Important Update on Salary Increase Program

After careful review and additional research we have decided not to cap maximum salaries.

The SRC/Wage and Salary Committee’s recommendation that we enforce maximum salaries was based on the assumption that caps would free up resources that could be allocated to staff members further down in their salary ranges so they can reach the midpoint of their salary band more quickly. Further review now indicates that the number of staff members who will be at the maximum will be fewer than expected, and therefore the savings gained by enforcing the maximum salary will be relatively small.

However, Human Resources (HR) will still be conducting a market analysis over the next year to ensure that staff positions are placed in the correct career band/level and that our salary ranges are accurately tied to the market. This is very important because beginning in July 2012, we will calculate annual increases on the midpoint—now to be called the “market target”—of the salary range. As we’ve noted in written communications and in open meetings, tying raises to the midpoint rather than individual salaries will enable us to direct more dollars to staff members who are lower in the salary structure. The rest of this memo provides an overview of how this project will unfold over the coming months.

Our first step will be to ensure that we have up-to-date position descriptions for all of our jobs. We know that jobs have changed in the recent past and have been working with managers and supervisors to update job descriptions as the changes occur. This is also a natural part of the performance evaluation process, so some of you are having these conversations right now. In addition, HR will coordinate with managers to ensure that we are working with the most up-to-date job information. We encourage each staff member to take an active role in this process. If you feel that your job description does not reflect your current position, please speak with your supervisor. (You can find the most recent job description that HR has on file for your position online.)

We have set a deadline for updated job descriptions to be received in HR by mid-June, so that we can begin to review positions and make sure they are placed in the correct career bands and levels. Once we have completed the placement process, we will share all of our data with our compensation consultants, Mercer. The professionals at Mercer will research the market data, test and refine the salary structure itself, and confirm range minimums, market targets, and maximums. We expect to have the market analysis back from Mercer in the early part of 2012 and intend to communicate with staff about results of the study by March 2012.

Our primary objective is to confirm that jobs are in the correct career band and level and ensure that our salary structure accurately reflects the market. And we want to conduct this process in a transparent manner. More details about the process will be forthcoming, but in the meantime feel free to contact Human Resources if you would like additional information.

8 thoughts on “Important Update on Salary Increase Program

  1. Arabella Holzapfel

    Thank you! The decision to not cap salaries is very welcome news and I thank you, the SRC, and anyone else involved for coming to it.

    I am curious about the expectations of the upcoming Mercer study. When you say “refine the salary structure itself”, could that entail adding more bands and levels if Mercer feels that too many positions are clustered together when they shouldn’t be? Or is the expectation more to keep the current structure and perhaps reassign positions within it, if necessary? Or is it a possibility to completely revamp it in some way?

  2. Anonymous

    A belated thanks for this decision. Capping salaries would have been a strong incentive for some of our best mid-level employees to seek employment at our peer colleges with traditional salary plans, since mid-career is a perfect time to advance elsewhere. You can’t wait until you hit or near a cap because age and salary level at that point work against you. Staff above the midpoint are already giving up some salary increase for the benefit of all, so this adjustment seems fair and it is a huge boost to morale for long-time, dedicated employees. Thank you for recognizing that the small extra redistribution of money would have been counterproductive in so many ways.

  3. Anonymous

    Following the Trustee meetings last weekend, is there any news you can share regarding the rates for the July 1 staff salary increase amounts?

  4. Jess Isler

    For anyone checking this space for an answer to the above questions about the timing of the announcement for the salary increase pool, I’ll share Drew Macan’s response to my own question on the matter:

    “I expect that the announcement about the salary pool will go out by mid-month (last year, I think it was around June 12th). The communication comes from Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Patrick Norton, and I know that he has it in his plans.”

  5. Tim Spears


    Thanks for the follow up on the questions posed above. I haven’t been ignoring these questions–just trying to clarify when news about the salary increase pool will be shared.

    On that front, I think we can do better than June 12. We’re aiming to get an email out by the end of the week, and it will come from Patrick.

  6. 7m

    I’m loving what you are doing with it. It’s blocked at work (yup, day job); thank god (Steve Jobs, if you ask him) for my IPhone.


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