Negotiating GS Step

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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:50 am

Negotiating GS Step

Post by tamss13 »

I have read a few topics on this subject. After reading those topics I may have messed up.


I have never applied for a GS position until this year. I applied got two interviews received a tentative offer for one. Got a call on the other that I was the 2nd candidate....

I am at the high end of the posted salary range, but I am fine with the salary range.

When getting the offer it was at the lower end (ok lowest). I replied to the HR rep listed on the email and I asked if I can Negotiate a higher rate. At that point she asked if I meant a higher step. I had to do some research as I did not understand steps. after some google education. I replied yes. Sent her my current, last pay stub, Last W-2, and my current offer sheet to show benefits.

That was three days ago. After doing some research it seemed that I was supposed to accept the tentative offer while I negotiate the steps. So I went ahead and accepted the tentative offer though the portal (three days after informing and providing docs to the HR rep for step negotiation).

When I accepted the tentative offer. usajobs portal only showed the GS position and Grade no mention of the step in the offer portal. So I believed the internet education I received was correct so I finished the tentative acceptance.

After reading this site it seems I should not have accepted the tentative offer and waited on the reply from HR.

Not moving up in steps is a deal breaker for me. As the high end of the salary was a 15K pay cut for me. I really like the position and am ok with a 15K cut, but I am not ok with over a 45K cut in pay. there is a 30k plus difference between the top and bottom of the salary range.

Did I mess up by accepting the tentative offer? Is there an opportunity to continue step negotiations after accepting the tentative offer?
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:30 pm

Re: Negotiating GS Step

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

when i negotiated steps, i was told to accept the tentative offer, to start the rest of the process while they worked the step increases.

This has lots of good information:

Also hopefully its not to late, but just so you know you can ask for private sector experience to count towards leave: ... d-service/

was there any information about "recruitment incentive" on the job posting? if so you want to be asking for a step increase combined with recruitment incentive. ... s-lengths/

Also, a lot of the time, the GS pay scale on USAJOBS isn't for your locality.. make sure you look at the scale for your location. ... -schedule/
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