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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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House Oversight Democrats Request Subpoena over HHS Gag Order

January 30, 2018 Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requested Monday that committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., issue a subpoena to the Health and Human Services Department after the agency failed to provide information related to a 2017 “gag order” on employees. In the early days of the Trump...

Appointee Watch: HHS Secretary, Fed Chairman Confirmed

January 29, 2018 On Monday, four months to the day that former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign over a scandal involving his use of publicly funded private plane travel, President Trump attended the swearing in of Alex Azar, who was confirmed last week to lead the agency....

Mediation Service Tops Best Small Agencies to Work in Washington

January 26, 2018 The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service took the top prize among small agencies as a best place to work in the federal government, according to newly updated rankings released Friday by the Partnership for Public Service. Every year, the Partnership analyzes the results of the Office of Personnel Management’s annual...

Lawmakers Seek to Re-Establish Labor-Management Councils

January 26, 2018 A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that would countermand President Trump’s order abolishing agency labor-management councils. Last September, Trump issued an executive order disbanding the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations and similar forums at agencies across the federal government. In December, the Office of Personnel Management issued...

GAO Puts Security Clearance Process Back on High Risk List

January 25, 2018 The Government Accountability Office announced Thursday that it is adding the federal government’s security clearance process to its High Risk List of federal programs that require broad transformation or specific reforms. The National Background Investigations Bureau, which is responsible for the process, has struggled to deal with the volume of...

Federal Employee Advocates Increasingly Frustrated by Cycle of Stopgap Spending Bills

January 25, 2018 On Monday night, shortly after Congress approved a bill to fund the government until Feb. 8, a slew of unions and other groups representing federal employees issued statements in quick succession, all thanking Congress for reopening agencies—and providing back pay for furloughed feds—but demanding lawmakers come to an agreement on...

Back Pay for Contractors, First Blended Retirement Enrollment Numbers, and More

January 24, 2018 Although the government shutdown is over and Congress has approved back pay for federal employees who were furloughed between Saturday and Monday, one Democratic lawmaker is pushing for a similar measure for contractors. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., a non-voting member of the House, introduced the Low-Wage Federal Contractor Employee...

Update: Lawmakers Approve Post-Shutdown Back Pay for Feds

January 22, 2018 Update: The Senate approved back pay for furloughed federal employees by unanimous consent, and the House approved the measure Monday evening. Democratic senators successfully pushed for quick action on a bill that would grant federal employees back pay for the hours lost to furloughs as a result of the government...

White House Supports Back Pay for Feds Who Would Be Furloughed During Shutdown

January 19, 2018 The Trump administration is supporting back pay for federal employees set to be furloughed during a government shutdown, making the announcement just hours before a deadline for Congress to act to keep agencies open. The administration is seeking to limit the number of employees who would face an immediate furlough,...

Mulvaney: Shutdown Chance 'Between 50 and 60 Percent'

January 19, 2018 Speaking with reporters Friday morning, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said there was a better than average chance that Congress would not reach an agreement to keep the government open past midnight. “I’m handicapping it now at some place between 50 and 60 percent,” he said. “But...