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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The Fine Print of Trump's Executive Order on Official Time

June 1, 2018 President Trump’s recent executive orders aimed at streamlining the firing process and significantly curbing the power of federal employee unions already have produced outrage and lawsuits from employee groups. One of the orders that has drawn particular ire seeks to reduce the use of official time, a practice where union...

Most TSP Funds Grew in May

June 1, 2018 Most portfolios in the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program made gains last month. The Thrift Savings Plan’s S Fund, made up of small- and mid-size businesses, led the way, growing 4.85 percent in May. Since January, the fund has gained 5.26 percent. The common stocks of the C Fund...

The Fine Print of Trump’s Collective Bargaining Executive Order

May 31, 2018 The executive orders signed by President Trump last week that aim to streamline the firing process and significantly curb the influence of federal employee unions have produced a flurry of activity this week, as the largest union sued to block one order Wednesday and other groups considered similar action. Administration...

Largest Federal Employee Union Sues to Block Official Time Executive Order

May 31, 2018 The largest union representing federal employees sued the Trump administration Wednesday over President Trump’s executive order significantly curbing the use of official time by union representatives, arguing the edict violates the First Amendment and exceeds the president’s constitutional authority. In a lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court for the...

The Fight Over Official Time, TSP Changes and More

May 30, 2018 The debate over the practice where federal employees who are union members are paid to perform representational duties heated up last week, beginning with a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill and ending with an executive order that aims to significantly curb its use. Last Thursday, Republicans on the House Oversight...

Officials Outline Plans to Loosen TSP Withdrawal Rules

May 30, 2018 Officials at the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings plan on Wednesday announced how they plan to provide additional flexibility to participants in light of a law signed by President Trump last fall. The 2017 TSP Modernization Act, enacted last November, will allow federal employees and retirees to make multiple age-based...

National Park Service Announces New Seasonal Worker Policy, ‘Corrective Action’ for Wronged Rangers

May 29, 2018 The National Park Service this month formalized a new rule barring people from working noncompetitively more than 1,040 hours per year in a seasonal position, but officials said they will take “corrective actions” to help those impacted by a shoddy roll-out of the change. Last month, many seasonal NPS employees...

The Fine Print of Trump’s Executive Order on Firing

May 29, 2018 President Trump made waves in the federal community last week when he signed a series of executive orders that aim to speed up the disciplinary and firing process and significantly curb the influence of federal employee unions. In announcing the order streamlining the firing process to reporters during a briefing...

White House Cracks Down on Unions with Executive Orders

May 25, 2018 President Trump issued a series of executive orders Friday that could gut federal employee unions’ ability to negotiate with agency leaders and represent workers, as well as reduce the time it takes for an agency to fire people for poor performance or misconduct. Billed as the first step toward broad...

OPM Wants to Make it Easier to Hire for Tech Jobs

May 25, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Office of Personnel Management announced Wednesday that it is considering new ways to make it easier for agencies to hire people for STEM and cybersecurity posts. In a memo to agency chief human capital officers, OPM Director Jeff Pon said his department is “exploring” the possibility of establishing a...