Author Archive

Erich Wagner

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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OPM Encourages Agencies to Expand Telework, Remote Work Permanently in New Guidance

The Office of Personnel Management on Friday issued its first major update to its telework guide in a decade.

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Federal Judge Declines to Block Vaccine Mandate for Feds

Judge says the challenge is both premature and unlikely to supersede the public interest in ending the pandemic.

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OPM’s Telework Initiatives Dovetail with Climate Change Planning

The agency announced a program to connect leaders from the private and nonprofit sectors with federal agencies to address climate change.

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Students Can Now Earn up to $72,000 Annually, Federal HR Director Says

OPM Director Kiran Ahuja said the federal government is looking to overhaul internships, telling students “we need more of you and your colleagues coming into the federal government.”

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Lawmakers Introduce Smattering of Bills to Avoid Future Shutdowns

The last-minute action to keep federal agencies open past Sept. 30 has spurred a flurry of legislation aimed at automatically funding federal programs in the face of congressional inaction.

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OPM Sees Eye-to-Eye With Outside Experts on Its Future Role in Governmentwide Personnel Policy

The federal government’s human resources agency said it is incorporating many of the ideas proposed by the National Academy of Public Administration in its upcoming strategic plan, but some will require funding increases and congressional action.

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Biden to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations for All Feds

The executive order, slated to be announced Thursday, would remove exceptions that allowed federal workers and contractors to remain unvaccinated if they agreed to regular testing for COVID-19.

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OPM Announces Leave Transfer Program for Feds in Four States Following Hurricane Ida

Feds in Louisiana, Mississippi, New York and New Jersey could be able to take extra time off to recover from the storm.

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OPM Issues Guidance on Weather Leave in Age of Telework, Disasters

As the remnants of Hurricane Ida created disruptions throughout the eastern United States, the Office of Personnel Management highlighted how workplace flexibilities can mesh with the federal government’s current maximum telework posture.

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Annual Defense Policy Bill Includes Repeal of Two-Year Probationary Period for Pentagon Hires

The reduction of the probationary period to one year is among several provisions in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act that will affect civilian personnel.

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Biden Formalizes Plan for Average 2.7% Raise for Civilian Feds in 2022

The White House published an alternative pay plan for the federal workforce providing a 2.2% across the board raise along with an average increase of 0.5% to locality pay.

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What Still Needs to Happen for Feds to Get a Pay Raise Next Year

President Biden has until the end of this month to formally announce his plan to give federal workers an average 2.7% pay raise in 2022.

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OPM Rule Eases Agency Hiring of Interns

Under regulations slated for publication Wednesday, agencies will be able to hire job candidates still in college to temporary jobs and can eventually convert them to permanent positions.

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Feds Could Be Fired, Imprisoned for Lying About Vaccination Status

Unions may have to bargain over vaccination policy implementation after the fact.

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New OPM Director Committed to 'Rebuilding' the HR Agency, Federal Workforce

Ahuja says she wants the agency to reassert itself in helping departments governmentwide become model 21st century employers.

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Social Security 'Overwhelmed' by Mail, Infuriating Customers Seeking Documents

With most employees teleworking during the pandemic, the watchdog faulted the agency for not having a system to track and return customers’ identification documents.

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Biden Announces Vaccine-or-Masks Mandate for Feds, Some Contractors

Federal employees will have a choice: get vaccinated, or wear masks when indoors at federal facilities and subject themselves to regular COVID-19 testing.

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OMB Reinstitutes Mask Mandate in ‘High Transmission’ Regions, Including D.C.

The return of masking requirements at federal facilities comes amid concerns about the COVID-19 Delta variant.

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House Panel Advances Bill Providing Feds Paid Family Leave

Republicans question the methodology of a last-minute preliminary study by the Congressional Budget Office, despite the fact that CBO does not do full reports until bills are sent to the House floor.

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GPO To Offer Full-Time Telework After COVID

Around one-third of the agency’s 1,500 employees will be able to work entirely remotely, and officials said some will be able to move out of the Washington, D.C., area.