Author Archive

Erich Wagner

Erich Wagner

Erich Wagner is a senior correspondent covering pay, benefits, organized labor 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 senior correspondent covering pay, benefits, organized labor 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

Problem Solvers Caucus throws its weight behind an effort to kill the windfall elimination provision

Some lawmakers have spent years garnering support to repeal a controversial tax rule that cuts Social Security benefits for some public servants.

Workforce

OPM’s new acting director defends federal telework, anti-Schedule F regulations

Rob Shriver defended the Biden administration’s workforce policies, citing new data suggesting fewer federal employees telework than their private sector counterparts.

Workforce

Governance experts launch a group to oppose Schedule F

The new organization hopes to offer a consensus way forward on civil service reform issues in addition to opposing efforts to politicize the federal workforce.

Workforce

Federal agencies’ engagement and morale bounced back in 2023, according to annual rankings

The Partnership for Public Service’s annual Best Places to Work in the Federal Government report found that roughly two-thirds of federal agencies saw boosts in employee engagement and job satisfaction last year.

Workforce

OPM announces new 'safe leave' for domestic violence victims

Federal workers may now take paid leave to address issues related to their or a family member’s safety or to recover from domestic violence, abuse or harassment, under new guidance from the government’s dedicated HR agency.

Workforce

TSA and AFGE ink their first contract under expanded collective bargaining rules

After two decades of abridged or no collective bargaining rights, frontline Transportation Security Administration finally enjoy similar rights to their colleagues elsewhere in government.

Workforce

As one telework reform measure advances, another is delayed

A measure that would codify remote work in the U.S. Code and improve telework data reporting advanced by a 9-2 margin in Senate committee, but consideration of another bill aimed at improving telework data was postponed.

Oversight

An inspector general warned the Justice Department of gaps in its security clearance appeals process

The department and its component agencies have failed to implement a provision of the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act guaranteeing federal employees of the right to appeal lengthy security clearance suspensions.

Workforce

House Dems ask agencies about their progress offering telework to military spouses

The fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act requires federal agencies to offer remote work options to employees whose spouses are deployed overseas.

Pay & Benefits

OPM’s retirement backlog continued a four-month downward trend in April

Though the Office of Personnel Management’s backlog of pending federal retirement claims fell again last month, the pace of progress has slowed.

Workforce

Senators’ latest telework legislation could imperil remote work

A new bill from Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., would cap all telework at 40% of an employee’s work hours, potentially endangering the federal government’s nascent remote work program.

Pay & Benefits

A CBO report raises new questions about Biden’s 2% pay raise plan

Analysis favored by conservatives shows that when comparing workers’ “total compensation,” the private sector has nearly caught up to the federal government’s pay and benefits package for employees.

Management

Shriver assumes acting OPM director role

The federal government’s dedicated HR agency will be led by its long time deputy director, following Director Kiran Ahuja’s resignation.

Workforce

AFGE wins two more union elections for federal workers stationed in Europe

Two separate groups of Defense Department employees stationed in Germany voted to join the nation’s largest federal employee union this week.

Management

OPM updates list of skills needed for federal HR jobs

Officials hope that the changes will better equip agencies to tackle skills gaps and help finally address the more than two-decade-long struggle to remove human capital management from the government’s High Risk List.

Oversight

Biden to replace embattled acting Commerce IG

Jill Baisinger, current chief of staff in the Interior Department’s Office of the Inspector General, will take over for Roderick Anderson at the end of May.

Pay & Benefits

Most TSP funds took a tumble in April

After two months of sustained gains, only one portfolio in the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program finished last month in the black.

Workforce

OMB leader defends administration’s approach to telework

House Republicans continued to demand better data from the Biden administration regarding the prevalence and effectiveness of telework at federal agencies.

Management

OPM launches a new one-stop shop for agency HR needs

Federal agencies can now directly compare shared service providers, as well as more easily find assistance on human capital challenges, thanks to a new online marketplace.

Pay & Benefits

OPM reminds agencies of pay provisions in 2024 NDAA

The most recent iteration of the annual defense policy bill extends a number of temporary pay and benefits provisions for both civilian and military service members and allows veteran feds to credit active duty service toward paid parental leave requirements.