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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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Employee Groups Decry Trump's Decision to Abolish Labor-Management Council

October 2, 2017 Officials with groups representing federal employees and managers all criticized the decision by President Trump to disband labor-management forums at federal agencies created during the Obama administration. In an order issued Friday, Trump rescinded Executive Order 13522, which established the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations and paved the way...

Most TSP Funds Gained Ground in September

October 2, 2017 Most of the portfolios offered by the 401(k)-style retirement savings program for federal employees grew in September, reversing losses sustained in August. The Thrift Savings Plan’s S Fund, made up of small- and mid-size companies, led the way, increasing 4.26 percent last month. Its 2017 total now sits at 12.76...

Defense Department Announces TRICARE Changes for 2018

September 29, 2017 The Defense Department announced Thursday that it will make a number of significant changes to the TRICARE health care program for military service members and their families. According rules published in the Federal Register, beginning Jan. 1, 2018, new service members will need to actively enroll in TRICARE to receive...

Congress Approves FAA Extension Ahead of Deadline

September 28, 2017 The House sent a short-term extension of the Federal Aviation Administration to President Trump for signing Thursday, averting a partial shutdown of the agency that would have begun Sunday. On Thursday afternoon, the House approved the 2017 Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act (H.R. 3823) by a...

Bonuses for Surpluses, Another Federal Pay Comparison, and More

September 27, 2017 Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced a bill last week that would award bonuses to federal employees that identify surplus funds in their agencies’ budgets. The Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act (S. 1830) would allow agency inspectors general to authorize bonuses in instances where workers identify unneeded or surplus funds. Paul said...

Federal Union Calls for More Hiring for CBP Preclearance Program

September 26, 2017 Leaders of a major federal employee union urged lawmakers on Tuesday to authorize additional funding for hiring more officers at Customs and Border Protection. The plea was in response to plans to expand inspections of foreign travelers at overseas airports before they travel to the United States. Tony Reardon, national...

House Fails to Approve Short-Term FAA Reauthorization

September 25, 2017 With less than a week until the deadline to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, House Republicans appear poised to set aside their efforts to spin the agency’s air traffic control operations into a private nonprofit corporation, for now. House leaders brought forward the 2017 Tax Relief and Airport and Airway...

IG: Immigration and Border Agency Execs Used Security Details Without Legal Authority

September 22, 2017 A Homeland Security Department watchdog says that immigration and border enforcement agencies have been running protection details for executives without the legal authority to do so. The DHS Office of the Inspector General issued a report Sept. 14, which was redacted and made public this week, making the case that...

VA Needs Better Relocation Incentive Tracking, Flu Season Approaches and More

September 20, 2017 A government watchdog said the Veteran Affairs Department should do more to track the effectiveness of a program that helps relocating employees sell their homes. A Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday said VA has taken steps to tighten its internal controls over its use of the General Services Administration’s...

Governing Board Approves 20 Percent Increase to TSP Budget

September 19, 2017 The board that oversees federal employees’ 401(k)-style retirement savings plan on Monday approved a $309.7 million budget for the Thrift Savings Plan in fiscal 2018, a 20.4 percent increase over this year. The ramp-up in anticipated spending comes as officials prepare to take on a massive influx in new participants...