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

EPA Begins Rolling Back Trump-era Union Policies

The Environmental Protection Agency and the American Federation of Government Employees will revert in part to their previous 2007 contract, and the parties will begin negotiations on an entirely new contract later this year.

Oversight

Nearly 90% of Pentagon Employees Said Telework Hasn't Hurt Productivity

A report from the Defense Department’s inspector general found that early IT issues following the shift to maximum telework stemmed from component agencies failing to perform required test runs.

Pay & Benefits

Lawmakers Push to Fix Controversial Tax Rule Affecting Federal Retirees

A new bill would set up a new formula to calculate how much retirees get in Social Security benefits if they also receive a defined benefit pension, in some cases replacing the controversial Windfall Elimination Provision.

Pay & Benefits

OPM Finalizes Rule Ensuring Feds Can Change Insurance During Shutdowns

During the 35-day government shutdown, some workers were unable to make changes to their health benefits because the employees responsible for processing those changes were furloughed.

Pay & Benefits

TSP Returns Mostly Positive in March

Only two of the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program ended last month in the red.

Management

OPM Appointments Mark a Radical Shift in Agency's Role

The hiring of high-level executives from organized labor marks a return to federal employee unions having a seat at the table in the formulation of federal personnel policy.

Management

VA Rolls Back Trump-era Workforce Policies

The Veterans Affairs Department is restoring its previous contract with AFGE, which allows access to official time and union office space in department facilities.

Management

Social Security Clears Way for Stimulus Checks After Accusations of Malfeasance

SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul argued that the agency was required to wait to provide payment files for beneficiaries because it received no appropriations to fund its work on stimulus payments in the most recent $1.8 trillion COVID-19 relief law.

Management

Biden Names Acting FLRA General Counsel, Ending Critical Trump Era Vacancy

The agency responsible for administering federal labor law has been without a top lawyer for four years, significantly hamstringing its ability to hear labor-management disputes.

Management

TSP Officials Tout Sizeable Improvement in Annual Employee Satisfaction Survey Scores

Employee engagement at the Thrift Savings Plan improved 7 points in 2020, while the agency scored stellar marks on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pay & Benefits

Bipartisan Bill Would Allow Federal Firefighters to Trade Shifts

Agencies often bar trades because in many cases the switch would result in one firefighter seeing his or her biweekly pay reduced, and the other becoming eligible for overtime.

Management

Democrats Push to Grant VA Medical Professionals Full Union Rights

Federal law currently prevents Veterans Affairs Department medical workers from bargaining over matters related to patient care and clinical competence, although much is at the discretion of the VA secretary.

Management

Study: OPM-GSA Merger Proposal Would Not Have Solved Problems It Aimed to Fix

A team of analysts has recommended elevating OPM's role in human capital management and making it less involved in “transaction-by-transaction compliance” activities.

Management

NTEU to Push for Pay, Benefits, and Protections in 2021

National Treasury Employees Union National President Tony Reardon said that he has seen a “mixed bag” in terms of agency efforts to comply with President Biden’s workforce executive order.

Management

Unions Dog SSA Leadership over Perceived Inaction on Workforce Order

More than a week after OPM issued guidance on reopening union contracts negotiated during the Trump administration, Social Security Administration officials are dragging their feet, union officials say.

Pay & Benefits

OPM Announces Special Combined Federal Campaign for Texas Storm Victims

Washington, D.C.-area federal employees exceeded expectations and previous years’ totals, raising more than $37 million for charities in 2020.