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.
CIO Briefing

Union Sues and Democrats Introduce Bill to Block Trump Order Politicizing Civil Service

As opponents of the president’s effort to convert chunks of the federal workforce into at-will employees kick off their efforts to stop the initiative, the administration has signaled that agencies can push forward ahead of schedule.

CIO Briefing

Agencies to Have Wide Latitude In Deciding Which Jobs to Strip of Civil Service Protections

OPM issued initial instructions Friday for implementing a Trump executive order that allows federal policy-making positions to be converted from career jobs to at-will appointments.

CIO Briefing

Governance Experts Assail White House Effort to Strip Federal Employees of Rights

Good government groups, unions and lawmakers were nearly unanimous in their scorching criticism of an executive order that could strip protections for hundreds of thousands and politicize the federal workforce.

CIO Briefing

‘Stunning’ Executive Order Would Politicize Civil Service

President Trump signs directive that will potentially pull thousands of federal employees in "policy-making" positions out of the competitive service, making them at-will employees.

CIO Briefing

Watchdog: White VA Employees Twice as Likely to Be Promoted as Black Workers

The American Federation of Government Employees said Thursday that new data it obtained via the Freedom of Information Act underscores its allegations of systemic racism pervading the Veterans Affairs Department.

CIO Briefing

Senate Democrats Introduce Bill to Make Payroll Tax Deferral Optional

Legislation requiring workers, including federal employees and military service members, to consent in writing to have their Social Security taxes deferred between now and the end of the year has the support of nearly 20 employee groups.

CIO Briefing

Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Protect All Feds’ Leave Following COVID

Although OPM’s current policy only waives the 30-day annual leave cap for essential employees who are unable to use their leave due to their duties responding to the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats in Congress want to extend the waiver to all federal workers.

CIO Briefing

OPM Updates Job Qualifications Following Hiring Executive Order

The Office of Personnel Management is asking agencies for feedback on a draft list of the qualifications required for federal jobs as part of the implementation of a recent executive order emphasizing applicants’ skills and experience, rather simply education.

CIO Briefing

GAO: Federal Agencies Lag in Retaining Veteran Employees

Between fiscal 2014 and 2018, nearly 7% of veterans left federal service, compared with only 5% of non-veterans, the watchdog agency found.

CIO Briefing

Survey: Most Feds Who Have Been Working From Home During the Pandemic Are Afraid to Return to Their Offices

Nearly 80% of teleworking respondents to a new survey from AFGE said they don’t feel safe going back to their traditional worksite.

Policy

Democratic Senators Introduce Bill to Include Feds in Coronavirus Response Decisions

A task force of administration and union officials would make recommendations for how agencies should protect workers during the pandemic.

CIO Briefing

House Lawmakers Call for Pay Parity Between Military and Civilian Federal Workers

Although the House version of a defense policy bill includes a 3% pay increase for members of the military in 2021, an appropriations bill under consideration effectively endorses only a 1% raise for civilians.

CIO Briefing

House Committee Investigates Whether Officials Misled Congress on OPM-GSA Merger

A recent watchdog group report cited notes from a phone call indicating the Trump administration was advised that the merger plan was illegal, an account that is at odds with what OPM officials testified before Congress last year.

CIO Briefing

New Legislation Would Increase Oversight Over Agency Relocations

Measure would require federal officials to conduct detailed cost-benefit analyses and provide them to inspectors general and the public for review before undertaking any effort to move federal agencies.

CIO Briefing

Federal Advisory Group Finds Feds Are Paid 26.71% Less than Private Sector Counterparts

In their annual report, members of the Federal Salary Council recommend updates to datasets used in determining a region’s eligibility to become a locality pay area.

CIO Briefing

New House COVID-19 Bill Includes Hazard Pay for Feds, Strengthens Protections for Telework and Sick Leave

Pelosi on Tuesday unveiled legislation that would provide up to $10,000 in premium pay for federal workers on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak and would prevent agencies from exempting employees from paid sick leave benefits.

CIO Briefing

House Democrats Urge Leadership to Begin Paid Parental Leave for Feds Early

A group of 12 lawmakers said the new benefit for federal workers, currently slated for implementation in October, should apply retroactively to December.

CIO Briefing

House Legislation Would Protect Feds’ Unused Leave During Coronavirus Pandemic

Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., has introduced a bill that would ensure that federal workers who are unable to take a vacation due to the COVID-19 outbreak will not lose their paid leave.

CIO Briefing

Bipartisan Senate Group Urges Hazard Pay for Feds

Nineteen senators encourage authorization of a 25% pay increase for frontline federal workers during the coronavirus pandemic, along with more guidance enhancing telework, leave and other protections for employees.

CIO Briefing

Federal Employee Union Proposes Preconditions to Returning to Government Work Sites

The American Federation of Government Employees last week called the Trump administration’s recently unveiled plans for “reopening” the federal government “premature and imprudent.”