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.
Workforce

OPM to Agencies: Make Sure You Haven’t Incorrectly Told Employees They Can’t Join a Union

The directive is aimed at correcting instances where employees were improperly labeled as management officials.

Pay & Benefits

Congressional Democrats Propose an 8.7% Pay Raise for Feds in 2024

The annually introduced bill would provide a 4.7% across-the-board increase in basic pay and an average 4% increase to locality pay.

Oversight

OPM Has Replaced Its Embattled CFO Following Harassment Report

The Defense Department inspector general recently substantiated complaints that the senior executive sexually harassed subordinates and used racial slurs.

Workforce

Agencies Are Emphasizing Skills and Experience in Hiring. The House Has Voted to Make it Official.

The measure would bring civil service law in line with initiatives already underway to improve how the federal government recruits and hires new workers.

Pay & Benefits

Oversight Republicans Demand Answers from OPM on FEHBP Fraud Risk Report

House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer claimed, without evidence, that the insurance program for federal employees is “riddled” with ineligible participants.

Management

The White House Will Require Agency Labor Advisors to Oversee Federal Contractors

Following through on a recommendation from a White House task force on empowering workers, administration officials said the 24 largest agencies must designate labor advisors, and strongly encouraged smaller agencies to do the same.

Oversight

Although USDA Agencies that Relocated to Kansas City Have Recovered from Staff Exoduses, Their Diversity Hasn’t

The Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service and National Institutes of Food and Agriculture shed more than half their workforces following their relocation from Washington to Kansas City.

Workforce

State of the Unions: A New Normal

After nearly four years of drag-out fights with the Trump administration, President Biden pitched himself as a willing partner to federal employee unions. How have the government and unions navigated the transition to this new approach?

Pay & Benefits

OPM Should Do More to Prevent Improper FEHBP Payments

The Government Accountability Office on Monday reported that OPM has no fulsome way to monitor the eligibility of participants in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.

Workforce

Supreme Court Justices Seem Skeptical of State Challenge of FLRA’s Jurisdiction Over National Guard Civilians

“Is Ohio just crazy” for repudiating collective bargaining obligations with civilian technicians of the Ohio National Guard, asked one conservative jurist.

Workforce

The Federal Labor Relations Authority Is Now Ideologically Deadlocked After Its Chairman’s Term Expired

President Biden designated Susan Tsui Grundmann to be chairwoman of the agency after Ernest DuBester reached the end of his term, although the president could reappoint the longtime FLRA member.

Workforce

Year of the Living Dead: How Schedule F Continued to Threaten to Upend the Civil Service in 2022

The Trump administration’s abortive effort to strip thousands of federal workers of their civil service protections continues to cast its shadow on government.

Pay & Benefits

Biden Has Issued an Executive Order Finalizing an Average 4.6% Pay Raise for Feds

The move locks in the largest pay increase for federal employees in two decades, although in a year with record inflation, it still fell short of some employee groups’ hopes.

Workforce

FLRA Moves to Undo a Controversial Trump-era Union Dues Policy

The Federal Labor Relations Authority, now under Democratic control, said prior leadership ignored the Civil Service Reform Act’s legislative history.

Pay & Benefits

The President’s Pay Agent Has Approved Four New Locality Pay Areas

The annual report from the leaders of OMB, OPM and the Labor Department also authorized a number of tweaks to the criteria that govern which regions are eligible to be added to the map of locality pay areas.

Management

House Democrats Look to Bolster the Biden Administration’s Equity Push

A pair of bills would establish a series of councils focused on breaking down racial equity barriers to federal service delivery and would require agencies to set goals upon which to measure their progress.

Workforce

The House Passes a Bill to Give VA Medical Employees Greater Union Rights

The VA Employee Fairness Act would grant medical professionals the right to bargain over scheduling and official time, and to file grievances over pay disputes.