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Swiper  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, December 05, 2018 6:32:15 PM(UTC)
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I work as a legal assistant for federal agency. My current job is a GS-5/6/7/8 position and I started off as a GS-8 at the beginning of the year. I am the only person in a "two-man team" so I am effectively doing the work of two GS-8 all by myself. Despite the heavy workload, I am able to perform all tasks above and beyond the standard. I just had my first performance evaluation and got "Outstanding" in every single block.

The agency is currently reconstructing the positions to provide for better career ladder advancement. The two identical legal assistant positions are becoming a "junior legal assistant" (GS-5/6/7/8) and a "senior legal assistant" (GS-9/11/12). Instead of having both employees sharing and doing the same work equally, there will now a distinct difference in duties within the team. The "junior legal assistant" can only temporary be assigned to do the tasks belonging to the "senior legal assistant" and vice versa.

The agency have asked all current legal assistants interested to apply for the new "senior legal assistant" position. Due to the large amounts of applicants, OPM is currently helping the agency to screen all applications and to refer all eligible applicants to the hiring authority. I applied for this position as I am already performing the duties of a "senior legal assistant" and are excelling at those duties. To my dismay I discovered that OPM refused to refer my application to my agency's hiring authority. The reason given was that I currently was "exempted service" and the position I was applying for is "competitive service".

Apparently I am not eligible to apply for my own job due to some bureaucratic technicality. It worries me for several reasons.

1. I might miss out going up the GS-ladder and that somebody will snatch the GS-9/11/12 position from under my nose.
2. I will be "demoted" to do only the duties of the GS-5/6/7/8 position. I would hate that as I like my current duties.
3. I might end up permanently doing the duties of the GS-9/11/12 position while getting paid as a GS-8.

Any suggestions on how to approach this?
Citrine  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, December 05, 2018 7:05:01 PM(UTC)
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is it open to the public, or only to certain groups?
Swiper  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, December 05, 2018 7:27:53 PM(UTC)
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Merit. Internal to agency only. It was listed five months ago for two weeks. It was supposed to be followed by a public listing about one a month later, but it never happened.

We did get two agency-wide emails from HQ (last one a few weeks ago) saying that the restructuring isn't going as smoothly as they hoped. Apparently, OPM and the agency isn't on the same sheet of music.

Edited by user Wednesday, December 05, 2018 7:28:28 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

GWPDA  
#4 Posted : Thursday, December 06, 2018 6:43:20 AM(UTC)
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"exempted service" and the position I was applying for is "competitive service"."

This can be a problem. However, a large number of the Exempt agencies have interchange agreements with the competitive service, and if yours does, you most certainly should be able to move. Whether you can then qualify for the job is a different matter. Check to see if there's an exchange agreement.
Swiper  
#5 Posted : Thursday, December 06, 2018 5:45:55 PM(UTC)
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The new position that I am applying for is literally my current job. I would be sitting in the same office, the same cubicle, and doing the same work that I have doing for a year now. The only difference is that I would get paid more for the same work. If I don't get hired for the new position, then I will not be able to continue to do the same work I am doing now. I might even have to move out of my cubicle to give room for whoever got the position instead of me.

Edited by user Thursday, December 06, 2018 5:48:13 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Swiper  
#6 Posted : Thursday, December 06, 2018 6:22:44 PM(UTC)
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I suspect that the way I got hired might have come back to haunt me. I started off as a contractor at the office. About six months later, one of the supervisors pulled me to the side one day and asked me if I was interested in becoming a permanent federal employee. I said that I was interested and she told me to email my application (Resume, Veterans Preference, Schedule A, etc) to HR before the end of the day. I started working as a federal employee two months later. I have now worked in the office for about 18 months (8 months contractor, 10 months federal).
spence  
#7 Posted : Friday, December 07, 2018 12:58:46 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: Swiper Go to Quoted Post
I suspect that the way I got hired might have come back to haunt me. I started off as a contractor at the office. About six months later, one of the supervisors pulled me to the side one day and asked me if I was interested in becoming a permanent federal employee. I said that I was interested and she told me to email my application (Resume, Veterans Preference, Schedule A, etc) to HR before the end of the day. I started working as a federal employee two months later. I have now worked in the office for about 18 months (8 months contractor, 10 months federal).

Yeah, that's probably what it is. You were probably appointed under an excepted-service appointment like VRA or Schedule A, and haven't served the two years yet to be converted to the competitive service.

Talk to your supervisors and let them know your situation. They may be able to talk to HR about whether they can appoint you again to the GS-9 job using the same excepted-service authority.

Edited by user Friday, December 07, 2018 1:09:00 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
GWPDA on 12/7/2018(UTC)
Swiper  
#8 Posted : Sunday, December 09, 2018 6:04:08 PM(UTC)
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Thank you for your input. I will talk to my supervisor and send my paperwork to HR to see what they can do.

I would not be a happy camper if I missed this opportunity due to a technicality. I did look up the statistics in our database and I have both the largest work load and the highest quality output of everyone in the office. I was fine with my pay at the beginning, but now I feel underpaid for the amount of work I do.

Edited by user Sunday, December 09, 2018 6:10:24 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

frizell  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, December 19, 2018 10:14:52 PM(UTC)

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It looks like you have not served at the GS-8 level for 52 weeks. Ask your supervisor see if they could delay posting for like 2 more month
Blide  
#10 Posted : Sunday, December 30, 2018 4:21:17 PM(UTC)
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How does TIG even work at GS-8? The agencies I'm familiar with don't even have GS-8 positions, they all go straight from GS-7 to GS-9. So is this dependent on the individual position or could you theoretically qualify for a GS-9 once you have 52 weeks at GS-7?

Edited by user Sunday, December 30, 2018 4:25:29 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

HR Bubba  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, January 02, 2019 4:48:21 AM(UTC)

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Federal jobs are either 1 grade interval where the normal line of progression is one grade at a time (e.g., GS-5,6,7,8 etc.) or 2 grade interval position where the normal line of progression is two grades at a time (e.g. GS-5,7,9,11). TIG rules say that you must have 52 weeks at the next lower grade, so if they are recruiting for a GS-9 job in a 1 grade interval series then you must have 52 weeks as a GS-8; if they are recruiting for a GS-9 job in a two grade interval series then you must have 52 weeks as a GS-7. If you are a GS-8 in a 1 grade interval position who applies for a two grade interval GS-9 position then as long as you have 1 year then the GS-8 TIG satisfies the requirement.
thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
Blide on 1/6/2019(UTC)
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