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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Defense Announces Contract to Replace Cumbersome Travel Booking System

August 17, 2018 Within the next few years, it may become easier for Defense Department employees and military personnel to book travel or be reimbursed for official expenses. The department announced Thursday that it had awarded a $9.3 million contract to a company to develop a replacement for its travel booking system. SAP...

Cautionary Tales from Past Attempts at Pay-for-Performance

August 16, 2018 The Merit Systems Protection Board on Thursday warned of the potential pitfalls associated with making major changes to the federal civil service system, highlighting past difficulties in implementing forms of merit-based pay. In a newsletter released Thursday, the agency laid out how previous attempts to move toward pay for performance...

Latest Plan for Trump Parade Reportedly Includes Tanks, Despite Congressional Prohibition

August 16, 2018 The estimated cost of the Trump administration's military parade, planned for Nov. 10 in Washington, reportedly has grown to $92 million, a 600 percent increase over the $12 million the Defense Department estimated in July. According to CNBC, the parade is to include as many as eight tanks, along with...

These Agencies Have Lost the Most Workers Under Trump

August 15, 2018 White House officials have had varying stances on the size of the federal workforce during the Trump administration. Last year, the mantra of “drain the swamp” seemed to rule the day, with officials directing agencies to find ways to reduce their payrolls and offer buyouts and early retirement. But with...

A Rollback of Military Financial Protections, a Per Diem Increase for Feds, and More

August 15, 2018 The White House reportedly soon will propose to roll back enforcement of a law intended to protect members of the military from predatory loans. According to NPR, the Trump administration recently sent documents to the Defense Department outlining a proposal to change rules that effectively block auto lenders from tacking...

Federal Scientists Feel Stymied by Censorship, Politicization, and Departures

August 14, 2018 Employees at more than a dozen federal agencies reported that science has been essentially sidelined from the decision making process as a result of censorship from political leadership, preemptive self-censorship from scientists themselves, decreasing morale and workforce reductions, according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists. A...

Feds Don’t Think a 1.9 Percent Pay Raise Would Be Enough to Attract Talent

August 13, 2018 A plurality of civilian federal employees reported in a new poll that they would be satisfied with the Senate’s proposed 1.9 percent pay increase in 2019. But nearly half said they believed the plan would not improve agencies’ competitiveness in the job market. A flash poll conducted last week by...

As D.C. Feds Face Nightmare Commute, OPM Urges Telework and Other 'Flexibilities'

August 13, 2018 The federal government’s HR agency is encouraging departments to accommodate federal workers in the Washington, D.C., area as the city’s transit agency undertakes a disruptive series of repairs over the next two weeks. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates Metrorail, announced last week that between August 11 and...

HHS Managers Said to Have Bargained in 'Bad Faith' Over Union Contract That Strips Telework

August 10, 2018 The union that represents Health and Human Services employees accused the department’s leadership of engaging in “bad faith” collective bargaining negotiations, essentially by refusing to negotiate implementation of the Trump administration’s recent executive orders. The National Treasury Employees Union has filed two unfair labor practice grievances with the department—one in...

Appointee Watch: Border Patrol Chief Named as Record Vacancies Continue

August 10, 2018 Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan announced Thursday that he has appointed Carla Provost to be the new permanent chief of the U.S. Border Patrol. Provost is a 23-year veteran of the Border Patrol, and has been serving as its acting chief for more than a year. She is...