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.
Management

Amid budget squeeze, FLRA panel regs encourage electronic documents filing

Less physical paper taken in by the board that settles bargaining-table disputes between unions and agencies will help streamline workloads as its parent agency reduces its office footprint due to budget woes.

Workforce

OPM’s 2024 equity goals aim to expand data-based approach

The federal government’s HR agency plans to expand the use of data to analyze recruitment barriers for underserved communities as well as outreach at minority-serving educational institutions in the coming year.

Pay & Benefits

OPM makes it easier for ex-military feds to access paid parental, medical leave

The tweak, which allows federal workers to count past military service toward the 12-month service requirement of parental and Family and Medical Leave Act leave, stems from a provision of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.

Pay & Benefits

OPM faces its first test of recent retirement processing tweaks

The number of new retirement claims received by the federal government’s HR agency doubled in January, marking the start of the annual busy season.

Workforce

Trump’s civil service plans unsettle labor leaders at start of campaign season

Lawmakers and leaders of the American Federation of Government Employees warned that the former president represents a “threat to democracy” at the union’s annual legislative conference.

Management

OPM to tweak draft dodging rules, delegate investigations to agencies

The federal HR agency said its new plan for investigating when a federal job applicant failed to register for the draft will give applicants a better—and faster—chance to explain themselves.

Oversight

Senate finance chair calls for inspector general’s ouster

Sen. Ron Wyden on Thursday urged President Biden to remove Social Security Administration Inspector General Gail Ennis after a series of controversies and allegations of whistleblower retaliation.

Pay & Benefits

Identity theft protection for OPM hack victims could extend for life under new bill

Under current law, the benefit for those whose personal information was exposed by the 2015 data breach is set to expire in 2026.

Pay & Benefits

Lawmakers urge OPM to update parental leave policy docs

The federal government’s HR agency’s self-imposed deadline of the end of 2024 to ensure the federal employee handbook and public-facing web pages reflect the enactment of 12 weeks of paid parental leave should be “a floor and not a ceiling.”

Workforce

OPM offers guidance for agencies implementing salary history ban

Federal agencies will have until October to excise the solicitation and use of job candidates’ past compensation when setting pay for new hires.

Workforce

O’Malley reduces telework for Social Security HQ, regional office staff

The new commissioner outlined a plan to create “core collaboration days” for members of management, while most frontline workers are seemingly spared from the cuts.

Pay & Benefits

Federal retirement savings plan opens 2024 with a mixed bag

Only two of the five core funds within the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings plan posted gains last month.

Pay & Benefits

Biden administration to extend salary history ban to federal contractors

Officials said that new proposed regulations, released in conjunction with a final rule barring federal agencies from soliciting job applicants’ salary histories, will reduce pay disparities and improve the effectiveness of the federal contract workforce.

Pay & Benefits

Feds get 7.4% pay raise under congressional Democrats' plan

Despite two years of federal employees receiving the highest pay increases in decades, the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act’s sponsors say the federal workforce continues to suffer from “chronic underinvestment.”

Management

Archives clear pandemic-era backlog of veterans records requests

A combination of increased staffing and work hours, along with technological advances, allowed the National Personnel Records Center to dig out of backlog of more than 600,000 overdue records requests that accumulated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pay & Benefits

GAO: 4% of feds used paid parental leave in the benefit’s first 22 months

In 2022, 81% of federal workers who responded to an annual Office of Personnel Management survey and said they used the then-newly implemented program said they took all 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

Management

Senators unveil bipartisan bill to improve security at federal buildings

Legislation requiring agencies to respond to recommendations from the Federal Protective Service within 90 days, after a GAO investigation and congressional hearings revealed the vast majority of security recommendations go ignored.

Oversight

GAO: Agencies need to trust each other’s background check processes

An array of technical and cultural challenges plague the federal government’s ability to OK the transfer of federal employees across agencies, the government watchdog found.

Pay & Benefits

GSA could soon update some relocation expense reimbursement caps more regularly

It’s been more than a decade since the agency updated the maximum amounts of payments for miscellaneous relocation expenses that don’t require itemized receipts.

Workforce

Interior officials defend department’s approach to telework

After Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., accused the Interior Department of “abusing” telework, department leaders revealed that more than half of their workforce works in person every day, and those who do telework have experienced increased productivity, retention and employee engagement.