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Federal Career Planning and Development

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whatsapro  
#1 Posted : Thursday, July 21, 2016 9:58:41 AM(UTC)
whatsapro

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I am interested in transferring jobs from a GS-12 step 2 to a NH-03. I'm not too familiar with this pay scale. All I know is that it is a two tiered system where they evaluate your performance at some point and offer more money if you are performing at a certain level.

I am basically doing program management work as a 346 series and love it; however, with a strong math/engineering background, I am intrigued by the 1515 series. I have some leads on a few open positions and was curious about transferring.

1. Should I leave a PM position for an Operations Researcher position?
2. I have only been in current position just over a year - am I going to burn bridges? (although I have been with org for over 6 years)
3. Would this be considered a promotion or lateral if I do get this job?

Any suggestions will be grateful.

Thanks.

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fs1911  
#2 Posted : Thursday, July 21, 2016 11:16:04 AM(UTC)

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1. Don't know.

2. Probably not.

3. NH-03 payband contains both GS-12 and GS-13. The advantage here is that in the GS system getting a GS-13 is hard, but in the payband system you can get to be considered a GS-13 equivalent easier. But, as a GS-12 Step 2 you have many years of pretty much automatic step increases and cost of living increases coming. If you go into the payband system your income is determined by what your boss gives you as an appraisal. If the boss appreciates what you do, you might get a large increase. If your boss doesn't like you, you might end up with little or nothing. My recommendation for a lower step GS-12 is to stay in the GS system and work your way up the steps there. When you get to a step 9 or 10 you can go into the pay band system where there may be further pay and grade equivalent opportunity.

Details of the Acquisition Demo payband system are available on the internet. Read and understand the information there before making an (informed) decision.

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SD Analyst on 7/26/2016(UTC)
Engineer1111  
#3 Posted : Friday, July 22, 2016 2:17:18 AM(UTC)
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The NH-03 pay band goes up to a GS-13/Step 10, meaning that if you are in an NH-03 position, you will become a GS-13 equivalent non-competitively. If your current position as a GS-12 does not ladder to a 13, you will have to compete for a GS-13. Depending on your agency, they may or may not come open often.

I've been in a pay band system for the last 12 years and have mixed feelings about it. The good thing is, if you do your job, you're usually pretty much guaranteed the equivalent of a step increase in continuing pay every year. This is especially helpful when you hit the Step 8, 9, and 10 levels which would normally take 3 years each. The downside of pay band systems is that if it is unchecked, favoritism and nepotism can be a problem. I've seen it. Others' experiences may vary.

Whether it would be a good career move or not is tough to say, especially in today's government. I've known only a handful of ORSAs who have risen past GS-13/Step 10. If you are looking to advance to the high grades and want to use this as a stepping stone to get your 13, go ahead. However, if you want to eventually get a 14, I wouldn't recommend staying in the position more than a couple of years.
bmj2  
#4 Posted : Saturday, July 23, 2016 4:45:54 AM(UTC)

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To be honest I think it will matter where and what agency you're in. The AF has instituted stop points in NH3 that are basically the same as between GS12 and 13. You can't just go past the stop point to higher pay. They have to decide that your job is important enough, and will continue to be important enough to make that change. They could easily decide it was a unique year and just give a bonus.

In our area, we feel there are several problems. First, it is not about pay for performance. It is about pay for contribution. And contribution can be read as "importance and visibility to senior leadership." Performance only matters if you do poorly, but does not add anything if you do well. Instead they look at how valuable your contribution was. Well of course that is totally subjective. If you're on the right team, right project, then you're more valuable than if you're on the wrong one. Not something you have much control over. Beyond that, a great deal will depend on how good a writer your boss is and how well your boss negotiates for you in the pay pool.

If done well, it theoretically could reward the better employees. In reality, we just don't have much confidence the AF leadership can do it well without O6 personalities getting in the way.

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SD Analyst on 7/26/2016(UTC)
whatsapro  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, July 27, 2016 8:25:12 AM(UTC)
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Great responses.

Question, so as a GS-12 step 2 going to NH-3, can I negotiate pay at all upon acceptance? Would this be considered a promotion and I would get the 10% pay increase (or whatever the math comes out to)?

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frankgonzalez  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, July 27, 2016 9:24:46 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: whatsapro Go to Quoted Post
Great responses.

Question, so as a GS-12 step 2 going to NH-3, can I negotiate pay at all upon acceptance? Would this be considered a promotion and I would get the 10% pay increase (or whatever the math comes out to)?

Short answer: "No". You are in the federal system already so pay setting is automatic. And, as NH03 covers your current grade, it is a lateral move. NH04 however, would be a promotion.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
DrEngr  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, August 31, 2016 9:20:52 AM(UTC)
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The good thing is: when you convert from GS to AcqDemo (one of the paybands) they will roll in your next Within Grade Step Increase (it is prorated).

Here is the calculator: http://acqdemo.hci.mil/AcqDemoBIC_2016.html

Good luck to you.

ManagerialMan  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, August 15, 2017 9:06:49 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: whatsapro Go to Quoted Post
Great responses.

Question, so as a GS-12 step 2 going to NH-3, can I negotiate pay at all upon acceptance? Would this be considered a promotion and I would get the 10% pay increase (or whatever the math comes out to)?

Short answer: "No". You are in the federal system already so pay setting is automatic. And, as NH03 covers your current grade, it is a lateral move. NH04 however, would be a promotion.



Correct answer: "Yes"

I just made the move from GS-12 step 2 into NH-3, and prior to accepting the job, I e-mailed AcqDemo and they informed me that it's considered a promotion. I was able to "negotiate" an equivalent of a GS two-step promotion rule, but technically a little more (I will now be making a little over GS-12 step 4 in the NH-3 job).

Had we gone by AcqDemo's calculator on their website, I would have started out with less money. So I can confidently say that you CAN negotiate your salary. Whether your specific hiring official/HR folks are willing to budge is another story.
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