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.
Oversight

Watchdog Concludes Defense Appointee Sexually Harassed Employees

Guy Roberts, former assistant secretary of Defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, hugged, touched and made sexual comments toward several women, the Pentagon inspector general found.

Pay & Benefits

New Bill Would ‘Close the Gap’ in Locality Pay for Some Federal Jobs

Legislation in both chambers of Congress would ensure General Schedule and Federal Wage System employees receive comparable locality pay.

Management

EEOC Formally Proposes Ending Official Time for Union Reps

Federal employee unions have decried the effort to strip labor representatives of the right to use official time to help prepare discrimination complaints as an erosion of employee protections.

Pay & Benefits

All the Federal Workforce Provisions Tucked into the Defense Policy Bill

In addition to providing 12 weeks of paid parental leave, the authorization act offers additional shutdown protections for feds and codifies the federal “ban the box” policy in hiring.

Management

Congress Moves to Block OPM-GSA Merger

A provision in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would first require an independent study of the challenges facing the Office of Personnel Management.

Management

Democratic Senators Urge Social Security to Restore Telework

Lawmakers ask the agency to reconsider its decision to end a 6-year-old pilot program, citing concerns about the burden it places on employees and productivity.

Pay & Benefits

White House, Democrats Reach Deal to Provide Paid Family Leave to Feds

A tentative agreement on the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would provide all federal employees with 12 weeks of paid family leave each year.

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Management

EPA, Union Reopen Negotiations After Agency Implements Unilateral Contract

Although the agency has promised to bargain “in good faith” with AFGE officials, the contract that evicted labor representatives from agency office space and gutted telework will remain in effect.

Pay & Benefits

Lawsuit Against Working During Shutdowns Presents a Potential Catch-22

A federal judge ruled it would be too disruptive to stop agencies from forcing employees to work without pay during a lapse in appropriations, but the Trump administration on Wednesday argued the case is now moot because government is open.

Management

Watchdog: Proposed OPM-GSA Merger Continues to 'Evolve' Despite Lack of Legislation

Officials have continued to examine moving portions of OPM to GSA piecemeal, and still lack documentation for the legal authority and cost benefit analyses, the inspector general said.

Pay & Benefits

Most Feds Won't Reap the Benefits of Local Minimum Wage Laws

OPM last week announced that it will not raise the lower levels of the federal pay scales to comply with state and local laws increasing the minimum wage.

Pay & Benefits

Most TSP Funds Crept Up in November

All but one of the portfolios in the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program grew last month.

Pay & Benefits

Rubio Escalates Attacks in Dispute Over TSP International Fund Changes

The Republican senator urged President Trump to replace the board that administers the Thrift Savings Plan after it refused to reverse course on including Chinese companies in its investment offerings.

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Management

OPM: Agencies Can Implement Workforce EOs at Some Agencies Without Bargaining

The Office of Personnel Management said agencies may unilaterally implement the provisions of three controversial executive orders, provided workers are operating under a contract that has been automatically renewed.

Management

Trump Administration Urges Supreme Court to Maintain Strict Burden in Age Discrimination Cases

The case, involving a VA pharmacist who claims the department discriminated against her based on age and gender, has implications for the entire federal workforce.

Management

Lawmakers Demand Explanation for Social Security Telework Cuts

Friday marked the final day of a six-year-old telework pilot program for roughly 12,000 employees of the Social Security Administration’s operations agencies, after Commissioner Andrew Saul summarily ended it.

Management

'You Spoke, We Listened': How HHS Rapidly Improved Employee Viewpoint Survey Participation

Top HR officials made a year-round effort to highlight how the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey shapes the department.

Management

Senate Democrats Push for Union Protections in Spending Package

Language in a House-passed appropriations bill blocking implementation of union contracts imposed by a federal impasses panel remains subject to negotiation.

Management

Oklahoma Social Security Employees Suffer Bedbugs, Air Quality Problems

Agency officials plan another effort to eradicate the pests this weekend, but a union demands workers be relocated.