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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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Unions, Trump Administration Prepare to Face Off in Court Again Over Workforce Executive Orders

February 21, 2019 When federal employee unions and the Trump administration go before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in April over the White House’s workforce executive orders, their arguments likely will be similar to what they delivered before a lower court last summer. Both the Justice Department and more...

Lawmakers Introduce Slew of Bills to Boost Federal Retirement Benefits

February 20, 2019 House lawmakers, led by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., introduced several of bills last week that would improve the retirement benefits earned by federal workers during their time in public service. One piece of legislation, the Equal COLA Act (H.R. 1254) would increase the annual cost of living adjustment provided to...

Federal Union Accuses FLRA of 'Unprecedented' Bias Against Labor

February 19, 2019 A union representing Defense Department education employees claimed in a federal lawsuit that the current board of the agency responsible for adjudicating disputes between federal agencies and labor organizations has a systemic bias against unions. The Federal Education Association filed a legal challenge earlier this month in the U.S. District...

When Federal Employees Can Expect to See Their 1.9 Percent Pay Raise

February 15, 2019 When President Trump signed a bill to keep the government open through Sept. 30, he also authorized a 1.9 percent pay increase for federal civilian employees, effectively overriding his own pay freeze that he enacted last December. But that action is merely the first step in the process to provide...

Congress Approves Bill to Avoid Another Shutdown as Trump Prepares National Emergency

February 14, 2019 The Senate on Thursday voted 83-16 to approve a spending package to keep federal agencies open until the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, following indications that President Trump would sign the measure. The House followed suit Thursday evening, passing the measure 300-128 and sending it to Trump's...

House Democrats Reintroduce Bills to Expand Collective Bargaining Rights

February 14, 2019 After years of union employees of the Transportation Security Administration working on representational issues in their free time and lacking access to independent bodies that resolve disputes, a new bill would provide them with the rights already afforded to the vast majority of the federal workforce. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman...

Shutdown-Avoiding Spending Package Includes 1.9 Percent Pay Raise for 2019

February 13, 2019 Congress is poised to override President Trump’s decision last year to freeze federal civilian pay in 2019, according to House leaders. A spending deal between House and Senate appropriators released late Wednesday provided a 1.9 percent across-the-board raise to federal workers this year, the same amount agreed to last year...

Lawmakers Investigate Back Pay Issues, New Post-Shutdown Clarification on Promotions, and More

February 13, 2019 House Democrats announced Wednesday that they would investigate reports of incomplete back pay to federal employees impacted by the 35-day partial government shutdown and problems related to a variety of deductions typically taken from employee paychecks. Last week, federal workers and agencies responsible for payroll processing confirmed that thousands of...

Labor Relations Authority Chairwoman Decertifies Agency’s Own Union

February 12, 2019 The chairwoman of an agency tasked with resolving disputes between federal employee unions and management at federal agencies recently decided to cease recognition of the organization’s own labor group. Federal Labor Relations Authority Chairwoman Colleen Duffy Kiko announced the decision in a letter to the Union of Authority Employees last...

GOP Senator Endorses 2.6 Percent Pay Raise for Feds, Improving Proposal's Prospects

February 11, 2019 Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska became the first Republican in the Senate to sign onto a plan to give federal civilian employees a 2.6 percent pay increase this year and provide parity between military and civilian compensation. Murkowski announced Monday that she would cosponsor the Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise...