Surviving a Downgrade in a Position?

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Dr. Phuong Le Callaway, PhD 5 years ago.

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  • #176444

    Christine Brush
    Participant

    I finally made it to a GS8 position at my VA hospital, only to find out that I and a few other employees are on the radar to have our positions downgraded. I am supposed to attend a briefing on Thursday to be given more information. I am not supposed to lose any pay, but to drop back to a GS5 or 6 or whatever is decided for my position would feel like a huge setback. My supervisor said that if I am not losing any pay, it should be no big deal, but it would mean having to fight back up to a GS8, and it would mean no pay increases for a very long time.

    Has anyone else had their position downgraded? How does it look to apply to other positions and have to explain the downgrade? What is the best way to deal with this?

    If anyone has any insights or ideas, I would be grateful!

  • #176450

    Hello,
    First of all, I wanted to know if all positions in your job series will be downgraded? If the intent of management is to downgrade your job series and full performance level, it should not affect the incumbent currently on payroll, but once you leave your position, the position will be filled at a lower full performance level.

    If you or management requests a desk audit for your position and for other positions within a business unit, the agency can perform the audit and the results will not be enforced by OPM. If the position is downgraded, it is up to agency to enforce or not. That is what I understand. Employees can appeal to OPM if the position is classified at a higher grade but agency denies to honor it.

    If your job series is targeted for audit or for downgrade, it must be done across the Department, not just you. I am concerned if just a few of you are targeted.

    In terms of employment application in the future, you can show that you have performed at the GS-8 level and you should be eligible at the next promotional level. Remember that people sometimes perform in the same job series but the complexity is less so the pay is less, that is all.

    Auditing a job series for the entire Department has occurred under the Gore's reinvention government and it can happen again to help eliminate government expenses on personnel cost; however , targeting someone or a few is discriminatory. Not sure if anyone has other experiences they want to share!

  • #176448

    Christine Brush
    Participant

    Thank your for responding to my discussion, and answering some of my questions; I appreciate your time and consideration!

    The downgrades are occurring nationwide, VA wide, in a variety of positions and duties. So this is not just myself, but many personnel.

    I have been in the GS8 position over a year, almost 2 years. We are all awaiting further information.

    I would like to know if anyone has been through a downgrade in the past, and how they handled it.

  • #176446

    David Dean
    Participant

    In my early fed career in the 1980s an agency wide general downgrade happened. I was down graded from a GS-11 to GS-06. I retained my pay. In less than three months the personnel shop found a GS-11 job for me in the commuting area, 40 miles away. I had three choices, take the job, resign, or be fired. I took the job and began to look for a GS-11 or 12 job near my home. If a job opened I put in an application. It took a year, but I actually wound up at a higher paygrade job. Cut to the chase my career was not harmed, my pay and benefits remained intact. It was a pain in the neck for about a year. I hated the drive. Hang in there, agencies do not like to pay a GS-08 salary for GS-What ever work. Good luck.

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