Veterans Affairs (GS-13) Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner Job Offer - Room to Negotiate?

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Oct 13, 2014
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I've received my first job offer within the VA system for an ambulatory care pharmacist (PACT pharmacist) position. I've been offered GS-13 step 1 upon completion of my residency. Some additional details:

1) COLA-locality plus position equates to ~$129k
2) PGY-2 trained within the VA system (PGY-1 was elsewhere)
3) Although the plan is to sit for BCACP after start date, I do not have a BPS cert at this time

I am waiting for other offers (if any) to hopefully have "somewhat" of negotiation of step 1 vs step 2, but as some of you may know, the Veterans Health Administration overspent there 2024 budget by ~$1.8 billion, causing many facilities to start out with a deficit in their budget for this year, which has unfortunately pulled many positions that were once available (including my facility).

With all that, is there at least a negotiation to start at step-2 given my 1-year federal position as a resident? I know many areas vary differently, but thought I'd put this up for further discussion to see what others have experienced (especially in this difficult hiring phase).

Any and all feedback is welcome -

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step 1 is a bit low for someone with PGY2....I would think you should get step 2, especially since your PGY2 was in the VA. But then again there's the deficit. I would say it wouldn't hurt to try, but don't count on them saying yes. As far as the board cert, wait until after you are hired and start. Otherwise they may not do the step increase for a board cert that you already have.
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Currently, I'm submitting some documents with some communication that some consideration will take place (sounds like fluff). For my own timeline, I'll post when/if I here back concerning any increase during this year of deficit.
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It depends on the VISN and where your ambulatory clinic is. If you don't want to politic around, get a CBOC. Usually, the 13's are either a supervisory or an independent (CBOC/HBOC/Outreach) position. This position is at terminal grade for your role, so congratulations on hitting your ceiling with your first job.
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This is going to be a CBOC position (which was actually what I was hoping for). Paperwork is being processed and some more consideration has been communicated on increasing to at least a Step-2 (of course until I see it on paper, it doesn't exist).

All other interviews (with the exception of one) ended up cancelling the position(s) due to not being approved, or no longer able to back-fill at there facility. Hopefully by end of month (if not sooner) they'll be able to make a final offer and take what I submitted into account -