The board approved a salary pool increase of three percent. Why is the general increase given to most staff 2.5 percent?
The three percent pool of funds available for staff salary increases will be used:
1) to ensure staff member pay rates that fall below the new pay range minimums are moved to the new range minimum prior to the application of any other form of pay increase,
2) for general salary increases equivalent to 2.5 percent of current base pay (for most staff), and
3) for equity and merit increases for a limited number of positions across the university.
What positions will be eligible for equity/merit adjustments?
After reviewing survey data for similar positions in the labor market in which we compete for staff (regional and/or national labor market data, depending on the type of position), we identified and prioritized specific positions at Puget Sound that are currently being paid less than what would be competitive in the market. To ensure that we are able to retain staff and/or attract qualified candidates in those areas, some staff members will receive an equity adjustment in addition to the 2.5 percent general increase.
Additionally, some Puget Sound positions may need adjustments based on how they are currently paid compared to other positions at Puget Sound. Reasons for internal equity adjustments may include: two individuals in comparable positions with similar amounts of experience who are currently paid differently; or two individuals in comparable positions with different amounts of experience who are currently paid the same.
The small pool remaining for merit awards is available on a limited basis based on performance in 2011-12 that significantly exceeded the university’s high expectations. Supervisor and department head recommendations are acted on by the senior officer of each division, reviewed by the president, and forwarded to Human Resources for implementation.
What does it mean to be performing below expectations?
Staff members who have been or will be formally apprised of below-expected job performance may not receive the general increase. This includes staff placed on notice of possible termination of employment through the performance review process, a formal performance development plan, or other form of written corrective action. Decisions about these uncommon circumstances will be made by the department head and the division cabinet member in consultation with Human Resources.
What is the lowest general increase that a staff member can expect?
No one will receive an increase of less than 2.5 percent of his or her current base pay rate, unless a staff member has performed below expectations or was hired after March 31, 2012, and notified of ineligibility for a 2012-13 increase at the time of hire.
Does the university always grant general salary increases based on the staff member’s current base pay rate?
No. The funding available for salary increases is recommended by each year’s Budget Task Force, considered by the president, and then forwarded to the board of trustees for approval. Because the funding and overall conditions change from year to year, the allocation plan approved by the president may change accordingly to best address circumstances and strategic objectives.
Do other universities typically award salary increases in this way?
Each organization chooses an approach to salary increases based on its resources, policies, and culture. Some organizations award performance-based increases only, some award across-the-board increases only, and some award flat-dollar or step increases only, while most attempt to annually balance equity, market competitiveness and meritorious performance against available resources by using some combination of these approaches. In some years, organizations are not able to offer salary increases at all. For 2012-13, we seek to recognize the high performance of the staff as a whole through a combination of across-the-board increases, increases to the new pay range minimum, , and equity/merit increases for a limited number of positions across campus.
How do Puget Sound’s staff salary increases compare with other employers?
With this year’s increase, the University of Puget Sound is competitive with other Northwest independent colleges and more generous than public colleges and universities. Of the nine Northwest independent colleges that responded to an April 2012 survey, the median staff salary increase pool is 2.5 percent in 2012-13, less than Puget Sound’s staff salary increase pool of three percent and the same as the 2.5 percent general increase most Puget Sound staff will receive. Most of these institutions have increase pools ranging from two to three percent; one institution is not offering staff increases in 2012-13, and one institution has an increase pool of five percent. Some schools will have across-the-board increases only, some will have equity and/or market adjustments, and some will use a combination of these approaches.
What role does the staff senate compensation committee play in making recommendations to the university?
The staff compensation committee is appointed by the staff senate to present a proposal for staff compensation for approval to the senate, which is then presented to the Budget Task Force for their consideration. After the university budget has been approved by the board of trustees, the committee submits a proposal recommending the distribution of funds available for staff salary increases first to the senate for approval and then to Human Resources.
This year the staff compensation committee proposed to Human Resources that the three percent staff salary increase pool be distributed in the following manner: an across-the-board salary increase of 2.5 percent, 0.25 percent for market/equity increases, and 0.25 percent for merit increases. The committee’s proposal was included in the overall proposal that Human Resources presented to the president’s cabinet. In consultation with Human Resources, the president’s cabinet sought to maximize the amount available for across-the-board increases while still attending to other compensation concerns. After receiving the president’s approval on how the salary increase pool will be distributed, Human Resources met with the staff compensation committee to share the information and answer questions.