Special Salary Adjustments for Administrative (Unclassified) Staff

8520.1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a university decision-making process for all administrative (unclassified) staff base pay wage adjustments other than the general annual increases.  This process includes instituting procedures to ensure that the same decision factors and priorities are consistently applied.

8520.2 Guiding Principles

  • Requests for special salary adjustments for unclassified positions shall be reviewed and pay adjustments may be made in January, May, and September.  In general, wage adjustments for unclassified positions will not be made at any other times.

  • Any request for a special salary action must be based on one or more of the following reasons:

    1. To react to shifts in the competitive labor market (i.e., hiring salary rate) for a specific position or category of positions that are affected by an inequity, and immediate action is required to retain and recruit qualified staff.

    2. To correct pay compression that occurs when the pay difference between supervisors and their higher-level nonsupervisory subordinates becomes narrowed due to a collective bargaining settlement, similar pay adjustment for nonsupervisory employees, or due to other circumstances.

    3. To correct an internal inequity where two or more positions in different parts of the university have substantially the same duties and responsibilities and require equal skills and effort but have substantially different pay rates.

    4. To provide equitable compensation because of a change in the value of a position resulting from a substantial addition of more complex duties or significant expansion of responsibilities that do not constitute a promotion of the incumbent.  The mere assignment of new or additional duties to an existing position is not a sufficient basis for a wage adjustment. Rather, the fundamental purpose and value of the position must be altered.

  • The university will establish an annual budget for special salary wage adjustments.

  • This process is not intended to restrict or limit the right of managers under current university policy and practices to make internal promotions of unclassified staff.  An internal promotion that is not subject to this policy must meet all of the following criteria:

    1. The promotional position is a vacant, budgeted position that is within the same department and that has been filled within the last year, and it is not a new position that is being created or shaped for the individual who is being promoted.

    2. The person being promoted has all of the qualifications that are typical requirements or expectations for individuals who hold comparable positions within this field, both internally and externally.  These qualifications generally will be specified within the position description.

  • If the internal promotion does not satisfy the criteria in paragraph d) above, a new position must be established in accordance with Department of Human Resources procedures.  A salary adjustment shall be determined in accordance with this policy.

8520.3 Implementation Guidelines

Special salary adjustment requests for unclassified staff will be evaluated three times a year, generally in January, May, and September.

  1. A manager who has supervisory responsibility for the position shall submit a completed Request for Special Salary Adjustment form to his/her dean or vice president.  If a request is approved for further consideration, the Request for Special Salary Adjustment form shall be sent to the Department of Human Resources.  An employee cannot request a salary adjustment for himself/herself.

  2. The Department of Human Resources must receive the completed form and any additional information that supports a request not later than April 1 to ensure consideration in May, no later than August 1 to ensure consideration for September, or no later than December 1 to ensure consideration in January.  Download the Request for Special Salary Adjustment Form (PDF), or obtain a paper copy from the Department of Human Resources office.

  3. Staff in the Department of Human Resources shall communicate with appropriate departmental management to clearly identify significant changes in the position or other pay related issues.

  4. If the justification for the request is internal or external equity with other positions, staff in the Department of Human Resources shall research and provide salary data for comparable external and university positions.  A position is considered to be equal to external market rate if it is being compensated within 90 percent of the designated external market rate.

  5. Approved special salary actions are not retroactive.  They will be effective either January 1, May 1 or September 1.

  6. Special salary action pay adjustments generally shall not exceed 10 percent of the employee's current base salary, unless there is substantiation of extenuating circumstances that justify a larger increase.  Funding for market driven equity adjustments will be provided by the compensation pool.  All special salary adjustments for grant funded research positions will be funded 100% by the grant.  Funding for all other special salary adjustments will be funded 50% by the unit/department and 50% by the compensation pool.

  7. Unless there are uncommon justifying reasons, managers must wait at least one year before submitting another special salary adjustment for the same, or essentially the same, position.

  8. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources and the Office of the Provost shall jointly have final decision making authority for all special salary action pay adjustments.

8520.4 Special Salary Adjustment for Contract Research Employees

When a perceived inequity in compensation exists, the principal investigator or supervisor shall forward appropriate documentation to the Department of Human Resources for review.  If the Department of Human Resources agrees that in inequity exists, the documentation will be sent to the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies for final approval.  If disapproved, the recommendation will be returned to the college/school dean.

All salary increases for contract research employees will be funded by the grant and/or the department/unit.  Only with the approval of the Provost will any costs be covered by other university funds.

8520.5 Exceptions

The process set forth in this policy is intended to apply to all wage increases for administrative (unclassified) staff, except the general annual increase and internal promotions.  However, the university recognizes that there may be an unusual exception when it is in the best interest of the university to make an individual wage adjustment such as to retain a valued employee who has received another employment offer.  The Provost must approve all such requests.