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   Working for the USPTO
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   Author  Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 352095 times)
crazy
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #195 on: Dec 29th, 2005, 5:30pm »
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The SPE from an art unit recommended me for hire, and I have faxed in the necessary paperwork to the technology center's hiring coordinator.  Assuming everything is okay with my paperwork, how long should it take to get an offer? Also, I have heard of people being offered a choice of GS-7 step 10, or GS-9.  I know that at GS-9, you have a higher production, but what are the benefits of starting at 9 if the money is the same?
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Isaac
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #196 on: Dec 29th, 2005, 6:03pm »
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The advantage to being a grade 9 is that you are an exempt employee.  Grade 7 are non-exempt.
One of the issues you can run into during your probation period is trying to make production.  Non exempt employees are legally prohibited from working overtime.  While in the old days this was not much of an issue because nobody was really watching, the new security system allows your time in and out of the building to be monitored.  If you get into a production squeeze, you still are not allowed to work more than 40 hours until you are GS-9 or higher.
 
Another issue is that some milestones are triggered by grade level, and as a GS-9 you are one year further up that chain of promotion.
 
It is true that as a 7 step 10, your pay is about the same as a 9 step 1.  But when you get promoted, you go from
7 step 10 to 9 step 5 or something like that.  Your promotion from step 9 to step 11 would probably result in more money than the promotion from 7 step 10.
 
But of course your production goals are related to GS level.  Going from GS-7 to GS-9 is a bearable increase, but I know of a few GS-9's who seriously considered not taking the promotion to  GS-11.
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Isaac
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #197 on: Dec 29th, 2005, 7:11pm »
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Thanks for the help Isaac.  You said going from GS-7 to GS-9 was bearable, but what about starting out as a 9, is that bearable.  I have a friend there who started as a 7 and is doing fine, but I think I would like a jump on the career track.  Any advice is appreciated.
 
Also, you mentioned that it is impossible for GS-7 to work overtime.  Does this mean that one cannot work unpaid hours to reach production quotas?
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Isaac
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #198 on: Dec 29th, 2005, 8:36pm »
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You can work overtime with the permission of your SPE who will expect production commeasurate with the increased hours.
 
The rule though is that it is illegal for GS-7 examiners to work unpaid overtime to meet production or for any other reason.  You will sign a statement every two weeks acknowledging this policy.
 
Basically, you are expected to ramp your production up to during the first year.  Somewhere around the 9 month point, your SPE will want to see you near 100%.
A GS-7 in a computer related area needs to get 7 counts every two weeks, while a GS-9 needs to acheive 8 counts.  The difference is not really all that earth shattering.
 
It's also possible to get a promotion at the 6 month point if you are producing.
« Last Edit: Dec 29th, 2005, 9:06pm by Isaac » IP Logged

Isaac
crazy
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #199 on: Dec 29th, 2005, 9:29pm »
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on Dec 29th, 2005, 8:26pm, RogersDA wrote:

 
Also, if you need overtime to reach production at a lower GS-level then how do you expect to reach production at higher GS-levels?  You are not allowed to work overtime unless your production is at or very near 100%, anyway.  The idea is that you are getting paid X dollars to make 100%.  The USPTO does not expect to pay you X+Y dollars to get 100%.  They will pay you X+Y to reach 110%, though.

 
Does the current system assume that whenever you are in the building you are working?  I'm a workaholic, and I do not like leaving things unfinished.  If it takes an extra hour to finish something before I go home, then that's what I do.  Are you saying that if I spend 4 hrs doing something that is suppose to take 3, it will lower my production even if I don't ask to get paid for the extra hour?
 
If the government wants the patents reviewed, they should have a  system where you are asked to work 40 hours and maintain 100% production to be in good standing.  Then award overtime based on any production over 100%.
 
Also, does anyone know how long it takes HR to send out an offer once you have gotten the nod from the Tech center?
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