I applied and successfully interviewed for a position in a different department in my company. The job was posted on our HR site as a grade 20. I am currently two grades below that, but have been waiting for a promised promotion to an 18 for over 6 months (job grades are even numbers). The problem with the promotion in my current position is that my department is not doing all that well financially and senior managers above mine won't approve the extra $3k to bring my salary up to the bottom of the 18 pay scale (I can't get the 18 grade promotion without being in the 18 pay grade range).
The people in the department that I just interviewed with have given me an oral acceptance and really want me to work for them. However, the HR person hinted that there may be a problem with the grade/pay and said they are "working on it". As I expected, they demoted the position to an 18 since I currently am a 16 and they substantially lowered the starting salary from what was advertised. I told the person with whom I interviewed that I've been waiting for the promotion to 18, but I don't know how much control he has. In contrast to my current department, which has been shrinking over the years, this new group is growing and hiring four new people other than me. Now that they offered me the job at 18, how should I attempt to negotiate being hired at a 20 as the job was originally posted? I have worked for my company for eight years and, despite excellent reviews every year, have not been promoted yet from the 16 where I started and have gotten paltry 2% or less increases in salary each year. My current manager said I've been doing the job of an 18, so I don't think being offered the 20 is unreasonable, especially if that is what they would give someone coming in off the street.