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Nizzle  
#1 Posted : Friday, February 04, 2011 1:06:31 PM(UTC)
Nizzle

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I started Federal service with Dept. of the Army in Nov 2008. My first step was the following year. In March of 2010 I accepted a position at another post and was told my step increase would be "reset" to that date, so I wouldn't get one until March 2011. The position I accepted was GS 5-6, the prior was GS 6-2.

I will soon be promoted to GS 6-5, probably before March 2011 as I am just awaiting a start date. How does this effect step increases? I am under the impression the first four years you get a step increase every year, on the fifth year and beyond you get one every two. One of my supervisors told me that once you hit step 5, whether through increase or promotion, you only get an increase every two years regardless of the fact you have been in less than four years.

Can anyone help me with this? Do I still get three more increases every year or, since I will be a step 5, do I go to every two years?


Californiagirl  
#2 Posted : Friday, February 04, 2011 2:03:16 PM(UTC)
Californiagirl

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step increases are only concerned with how long you have been at that step, not how long you have been a federal worker
 as shown below, the higher the step # the more time you have to wait for a step increase. From your post it seems that you already keep your eye out for promotion opportunities. I know people who have received "quality step increases" but don't know if you can "aim"  for one

from OPM.gov Home
Required Waiting Periods

For employees with a scheduled tour of duty, the required waiting periods established by law for
advancement to the next higher step are as follows:





Advancement from...


Requires...



step 1 to step 2

52 weeks of creditable service at step 1



step 2 to step 3

52 weeks of creditable service at step 2



step 3 to step 4

52 weeks of creditable service in step 3



step 4 to step 5

104 weeks of creditable service in step 4



step 5 to step 6

104 weeks of creditable service in step 5



step 6 to step 7

104 weeks of creditable service in step 6



step 7 to step 8

156 weeks of creditable service in step 7



step 8 to step 9

156 weeks of creditable service in step 8



step 9 to step 10

156 weeks of creditable service in step 9




So you have to stay at step 5 104 weeks (2 yrs) before you move up to step 6. 


kg78  
#3 Posted : Friday, February 04, 2011 9:42:07 PM(UTC)
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And further any time you receive a promotion, the step waiting period is reset.
Knight  
#4 Posted : Friday, February 04, 2011 11:57:16 PM(UTC)
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Looks like a two year wait to me.
Bill78  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 8:20:24 AM(UTC)
Bill78

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Damn glad I am a WG!  At times it has it's advantages! LOL   18 yrs to go from Step 1 to Step 10 in the GS.......Are you kidding me........18 years.  At best......I will only be in Civil Service (DOD) for 22 years.......I started  DOD Civilian at age 45 and plan to retire at age 67 at the latest!  22 years DOD Civilian time total.......Plus, 20 years Active Duty Military and six years as a DOD Contractor so........48 years total DOD time in the end!Wink
 
In the WG/WL/WS world:
 
Step 2 - six months as Step 1.
 
Step 3 - one year as Step 2.
 
Step 4 - two years as Step 3.
 
Step 5 - two years as Step 4.
 
Total time equals five years and six months from Step 1 to Step 5.
 
Only five steps total for all WG/WL/WS positions.
Bill782011-02-08 16:35:53
"May GOD continue to BLESS the United States of America. Thank a VETERAN today"!
martyb  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 10:55:28 AM(UTC)
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Bill, you're not seeing the big picture here.  So you're saying you'd rather top out at step 5 of your WG pay grade than to have 5 additional steps?  There's a bigger spread of money between GS-xx step 1 & step 10 than there is between WG-xx step 1 & step 5.  Just because you step out as a WG doesn't mean you make more, or even as much money.  You need to take a look at the GS grades to see the difference.  I went from WG-11 step 5 to GS-11 step 2.  Now I'm a step 4, looking for step 5 next year.  It's true that it will take me longer than you to reach my top step (10) but....
a. There's no reason for me to stay a GS-11 until I retire, and...
b. if you think for a minute about the GS pay scale, you'll realize that it takes one year less to progress from step 1 to step 5 than the WG scale.  Then, even if you don't care to progress to a higher pay grade, you at least still have 5 more step increases to look forward to. 
 
I promise you, a top step GS-11 makes more than a top step WG-10 or WG-11...of course all of this depends on what locality area the GS is in and the same for the WG.  There are differences all over the country, but generally speaking, what I'm saying is true.  Nothing wrong with the WG side, I was in it from 1981 until 2008, but looking back, I messed up.  I'd have been much further down the road if I'd made the switch 10-12 years ago.  If what you have now makes you happy, then you're successful in my book.  But $$ wise, I think GS is the winner, in general.
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martyb  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 10:59:05 AM(UTC)
martyb

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One more thing, I believe it's actually a total of 6 years to reach step 5 in the WG world.  6 months from 1 to 2.  18 months from 2 to 3.  2 yrs to step 4, & 2 more yrs to step 5.  But...then you're done if you stay at that grade.  Whereas a GS anything has 5 more steps to claim, so his pay keeps increasing.  Don't make the mistake I made & get stuck in a rut for 20+ years.  There's a huge civil service world out there just waiting for your resume! lol   After a couple years, consider taking a look at DCMA or one of the other defense agencies.
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martyb  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 11:19:15 AM(UTC)
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Last thing on this...I promise.  Bill, at my last WG job, where I was a WG-11, the current WG-11 pay ranges from step 1, $50,171 to step 5,which is $58707.  That is the current pay scale in effect in Shreveport, LA at Barksdale AFB.  The current Rest of US GS-11 pay range is step 1: $57,408 to step 10: $74,628.  There is a range of $8536 between WG-11 step 1 & step 5.  Yes, you'll get to step 5 in 6 years, but then you get no raises besides the annual pay raise, if it's not frozen like now & next year.   The range in pay for GS-11 between step 1 & step 10 is $17,220.  That's more than 2X the WG-11 pay.  Like I said though, a whole lot depends on what area of the country you're located in.  When I was a WG-11, I was in what I consider to be more or less a middle of the road WG pay scale area.  Some places were paying a good bit more for WG, some places paying less.  In my GS pay locality area, I'm in what's known as a Rest of US area, meaning I'm in the lowest GS pay area of the US.  Much of the US falls under the Rest of US, but also, many areas have higher GS locality pay...some MUCH higher.  If I worked just 100 miles south in Houston, my exact same pay grade & step would be $8000 more per year.  That's how GS locality pay works.  The big picture, though, is that GS is generally the way you want to go if you're looking to maximize your pay, and that's what's important for making the most of your retirement.  I loved being a WG all those years, but wouldn't go back now for anything.
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Bill78  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 10:11:34 PM(UTC)
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Martyb.....Thanks for the advise.  About the locality pay....I feel you.  Same here we live in the LOWEST PAID area in California.  Fresno area.  If I was just 110 miles or so south I would make about $9000-11000 more a year.  Amazing seeing that Kern County California is no more expensive than we are here.  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  It really is unfair in that aspect. 
"May GOD continue to BLESS the United States of America. Thank a VETERAN today"!
martyb  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 11:38:27 PM(UTC)
martyb

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Bill78 wrote:
Martyb.....Thanks for the advise.  About the locality pay....I feel you.  Same here we live in the LOWEST PAID area in California.  Fresno area.  If I was just 110 miles or so south I would make about $9000-11000 more a year.  Amazing seeing that Kern County California is no more expensive than we are here.  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  It really is unfair in that aspect. 
 
Hey Bill, just to clarify...the locality pay isn't based on costs of living in an area, it's based on what the govt. thinks it has to spend to attract & retain employees in a given location.  Case in point, Houston has a realtively low cost of housing etc. but because of NASA & the petroleum/chemical industry there, locality pay is higher to keep all the government employees from jumping ship & going to work in one of those industries.  It helps to convince engineers and others to come to Houston to work for the feds, & keeps them in place once they get there.  If I could get a job there, I'd go, but with NASA down-sizing, DCMA isn't doing any hiring down that way lately.  In fact, some of those folks have had to relocate & take pay cuts due to losing the higher locality pay.
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Bill78  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, February 09, 2011 8:57:14 AM(UTC)
Bill78

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Martyb......Talking to you I learn more and more about Federal Service.  I have been working within the Federal Govermnent since 1978, but only in Federal Service (DOD) since 2005.  20 years active duty USMC & Navy and six years DOD Contractor.  I heard about locality pay and seen it on my LES but had no idea that is what that meant.  I always thought it was like COLA or Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) something like that......Location.  Wow I am learning a lot every time I logon to FederalSoup.com I seem to take something away from every post I read.  Some are not as good as I had hoped, but at least I know how others feel in Federal Service.  Thanks for giving me the "straight scoop" & "not sugar coating it"!   ClapBig smile  
"May GOD continue to BLESS the United States of America. Thank a VETERAN today"!
martyb  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, February 09, 2011 9:34:37 AM(UTC)
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Bill78, you seem like a good guy.  I wish you the best in your federal career.  I'm a retired reservist with a few years of active duty as well.  Take care.

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