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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Judge Strikes Down Trump Executive Orders Limiting Federal Employee Union Bargaining

August 25, 2018 U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson late Friday night struck down most provisions of the Trump administration's controversial workforce executive orders, concluding that they conflicted with the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act. Jackson found that the three executive orders, which seek to make it easier to fire federal workers...

Senate Approves Spending Package With Military Pay Raise, No Labor Dept. Pay Freeze

August 24, 2018 The Senate on Thursday voted 85-7 to approve a $857 billion spending package for the Defense, Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services departments, confirming the biggest raise for military personnel in nearly a decade and avoiding a proposed freeze on civilian pay at the Labor Department. The minibus spending...

Senator Wants Update on FEMA Contracts Ahead of Hurricane Season

August 23, 2018 The top Democrat on a key Senate oversight committee said she fears not enough has been done to reduce the use of noncompetitive contracts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ahead of the 2018 hurricane season. Last year, FEMA came under scrutiny after a number of companies tapped to help...

Watchdog: Pruitt Appearance in Trade Association Video Didn't Break Any Rules

August 23, 2018 A government watchdog organization concluded Wednesday that former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt did not violate any rules when he discussed plans to rescind a clean water regulation with an association opposed to the regulation. Last year, Pruitt appeared in a video produced by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association,...

Labor Relations Board to Offer Buyouts, Early Retirement

August 22, 2018 The National Labor Relations Board announced this month that it is offering buyouts and early retirement to some of its employees as part of an effort to rebalance its staff. In a press release August 7, the NLRB confirmed that it had received authorization from the Office of Personnel Management...

Guaranteed Paid Sick Leave for Contractors, and Changes to the Annual Charitable Giving Drive

August 22, 2018 Three federal agencies on Wednesday published a rule finalizing implementation of an Obama-era executive order requiring federal contractors to provide employees with seven or more days of paid sick leave, including leave for family care. The rule has been in effect on an interim basis since December 2016. In 2015,...

Senator Tries to Ensure That at Least 14,000 Feds Have Their Pay Frozen Next Year

August 21, 2018 As the Senate began debate Monday on another minibus spending bill, one Republican lawmaker renewed his push to freeze federal employees' pay, albeit on a much smaller scale than President Trump has proposed. Last week, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2019 appropriations bill for the...

VA Secretary Reintroduces 'Gray Area' in Scope of Bargaining with Unions

August 20, 2018 Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie announced Friday that he had rescinded an agreement with federal employee unions establishing what issues can and cannot be negotiated by labor and management, arguing that the move will improve patient care at the department. But union officials said that while they will reserve judgment...

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...