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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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More Help for Feds Affected by Hurricanes and More Flexibility for Those Who Want to Volunteer

October 4, 2017 The Office of Personnel Management has continued its work to help federal employees affected by the string of severe storms to hit the United States and to offer avenues for workers to contribute to the various recovery efforts. Officials announced last week that they have granted a grace period for...

Feds Will Pay 6.1 Percent More Toward Health Insurance Premiums in 2018

October 4, 2017 Federal employees and retirees can expect to contribute an average of 6.1 percent more toward their health care premiums next year, the Office of Personnel Management announced Wednesday. Enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program with coverage only for themselves will on average pay $5.57 more per bi-weekly pay...

Appointee Watch: Another Cabinet-Level Job Opens Up

October 3, 2017 Although President Trump has made a number of appointments to key positions in the federal government in recent weeks, he encountered another setback last week. On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned in the wake of a scandal over his use of private jets, which cost taxpayers...

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 In an order issued Friday, Trump rescinded Executive Order 13522, which established the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations and paved the way...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...