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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Judges' Union: Supreme Court Decision an 'Excuse' to Politicize ALJs

July 16, 2018 The Association of Administrative Law Judges denounced the Trump administration’s recent executive order removing the judges from the competitive hiring process, calling it an effort to politicize a segment of the civil service. Last week, President Trump signed an executive order moving the hiring of administrative law judges out of...

Oversight Democrats Demand Subpoena on EPA FOIA Practices

July 13, 2018 The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Friday demanded that the panel issue a subpoena requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to produce documents related to an alleged policy to withhold “politically charged” documents from Freedom of Information Act requests. Last month, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.,...

AFGE Recounts Evictions, 'Union Busting' at Federal Agencies

July 12, 2018 Officials at the largest federal employee union said Thursday that agencies’ recent efforts to implement a series of controversial workforce executive orders are intended to prevent them from performing duties that are required by law. In a call with reporters, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox...

Democrats, Advocacy Groups Pan Order Moving Administrative Judges Out of Competitive Service

July 11, 2018 This story has been updated to include comments from lawmakers. President Trump’s executive order giving broader latitude to agency heads in hiring administrative law judges drew swift opposition from advocacy groups and Democrats in Congress Wednesday. The order, signed Tuesday, pulls ALJs out of the competitive service, where candidates are...

Retirement Backlog Creeps Up, Justice Backtracks on Link Between OPM Hack and Fraud Case

July 11, 2018 The number of pending federal employee retirement claims ticked up slightly last month, as the Office of Personnel Management increased its processing to meet the higher demand. According to statistics released last week, the retirement backlog increased by less than 200 claims in June to 18,198, up from 18,024. But...

Trump Moves Hiring of Administrative Law Judges Out of the Competitive Service

July 10, 2018 The White House announced Tuesday that President Trump has signed an executive order moving the hiring of administrative law judges from the competitive service into the excepted service, giving the president and agency heads broader latitude in appointments. The order cites the recent Supreme Court decision Lucia v. Securities and...

Agencies Strip Union of Office Space, Attempt to Charge Rent

July 10, 2018 Officials with the National Treasury Employees Union said Tuesday that two agencies have begun efforts to implement President Trump’s recent workforce executive orders governing union use of agency property. Last week, the Office of Personnel Management issued guidance on policy changes in light of the Trump administration’s efforts to make...

Appointee Watch: Movement at Consumer Bureau, More Ambassadorial Nominations

July 9, 2018 As all eyes have been on President Trump’s deliberations over filling the opening on the Supreme Court, the White House in recent weeks has announced the nominations of a number of key administration posts, including a new director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Last month, Trump announced that he...

Thousands of Feds Would Get Raises Under OPM’s Locality Pay Proposal

July 6, 2018 Around 62,000 federal employees could see a pay raise next year, thanks to proposed regulations from the Office of Personnel Management. On Friday, OPM Director Jeff Pon published a proposal in the Federal Register to add four regions to its list of locality pay areas for 2019: Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, Ala.; Burlington-South...

OPM Issues Guidance on Executive Orders, But Many Questions Remain

July 5, 2018 Office of Personnel Management Director Jeff Pon on Thursday released guidance for agencies to implement President Trump’s recent executive orders aimed at making it easier to fire employees and reducing the influence of federal employee unions. And while the memos spell out a laundry list of tasks for departments to...