A number of people commenting on the salary increase plan have expressed concerns or asked questions about the plan to cap maximum salaries and calculate percentage increases on the midpoint of the salary range. I appreciate all this feedback, and want to emphasize the importance of the review that Human Resources will be conducting during the next year to make sure 1) that our salary ranges, bands/levels are accurately tied to the market; 2) that staff positions are placed in the correct band/level. We have undergone a lot of change over two years, and some staff members have seen their jobs change quite a bit as the overall size of the staff has been reduced.
We did not talk in much detail in the open meetings about what this review will look like, but we will certainly be looking at the possibility of expanding the salary ranges, which would shift the minimum, midpoint, and maximum salaries upward. We will pay special attention to the maximum salaries at the bottom end of our wage structure. It is unlikely that staff members in the lower salary ranges will see their wages capped.
Finally, I want to stress that these changes will not go into effect until July 1, 2012, so we have a full year to make sure we get the details right.
What about some form of remuneration for those who will be capped – for example, no rises in benefit premiums for five years? Given that there are so few job ladders at Middlebury for staff, and therefore no chance of promotion (and higher salary), this could be a way to compensate for what will actually be a lower salary if benefit costs rise.
Although a compensation policy has to address broad staffing needs, the revised staff compensation structure seems to be written entirely from the perspective of long-term staff. While maximum caps are something an entry level or simply younger employee can plan around, they are an unacceptable glass ceiling for more recent hires and those in areas of specialized expertise that Midd requires. What kind of incentive is this for staff with highly marketable skills, who’ve patiently waited through a salary freeze, and who may have only newly-acquired 401 (k)s?