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tonymey1  
#1 Posted : Monday, March 22, 2010 5:22:43 PM(UTC)
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We've been told to get ready for GS sometime this summer, as I read through this forum there are many question about position, pay, and retain pay and so on.  Here is a question we are wondering about here in Germany.  First of all I work in a place where most if not all are 2210s.  During the good old days of the GS system a 2210 had BASIC pay and special salary pay (2210) combined to make their total pay, this was indicated on your SF50.   When NSPS came around this “total pay” became their NEW Basic pay because under NSPS there is no 2210 special salaries, for the most part you negotiated your salary and that was it.

Now that we are transitioning back to GS we see this rule:

"Where special salary rates apply, the salary will be apportioned between the base and the SSR supplement, and set at the appropriate step."

So, correct me if I am wrong, this is saying that our current pay will be divided up, Basic pay will be reduced and the difference made up with the addition of the SSR 2210 pay.  (same way it was before)

Which is not a bad thing nor unexpected BUT, We are all under the impression that your NSPS pay is your basic pay and that it would be used for retirement purposes, but now it seems they will be reduce 10% (if you are a GS12) of your pay and make it up with specialty pay but will not count for retirement.  Does this sound right? We know we won’t be losing pay NOW, but will we later?

 

heatmizer6  
#2 Posted : Monday, March 22, 2010 10:26:30 PM(UTC)
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When I moved from NSPS to GS my total pay was used to calculate my GS level and Step increase. I came from overseas to CONUS and since my pay was somewhere in the middle I actually got a raise. I’m currently a GS12 step 8 from a YA-2 and on top of that I received the locality pay.

SharonL  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, March 23, 2010 3:36:40 AM(UTC)
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I thought that specialty pay for 2210s was considered as basic pay for retirement purposes.
tonymey1  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, March 23, 2010 4:32:14 PM(UTC)
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heatmizer6:  I agree with you, that's the way it should be but I don't believe they will do that to us here, that means they would have to keep our Basic Pay we currently have (that we negotiated) and add 2210 pay on top, sounds nice but I don't think that's going to happen.

SharonL: I'm not sure, where can I find that info, also if a 2210 (GS12) goes back to the States they would stop getting the special salary and get locality Pay, is that part of your retirement?

 

NavyQueen23  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, March 23, 2010 10:45:28 PM(UTC)
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tonymey1 wrote:

Now that we are transitioning back to GS we see this rule:

"Where special salary rates apply, the salary will be apportioned between the base and the SSR supplement, and set at the appropriate step."

So, correct me if I am wrong, this is saying that our current pay will be divided up, Basic pay will be reduced and the difference made up with the addition of the SSR 2210 pay.  (same way it was before)

Which is not a bad thing nor unexpected BUT, We are all under the impression that your NSPS pay is your basic pay and that it would be used for retirement purposes, but now it seems they will be reduce 10% (if you are a GS12) of your pay and make it up with specialty pay but will not count for retirement.  Does this sound right? We know we won’t be losing pay NOW, but will we later?  

 
When apportioning salary, all it means is taking any extra pay (i.e. locality, special salary) to get your base salary. Your base salary will not be reduced. That said, you will receive base salary plus special salary (if I'm not mistaking, special salary for 2210 only goes to GS-11 *not sure).
 
If you look at the special salary table, it will show what percentage has been added to the base salary to get the special salary. Apportioning means taking out that extra percentage to get your base salary.
 
I hope this helps
tonymey1  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, March 23, 2010 11:40:20 PM(UTC)
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NavyQueen23, Thanks for the comments, but this still seems like they are dissecting our Negotiated NSPS  Pay and coming up with a New Lower Basic pay with 2210 on top.  But the question still remains; will this affect our long term retirement pay?  Will 2210 pay be counted when retirement comes around ?  How about locality pay?  By the way, 2210 pay goes up to GS12 overseas.

Drill  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, March 24, 2010 6:40:18 AM(UTC)
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I'm not sure how the 2210 supplement affects retirement but after receiving the transition briefing it does appear that, post-transition, a good portion of the supplement will come out of our base pay. Personnel who received 2210 pay prior to conversion to NSPS shouldn't see too much of a hit but personnel who were hired into NSPS positions in the first 6 months or from another series will see a decent pay hit.

We can use me as an example; in Jan 2008 I was a GS-0391-9 step 1 stateside and got hired into a YA-2210-02 in Germany. My pay was set at the GS9 base +5% (a little over 42k). I've done OK through NSPS ("4" the first year, "3" this year) and my base pay is now 48K. Now, according to the Transition briefing, my grade (based on PD) would be set as a GS-09 and my step would be set by comparing my adjusted base pay versus the Special Salary Table (99AF here). Since a GS-09/1 makes 54k on the SSR, my pay would be set as such. Wow, that's like, 6k more a year... a BIG raise right?  But when you look closer you see that, in reality, that's not the case. While I may see more $$ in my pocket, a big chunk of that pay raise actually comes from a REDUCTION in my base pay. As many of you know, the 2210 Special Salary is computed by adding a supplemental percentage to the base pay. On the 99AF SSR a GS9 should get a 30% supplement over base. But... my base pay is 48k so a 30% supplement should be over 14k! How is it that my GS pay will be 54k versus 62k? Simple, by comparing my base pay to a special salary table they get to move me back to a 9 step 1 with a base pay of 41563, effectively REDUCING my base pay by around 7k! (a lower base pay than I was originally hired to btw).



NavyQueen23  
#8 Posted : Friday, March 26, 2010 12:24:50 AM(UTC)
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Drill,
 
You will not be placed at 9 step 1. Adjusted salary is base + locality. If that falls at 9 step 5, you will be placed at 9 step 5 on the SSR table.
geekgirl13  
#9 Posted : Monday, March 29, 2010 4:42:48 AM(UTC)
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I am an OCONUS 2210 Information Technology specialist - I was NSPS as of the 28th of March when they converted me to GS (GS-12) (OCONUS 12's still get special pay).  My Base pay was 77,688 - this was stated on my LES and on my SF 50.  Upon conversion they dropped me straight into the special pay table 99AF - as a GS-12 step 7 making 79,561.  They say I am not losing salary but they lowered my Base Pay to 72,328 and then added the 10% supplement to get me up to the 79,561.   How can they lower my base pay??  If I'm suppose to get a supplement shouldn't they have first converted me to the general schedule found my step there and then added the supplement?  I still don't understand how they can lower my base pay.. Any advice?

tonymey1  
#10 Posted : Monday, March 29, 2010 3:13:04 PM(UTC)
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This is exactly what I was referring to in my comments above, but let’s be real, they are not going to give every 2210 an additional 10, 20, or 30 percent supplemental increase on top of their NSPS pay. Which I come back to my original question, is the supplement included in our total retirement pay?  If yes then I’m OK with it , if it’s not part of your retirement then we will be losing money in the long run.

Hey, we should have all went back to CONUS and converted that way we would have kept our NSPS pay and got a nice locality pay on top. (for those who say we get COLA and LQA overseas should know this is an incentive for serving overseas and has nothing to do with your BASE Pay)

 

outdoorextreme  
#11 Posted : Monday, March 29, 2010 3:55:34 PM(UTC)
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I am going to experience the same thing.  I came over to Germany already as an NSPS employee (converted in the states).  I lost my 13% locality pay when I moved to OCONUS which I was fine with but did get a 3% raise for taking the job (move within NSPS).  I have worked hard under NSPS and done just fine.  According to the most recent conversion documents for NSPS to GS, when they convert me back to GS, my "base pay" will be reduced 10%.  The 10% they strip off my base pay now becomes the "special salary" rate.  So this means when I go back to the States using my return rights, the moment I set foot in CONUS I will loose 10% of my salary which is now classified as "special salary".  This was never "special salary" but was always my base pay which I worked very hard to increase.  I don't want special salary pay (I could care less about it), I just want my base pay to stay the same.  I know I will get the "locality pay" when I return, however I will still in reality loose 10% of my salary.  That's not fair and makes no sense.  Everyone at one point or another will have to head back to CONUS and will experience this same thing.   I don't think they put much thought into our situation over here in Europe. 
adp77  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, March 30, 2010 3:49:04 AM(UTC)
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This is exactly what happened to everyone at my work. You base salary was reduced by roughly 10 percent and moved over to the locality pay section. From what I know the total pay is included in retirement numbers (I know that in the states it is) so this isn't the main issue. People that lost their locality pay before coming overseas to set their base pay, moved to NSPS, and then back GS are losing a lot of money, in some cases 2 and 3 steps in the GS 12 scale.

Another aspect that is being overlooked is that those non-special pay table folks were moved directly over to the base table and got to keep their entire NSPS salary as their new GS base salary. This is defeating the entire point behind having a specialty pay table.

outdoorextreme  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, March 30, 2010 9:50:01 PM(UTC)
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Has anyone from your work submitted a grievance concerning this?  I really think they did not consider what would happen to us folks overseas concerning the transition back to GS.  It just doesn't make sense.  Actually it makes no sense at all.
 
adp77  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 2:36:31 AM(UTC)
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We are in the process now of finding out what we need to do to file a grievance. We've talked with HR numerous times and are looking into talking with a congressman about the situation as well.

Any insights or help on this is appreciated.

outdoorextreme  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 5:53:16 PM(UTC)
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I was told by our local HR folks that we had two paths to follow.  One was to put in a complaint (grievance) through them to forward up the HR chain and the other was to do a Congressional Inquiry.  They seemed to think that neither would result in anything, but I think that if everyone affected were to voice their opposition that maybe they would address it.  Sounds like you are on the right track.  They haven't cut us back over to the GS system yet, so until they do we can't submit anything.  It's just a waiting game now.  To me it sure seems cut and dry as to it not being fair. 
 
tonymey1  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 6:30:23 PM(UTC)
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Ok, this is the way I see it, PLEASE Correct me if I am wrong, two NSPS employees Oconus both making a negotiated NSPS Base Pay of 69k and both in GS12 positions.

Employee “one” is a normal worker and he/she will be under the  â€œBasic Pay Schedule”  and placed under 12- step 6 making 70319.

Employee “two” is a 2210 Technology worker who is entitle to a special salary,  he/she will be placed under the  Special Rate Table 99AF  with a  salary  making 70721 which is a GS 12 step 3 WOW, step 3!!

Hey, neither one has lost any pay right?  Ha, they may have not lost pay but they will not get the nice pay increase as noted below.

Now Employee “one” goes back to the states and lets just say to Georgia where they will be placed under the Salary Table 2010-RUS which includes a 14.16% locality pay.  Let’s see, GS12-step 6 ,hmmmm, their new stateside salary will now be 80276, nice jump….Happy for you..

Employee “two” who is  special salary person going back to the same place in Georgia who is a GS12 step 3 will be place into that same table because it is higher than the 10% increase of the 2210 pay Schedule, now making   73396. This is almost 7k less than the normal employee will be making.   Has this sunk in yet, the special salary Techno Geek  is now making far less than his normal GS partner.  Say it isn’t so……..  If I a wrong please tell me……….Hug
JimiCat  
#17 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 9:48:07 PM(UTC)
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Same boat - 2210, NSPS in the States, PCS to Europe - no SSR for 2210.
Transition to GS - Moved into SSR - Lost (3) Steps and my base pay is cut up to provide my "10%" salary increase.

Here's the deal on filing a Grievance:

You can grieve on  pay setting procedures and if the procedures were followed correctly.  My path is to the Director of my HR Department in the States.

You cannot grieve on the pay setting or guidance/regulations.

Based on my initial research - don't look good.  HR is going to stress that the overall pay did not go down - hence they met the letter of the law.

I'll post as soon as I file - appreciate if anyone else could post their research.
outdoorextreme  
#18 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 3:02:00 PM(UTC)
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All,
 
This is the contact I was just given to direct questions and concerns to (I just sent them a long email asking for assistance, maybe you all could as well).  I will let you know what they say.
 

Department of Defense

Civilian Personnel Management Service

Wage and Salary Division - WAGE

1400 Key Boulevard, Room A105

Arlington, VA  22209-5144

 

Commercial Phone (703) 696-1746

Commercial Fax (703) 696-5472

DSN Phone 426-1746

DSN Fax 426-5472

Email WAGE:  wsd@cpms.osd.mil

tonymey1  
#19 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 3:23:40 PM(UTC)
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Just did, will let you know if any responseNuke
lazykuma1  
#20 Posted : Wednesday, April 28, 2010 11:08:38 AM(UTC)
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I have been reading this post and I need some help in clarifying my situation.  From my understanding, DOD employees moving back into the GS Pay Schedule will have their Step and GS level determined by the following:  Your PD (in my case it is listed as a GS 2210 11).  Your step is determined by your current salary.  If your PD indicates it is a GS 11 position, your step will be determined by subtracting the special salary rate from your current salary.  If your salary falls between steps, you will be assigned to the next higher step (which is good since you did not have to wait for your WIGI).  This applys to most employess who went through a "Normal Conversion".  By that, I mean that you were transitioned into NSPS while you were at your command.  During this process, your "NSPS" starting base salary included your base pay and your specialty pay.  This was used as a baseline salary to determine your future wage increases while using the NSPS pay system.  They are using the Special Salary Table to determine your current step.  To use the General GS Pay Schedule would mean that you would be "Double Dipping your special Salary"  I do not see that happening.
 
I have a different situation, in that I never "officially" converted into the NSPS pay system.  I transferred form a GS-11 Step 4 into an exsisting YA-02 position (CONUS to OCONUS).  My NSPS base pay was set using the General GS Pay Schedule (CPOC looked at my current GS level and set my pay as a GENERIC GS-11 Step 4.  I argued the point that I was a 2210 and I get payed more for the type of work that I do.  They said that their hands were tied and they had to use the current guidelines that were in place and the only way it could change was for Congress to change the "Pay Setting" guidelines.  Congress did change the rules which said that employees transferring from their current GS position  into an exsisting NSPS position will get their base NSPS salary based on a Normal Conversion (Base Pay, WIGI buyout, and Special Salary).  Congress did not put a "Grandfather Clause" into the new pay setting rules.
 
Here is my delima.  My current salary falls between a Step 2 and Step 3 using the special salary table.  I entered the Federal Service System as a GS-11 step 4.  If I remained at my CONUS position, I would be a GS-11 Step 6.  Using the General GS Pay Schedule, I fall between a Step 7 and Step 8.  Since my starting NSPS base pay used the General Pay Schedule, I feel that they should use the same table and then apply my special salary.  I have been in communication with BUMED's NSPS program Manager Office and they said that their hands are tied and they will have to use the guidelines that are in place. 
 
Here is a copy of the original email that I sent as well as their reply:
 

I have a special situation regarding my pay.  I spoke to my local HR

department and they are unable to answer my question in regards to how my

pay is going to be set when we transition back into the GS system.

Currently I am a YA-02 2210 (Computer Specialist) and my current position is

classified as a GS-11.  Prior to entering the NSPS system I was a GS-11 Step

4.  I transferred (reassignment) from a non NSPS position into an existing

NSPS position (CONUS to OCONUS).  The rules that were in place during my

transition set my base pay at a generic GS-11 Step 4 plus they gave me a 5%

reassignment increase.  Prior to accepting the OCONUS position I spoke to

the hiring HR subject matter expert and I indicated that my base pay should

not be set as a generic GS-11 since I am a 2210 series.  They indicated that

their hands were tied and they had to follow the rules that were in place at

that time.  I accepted the position and I felt that the HR department had

made a mistake and I would correct it once I was at my new position.  Since

then, the rules that were in place have changed and an employee moving from

a GS position into a NSPS position are entitled to a normal conversion (WIGI

buyout plus Special Salary and base pay).  I have read new the rules that

govern how pay is going to be set when we transfer back into the GS pay

system.  I interpret the rules as this:  My pay will be set using the

special salary table and my step will be determined based on my current

adjusted salary.  The term "adjusted salary" is the point that I have a

problem with.  My salary is actually "base salary" since I was never

officially converted into the NSPS pay system.  I never received a WIGI

buyout and my special pay was never applied to my starting base salary under

the NSPS system.  If I use my current pay and place it into the Special Rate

Table I fall between a GS-11 Step 2 and Step 3.  If I compare my pay to the

generic base pay schedule, my pay is between a Step 7 and Step 8.  If I

remained at my previous position (CONUS) I would be a GS-11 Step 6.  I feel

that I should be place into the special salary table at a Step 7 or Step 8

since my pay is actually "base pay" and not "adjusted pay".  If DON uses my

current salary and place me as a Step 3, I have lost at least 3 steps.  I

lost money during my conversion into NSPS and it looks like I will lose

again when I transition back into the GS pay system unless I am treated

fairly this time.  Is it possible to send my email to a person that can

answer my question?  I know I am not the only one who works for DOD who

experienced the same problems that I have had to endure.  I have two

additional questions.  I work for BUMED and it looks like BUMED is going to

have a Hybrid system.  Does this mean that DON employees working for BUMED

will not revert back into the GS System (2210 series) and when will BUMED

transition out of NSPS?

 
Reply Back from BUMED:

I am the civilian personnel compensation specialist for the Office of the

Director of Civilian Personnel Programs, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

(BUMED).  I have been asked to reply to your inquiry.

 

After discussions with other Human Resources experts, including your Chief HRO Satellite Office, it

would appear that the Army set your initial NSPS salary based on the

Department of Defense (DoD) NSPS

regulations that were in effect at that time.  The Navy has no authority to

make an type of retroactive correction to those regulations.  The policies and

procedures that were followed when you accepted the position with the U.S.

Naval Branch Clinic, which included the five percent base salary increase,

were in accordance with DoD and Navy regulations in effect at that time.

 

If you remain in your current overseas position, you (along with the majority

of NSPS employees in the Navy Medical Department) will be converted back to

the General Schedule (GS) in April 2011.  Only certain health care-specific

occupations which are covered under a separate statute of the law that

pertains to the Veterans' Affairs (Title 38), will be exempt from the April

2011 conversion date.

 

Attached is the Department of Navy's Pay Setting Fact Sheet  -- hopefully it

will be helpful to you.

 

When it comes time for your pay to be converted back to the GS the Special

Salary Rate Table 99AF will be used.  Your new GS salary will be set at the

lowest step that equals OR EXCEEDS your adjusted NSPS salary at that time.

 

I hope this helps in your understanding of your situation.  I would encourage

you to take full advantage of the expert HR resources available to you in

your location.

 
Here is my reply back to his response:

Your email did not answer my question in regards to how we can address my

situation unless you are saying that I am going to loose 3 steps when we

convert back to the GS Pay schedule.  I am not asking to make anything

retroactive in regards to how DOD set my initial pay.  The point that I want

to make is that all of my pay is "Base Pay".  DOD "SPECIAL SALARY" employees

who were converted in place received a WIGI buyout, and their 2210 Special

Salary pay and this was their STARTING "ADJUSTED SALARY" under NSPS.  I

never received any benefit when I transitioned into the NSPS system and the

rules that were in place stated that you set pay based on your on the

General GS Pay Schedule.  Since I was transitioned into the NSPS using the

General GS Pay Schedule, I should be transitioned back into the GS Pay

System using the same table that was used and then apply my Special Salary

pay.  I want someone to think outside of the box and address my situation in

a fair manner verses just interpreting the guidelines that are in place at

the present time.  The rules that were in place when I transferred into the

NSPS system were flawed and that is why Congress modified the rules within 8

months after I transitioned...excuse my spelling errors...:-)

 
Does anyone have any ideas on how I can address my special situation?  Do we need to file a class action lawsuit against DOD?  Any lawyers out there reading my post? 
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