Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Promotion after moving agencies

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Q. I started work with the Defense Department on March 14, 2011. I was a GS-7 with full promotion level to GS-9. I was promoted March 25, 2012. I had applied for a job and took that job August 26. The position is with the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is a GS 9/11. I came onboard as a GS-9 thinking I would be promoted in March to GS-11.

My supervisor has rated my 90 days as fully successful. I asked about promotion. He is saying that his boss is telling him that I need 52 weeks on station before getting promoted. Is there a regulation on this, or is it B.S.?

A. There isn’t anything unreasonable about an organization wanting to wait until you’ve put in more than 90 days of fully successful performance in your new position before promoting you. If your agency has specific rules about promotions, ask to see them.


Promotion and classification

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Q. In October, I went up to a GL-7 step 5 making $49,138. If I get selected for the GL-8 Senior Officer Specialist position I put in for, what step will I become? Do you gain an extra step as part of the promotion?

A. You must be paid at least the equivalent of a two-step increase in the grade from which you were promoted.

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Temporary promotion rules

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Q: Can management temporarily promote (non-competitively) an employee to the lower grade of a six/seven-graded position for 120 days? Are temporary promotions limited to the full-performance level only of a given position? What specific rules support or prevent such actions?

A: Temporary promotions are intended to meet the temporary needs of the agency’s work program when those services can’t be provided by other means.To be temporarily promoted, an employee has to meet the same qualification requirements that are needed for the permanent promotion. He or she receives the higher-graded salary for the period assigned and gains quality experience and time-in-grade at the higher grade level. The first 120 days can be made noncompetitively. In other words, the employee doesn’t have to compete with other employees for the temporary assignment. If the temporary promotion is extended beyond 120 days, competition is required. The maximum time period for a temporary promotion is five years, unless OPM authorizes the agency to make and/or extend it for a longer period. If the temporary promotion that was originally made under competitive procedures, it can be extended up to five years without further competition.