later than it did when Obama was leaving office.

Management

EEOC Cancels Official Time for Union Reps Across Government

In a party-line vote, commission members issued a final rule stripping union officials from access to official time to work on colleagues’ discrimination complaints and tried to exempt the regulation from the Congressional Review Act.

Management

OPM Failed to Issue Guidance for D.C. Federal Workers During Insurrection

There was substantial warning ahead of the arrival of the group that violently stormed the U.S. Capitol seeking to overturn the results of the presidential election.

Pay & Benefits

OPM Issues Guidance on Law Allowing Feds to Temporarily Carry Over More Annual Leave

The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act allows all federal employees to carry over an additional 25% of unused leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pay & Benefits

TSP Portfolios End 2020 on a High Note

Each of the funds in the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program posted gains last month.

Management

Trump Vetoes Defense Policy Bill Over Base Names, Unrelated Internet Law

The House has already scheduled a vote after Christmas to override the president’s long-threatened rejection of the annual Defense authorization act, which also includes an expansion of federal employee leave benefits.

Pay & Benefits

No New Locality Pay Areas in 2022

The president’s pay agent declined to authorize a number of recommended changes to existing locality pay areas, overruling a federal advisory board.

Pay & Benefits

Spending Agreement Would Allow 1% Pay Raise, Fails to Ban Schedule F

Provision in the fiscal 2021 omnibus appropriations bill would give feds until the end of next year to repay payroll taxes deferred by the Trump administration from September through December.

Management

OPM Proposes Prioritizing Job Performance Over Tenure in Layoffs

Officials at the Office of Personnel Management are seeking to finalize a provision of President Trump’s controversial workforce executive orders before he leaves office.