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.
Benefits

Employee group calls for federal abortion leave, post-Roe ...

The Department of Justice Gender Equity Network asked the administration to authorize paid leave in cases where federal employees need to travel across state lines to receive abortion services.

Pay

A few feds might qualify for a bigger tax refund, from Trump Social Security deferral

The IRS sent out a notice that some might need to file an amended return, but most federal employees don’t need to worry about it.

Pay

Bill would standardize fed retiree COLAs ...

A bill pending in Congress would provide FERS and CSRS retirees the same cost of living increases, as an annual percentage.

Employee Policy

TSA screeners could receive 30% pay raise, on average

A bipartisan measure passed by the House would move the TSA's workforce under Title 5, promising full collective bargaining rights and other civil service protections enjoyed by most federal employees.

Senate votes, and FLRA is back in Democratic control

The Senate voted 50-49 to confirm former MSPB Chairwoman Susan Tsui Grundmann as a member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

Employee Policy

EEOC union decries agency’s unilateral decision to return to office

The American Federation of Government Employees Council 216 has filed an unfair labor practice complaint, alleging the agency bypassed ongoing negotiations over the return to traditional work sites and engaging in “surface-level” bargaining.

Employee Policy

Senators, labor press for adding more ALJs to the SSA union

Democrats and labor advocates feel emboldened after the Biden administration encouraged agencies to search their ranks for misclassified workers.

TSP

Nearly all TSP funds continued to tumble in April

Only the government securities fund—the G Fund—finished last month in the black.

Pay

More than 60 Democratic lawmakers want a 5.1% raise for feds

The lawmakers asked the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee to override WH plan for an average 4.6% raise for 2023.

Employee Policy

Feds are growing less engaged with their jobs

Response rates for the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey also fell 10 points from 2020, amid a fall survey period that was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Benefits

Agencies ease disability benefits rules for feds

The Biden administration is making it easier for some government employees and military vets to get disability benefits for certain chronic conditions, as reported in a weekly roundup of pay and benefits news.

Employee Policy

'Ban the box’ prohibition at federal agencies soon to expand

OPM has proposed a rule implementing The Fair Chance Act, expanding a preexisting ban on asking federal job applicants about criminal histories prior to the conditional job offer phase of the hiring process. The proposal also sets up a way to report violations of the rule.

Employee Policy

USDA had a plan for the best place to relocate two agencies—but didn't follow it

GAO finds the department's approach to relocating its Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture to Kansas City in 2019 had "significant limitations."

Pay

Feds can now donate to Ukraine relief, directly

Through June 30, feds can pledge donations to charities working on relief efforts in Ukraine—in a special round of the Combined Federal Campaign.

Employee Policy

OPM: Better data-tracking and benefits education to improve equity

The report by OPM—the federal government HR agency—was one of more than 90 equity action plans released last week by the administration.

TSP

Bill would permit feds to save for retirement longer

The legislation calls for raising the age when mandatory distributions must begin from 72 to 75.

Employee Policy

With Social Security offices reopened, unions report a mixed bag

Some components of the agency report a more collaborative labor-management relationship—but not field office employees, who now complain of feeling physically threatened at work.

Benefits

What feds should know: New paid parental bereavement leave benefit

Thanks to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, feds can take up to two weeks off after the death of a child.

Employee Policy

Biden’s budget focuses on making government a model employer

The WH fiscal 2023 budget proposal envisions reforms to federal hiring and internships—as well as restructuring regional Federal Executive Boards.