Pay Administration Handbook

Introduction

Syracuse University’s compensation philosophy is to:

  • Recruit, retain, and reward a talented and effective staff.
  • Recognize staff’s value and contributions to the University.
  • Reward staff for performance.
  • Manage pay through a flexible and less bureaucratic system.
  • Ensure fair and consistent administration in all units across the University.

The guidelines in this handbook provide the framework for managing pay under this system. They are fairly broad, to provide managers/supervisors with the flexibility necessary to make appropriate decisions.

Managers/supervisors, staff, and HR all have roles to play in managing pay effectively and consistently, as outlined in the following pages. Human Resources stands ready to assist wherever needed, and managers /supervisors are encouraged to seek guidance from HR to ensure pay is managed appropriately and consistently with SU’s philosophy.

Roles and Responsibilities

Human Resources, managers/supervisors, and staff all have a role to play in maintaining the compensation program and ensuring that all the pieces of the program are managed appropriately.

Human Resources

The Human Resources department serves as a resource to SU’s managers/supervisors. Specifically, HR has several important roles and responsibilities:

    • Communicate programs and guidelines to help managers/supervisors to understand all aspects of the compensation program.
    • Provide (internal and external) information, data, and advice on pay levels, policies, and practices.
    • Provide expert guidance, perspective, and support to enable managers/supervisors to make appropriate pay decisions.
    • Review compensation decisions to identify and address any significant variations in practices both within and among units.
    • Keep senior administration aware of compensation practices across SU.

Managers/Supervisors

Managers/supervisors play a critical role in managing the compensation program because they will make pay recommendations and will be the first line of communication with employees. Managers/supervisors are responsible and accountable for the following:

      • Establishing and maintaining equitable pay practices within their areas of responsibility.
      • Recommending hiring rates and advancement increases.
      • Distributing performance-based pay increases, consistent with SU’s compensation philosophy, market factors, budget constraints, and approval processes.
      • Ensuring staff understand the compensation program and any future changes.
      • Providing open, honest, and timely feedback to staff on compensation issues, answering both specific and general questions about pay.
      • Working with staff to keep Position Evaluation Requests current.
      • Using HR as a resource to ensure appropriateness of decisions and consistency with broad pay guidelines.

Staff members

While staff members are not responsible for making pay decisions or actively managing the compensation program, they do have other important responsibilities:

        • Understanding the compensation program by using the tools and resources SU makes available (e.g. written materials, town meetings, HR web site).
        • Discussing questions or concerns with their manager/supervisor and/or HR.
        • Working with their manager/supervisor to keep their Position Evaluation Request (PER) updated.
        • Actively seek information and ask questions so as to understand decisions about their pay.

Staff Compensation Structure

SU’s staff compensation structure comprises six job categories that define distinct roles at the University and corresponding broad pay bands. This approach has many benefits, both for SU and for staff members:

        • Provides broad guidelines, not specific rules, for managing pay so that managers/supervisors can make pay decisions that are consistent with SU’s compensation philosophy, yet tailored to the needs of the different units on campus.
        • Allows for broad job design, by enabling rewards to be aligned with actual responsibilities.
        • Supports career development by recognizing advancement within a job or job category, as well as to a position in a higher category.
        • Simplifies the process of managing pay.

The pay bands for staff job categories were developed through a detailed analysis of market compensation levels for benchmark jobs across the University. Benchmark jobs are those jobs that are typical in the market and for which reliable pay data is available. Data for benchmark jobs is widely used by compensation specialists to help establish competitive pay bands.

SU will maintain the competitiveness of the staff compensation structure by reviewing the market trends annually and, when appropriate, making adjustments to the structure to reflect market pay levels.

Job Classification

Jobs are classified into the staff compensation structure by matching the duties of the job with the category descriptions. The job is assigned to the category that best fits with the job’s actual responsibilities (not the job title). The Job Classification Model descriptions for each of the six categories are shown in the Appendix.

Position Evaluation Request (PER) Form

The Position Evaluation Request (PER) documents the roles and responsibilities of each position at SU, providing important information for determining a position’s appropriate category and providing the basis for annual performance review discussions.

The process for classifying a new or existing job is as follows:

        1. The manager/supervisor completes a Position Evaluation Request (PER) for the new position, and suggests a job category. If the job is being created or expanded for a current staff member, he or she will participate in writing the PER.
        2. The PER is reviewed by the appropriate dean/director for consistency within the school/college or administrative department.
        3. The PER is then electronically forwarded to HR for confirmation of the job category. Any disagreements will be discussed and resolved through consensus.
        4. If the disagreement cannot be resolved in this manner, the matter will be referred to the appropriate cabinet officer for a final decision.
        5. Managers/supervisors and staff members are jointly responsible for developing a PER for each position at SU and for ensuring that it remains updated.

Determining Appropriate Pay

The broad pay bands that correspond to the staff job categories have been designed to allow considerable flexibility in managing pay, while maintaining market competitive pay opportunities. The pay bands are broad enough to support pay decisions in a wide variety of circumstances.

The process for determining appropriate pay adjustments is an internal matter to be decided by budgetary units. Most pay decisions will be reviewed at the dean/vice president level to ensure consistency within the unit and to assess budgetary impact.

Pay decisions should focus primarily on experience, skills, and performance and secondarily on funding sources. Sometimes a higher starting pay or pay increase is necessary to compensate for accepting a temporary, fixed-term appointment, but for the most part, pay decisions should be made using the guidelines described below.

Paying within the band

Managers/supervisors have considerable flexibility in determining the appropriate pay level within a job’s pay band. However, it is SU’s policy that no staff member will be paid below the minimum of the pay band without exception. There is, however, flexibility to pay above the maximum of the pay band. Any recommendations for pay above the maximum must be approved by the appropriate cabinet officer.

Starting Pay

        • Part-time pay: Pay for part-time staff is managed under the same guidelines as for regular full-time employees, with adjustments for the reduced work schedule.A staff member in a non-exempt job who works part-time will be paid the regular hourly wage for the position, multiplied by the number of hours actually worked. Staff members in non-exempt jobs will be eligible for overtime in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (i.e., overtime is payable for hours worked in excess of 40 per week).An exempt part-time job should be assigned to the appropriate job category as if it were a full-time job. The staff member’s skills and competencies should be assessed as if he/she were working full-time and an appropriate annualized pay level determined. Once the pay level is determined, it should be pro-rated to reflect the agreed-to hours, as shown in the illustration below:
          Assumptions
          Annual full-time base salary $30,000
          Full-time work week 5 days
          Scheduled days per week 3 days
          Part-Time Percentage (3 divided by 5) 60%
          Calculation of Annual Part-Time Salary
          Annual full-time salary $30,000
          Times percentage of FT week x 60% (3/5 of a week)
          Actual annual pay $18,000

          If a part-time staff member in an exempt job works beyond the scheduled time, he/she is not eligible for overtime pay according to the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. If the staff member consistently works beyond the scheduled hours, his/her manager/supervisor should discuss the reasons and determine an appropriate solution. Some reasons could include increased workload or lack of resources. If the work schedule on which the prorated salary was originally based consistently proves not to meet the needs of the department, the schedule should be renegotiated and the pay recalculated accordingly.

It is important to establish the appropriate starting pay for a new staff member. The goal is to recognize the skills, experience, and competencies that the individual brings to the job as well as to set an appropriate baseline for future pay decisions.

When a person joins the University staff, the hiring manager has the authority to pay anywhere within the pay band of the job’s category. The hiring manager should consider a number of factors when making this pay decision:

        • Candidate’s skills and experience
        • The market for the position
        • Equity within the unit
        • Budget constraints

Assistance from Human Resources

Human Resources is available to provide information, market data, and guidance in making pay decisions, and managers/supervisors are encouraged to consult with HR. In cases where specific market data is unavailable, HR will be prepared to assist managers/supervisors in evaluating the circumstances and developing an appropriate pay recommendation. HR is also responsible for ensuring starting salaries are appropriately set and, in that capacity, will monitor hiring pay levels and report unusual decisions to the appropriate cabinet officer and the Chancellor.

Pay Practices (base)

The following are guidelines and some examples to assist hiring managers in making base pay decisions under typical circumstances.

Performance-based increases

SU’s philosophy is to reward staff for their contributions to the University. The most common way managers/supervisors can do this is through performance-based salary increases.

Each year, a budget is developed that establishes the total amount of money available for performance-based increases. While the budget amount is expressed as a percentage of payroll, it is important that managers/supervisors not simply apply this percentage across the board.

Performance-based increases are not entitlements. The increases should be aligned with the staff member’s level of performance. A careful and thorough assessment of the individual’s performance through the performance review process should be conducted before an increase recommendation is developed. The recommendation should then be adjusted, as necessary, based on market pay levels and resources available for pay increases.

Consistently high performers should be rewarded more generously than average performers. Poor performers should receive a smaller increase or, potentially, no increase. The manager/supervisor is responsible for working with the staff member to improve performance. HR is available to assist with the performance evaluation process and in developing appropriate pay recommendations.

Discretionary pay increases

Discretionary increases in base pay are performance-based increases that may occur at any time during the year. Managers/supervisors have the authority to grant discretionary pay increases within budget constraints and with approval from the appropriate cabinet officer. Potential discretionary increases should be discussed with HR to ensure compatibility with the market and consistency with SU pay guidelines. Managers/supervisors are encouraged to conduct a special interim performance review to document the performance that led to the granting of a discretionary pay increase, to be filed with the HR office.

Determining increases for job advancement/change

SU strives to provide opportunities for staff members to advance in their careers. The compensation program supports advancement by providing managers/supervisors with significant flexibility in making pay decisions, based on individual circumstances.

The following staff performance assessment model may be helpful in making advancement increase decisions. To use the model, read all the criteria, assess the staff member in the context of each criterion, and plot the assessment on the corresponding line. After plotting each of the four criteria, a pattern is likely to appear. This pattern will help managers/supervisors to make increase recommendations. Examples can be found in the appendix.

Staff Performance Assessment Model

Provided below is guidance for handling a number of job advancement/change situations.

The pay opportunity associated with each will depend on the specific job and, if applicable, the level of increased skill and competency it requires. There are no specific formulas for determining the appropriate level of pay, other than remaining within the category pay band. HR is available to assist managers/supervisors in determining appropriate pay levels.

Expanded responsibilities in a current position

Staff members can advance by taking on additional responsibilities in their current job.

While this type of advancement generally does not result in a category change, SU wants to reward such advancement whenever appropriate. Managers/supervisors may set a pay level anywhere in the band, based on the staff member’s skill, experience, and capabilities. The guidelines in the table below can help managers/supervisors make recommendations for pay increases.

Moving to a position in the same category

Advancement can also occur by taking a new position in the same job category. This type of movement enables the staff member to become more versatile and more broadly skilled, contributes to his or her value to SU, and may eventually lead to advancement to a higher job category.

While this type of advancement may or may not involve assuming greater responsibilities, SU wants to reward such diversification whenever appropriate. Managers/supervisors may set a pay level anywhere in the band, based on the staff member’s skill, experience, and capabilities. The guidelines in the table below can help managers/supervisors make those pay decisions.

Criteria Advancement Increase
(Depending on available resources)
  • Just noticeable difference in responsibilities.
  • New responsibilities are closely related to current responsibilities and require no specific additional training.
Modest
  • Responsibilities add noticeably to job requirements.
  • New responsibilities are somewhat different than current responsibilities and may require some training.
Moderate
  • Responsibilities add a major component to the job requirements.
  • New responsibilities may be very different from current responsibilities and may require training.
Substantial

Moving to a position in a higher category

Assuming a position in a higher job category involves taking on significantly greater responsibilities. It usually warrants a pay increase to recognize these additional responsibilities and to ensure that the staff member’s pay is consistent with market.

Managers/supervisors have the authority to set the pay level anywhere in the category band, based on the staff member’s skill, experience, and capabilities. Since circumstances vary and each advancing staff member has a different pay history, it is important to consider multiple factors when making pay decisions relating to advancement. Some of the factors that should be considered are:

        • The staff member’s current level of performance compared to expectations.
        • The staff member’s current pay level.
        • The staff member’s pay compared to peers in the new job category with similar skills, knowledge, and competencies.
        • The importance (and possible scarcity) of the staff member’s skills to SU.
        • The depth and breadth of the staff member’s skills.

If the recommended pay increase is significant, it may be appropriate to phase in the increase over a period of time. Managers/supervisors may want to consult with HR for guidance.

Moving to a position in a lower category

It may at times be necessary for a staff member to transfer to a position in a lower job category. This most likely will occur as a result of a more appropriate fit between the staff member and the skills and competencies of a job in the lower category.

In this case, the staff member will retain his/her current pay, but once assigned to the lower job category, pay will be managed within the parameters of the pay band for that job category.

Transitioning to a new position/probation

When an individual is hired at SU, or when a staff member begins a new job within the University, the first 90 days are considered the minimal period of transition for both exempt and non-exempt staff. The staff member is learning the job, understanding performance expectations, becoming accustomed to the University culture and meeting new colleagues. Because the University has many positions with varying levels of complexity, the transition period may vary depending on the job and the person. In some instances, this period may last up to one year, at the discretion of the department.

Typically, new staff members transition successfully through this 90-day (or longer) period. Occasionally, a staff member discovers that his or her position is not a good fit and may opt to move to another job within the University or even leave SU. If performance is a problem, the individual may be terminated. The staff member’s manager/supervisor is responsible for helping make the transition to SU and his or her job a success. The manager/supervisor is expected to have frequent discussions with the staff member about his or her job, the department and work processes, and ensure that the staff member has the resources and guidance he or she needs to be successful in the job. Any potential performance issues should be discussed as soon as they are identified and an action plan should be developed with the staff member.

Non-exempt staff

In the case of non-exempt staff, a formal discussion must be held after 90 days to ensure that both the staff member and the manager/supervisor have discussed the transition and any areas for improvement. This discussion should be documented on the Probationary Assessment Form and filed with HR. If there are areas for improvement, the manager/supervisor is responsible for working with the staff member to develop a plan for making these improvements. This should be a clear, specific plan and should indicate what training and/or resources are required.

There is generally no pay action related to a non-exempt staff member completing the transition period. However, the manager/supervisor has the flexibility to provide a pay increase if he or she feels the staff member’s performance and contributions warrant it (see discretionary pay increases).

Pay Rate Reduction Policy
Supervisors, managers and department heads, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, have the discretion to reduce a staff member’s pay in the case of:

  • Voluntary transfers to a lower-classified position.
  • Reclassification of a staff member’s position to a lower pay category based on reorganization or budget exigencies where the prospect of accepting a lower rated/lower paying position is an alternative to termination or layoff.

Supervisors, managers and department heads, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, have the discretion to freeze a staff member’s pay for an appropriate period or mitigate the reduction in combination with some period of pay freeze.Issues concerning poor performance or poor productivity are best addressed through the performance partnership and merit raise process including coaching, training, remediation, and goal-setting with timetables for improvement, and freezing pay if appropriate until performance/productivity improves and/or goals are met. More serious performance deficiencies may require disciplinary action up to and including termination. –>

Special pay practices (non-base)

Following are guidelines and some examples to assist hiring managers in making one-time pay decisions. There is no addition to base pay and payments are discontinued once the special circumstance no longer exists.

Temporary/acting pay

When staff members temporarily fill in for a higher-paid position or assume significant duties in addition to their regular job, a temporary pay increase may be appropriate. Any proposal to temporarily increase a staff member’s pay under these circumstances should be discussed with HR.

Shift differential

Some University operations provide around-the-clock services or require work schedules outside the normal workday. Examples include computer operations staff in ITS, nurses and nurse practitioners in Health Services, and Public Safety officers. Any proposals to supplement the wages of non-exempt staff scheduled to work non-traditional hours should be discussed with HR.

Variable Pay Program (non-base)

In keeping with its philosophy of providing managers/supervisors with greater flexibility in rewarding staff, SU has a Variable Pay Program. The program was conceived as an incentive and retention tool that will provide a non-base option for one-time compensation of non-faculty exempt and non-exempt staff whose performance is outstanding in special, non-recurring circumstances. Bargaining unit staff are not eligible for variable pay awards under their current contract.

It is important to understand that this program is not intended to reward sustained excellent performance within the scope of one’s job – such performance is more properly recognized with substantial increases to base pay (see “Staff Performance Assessment Model“). The Variable Pay Program provides an option for recognizing significant one-time accomplishments deserving of reward, but not in the form of a base salary increase that remains a part of the staff member’s annual compensation for the length of his/her employment at SU.

The guidelines provided here will give you a starting point from which you may develop your own program to suit the particular needs of your operation. HR is available to assist in all phases of developing a Variable Pay Program.

Administering the program

HR is available to assist departments in developing simple, easy to manage processes for administering Variable Pay. Some basics are:

        • Involve participants in setting the goals where possible.
        • Keep participants well informed so that they can fully understand the intentions of the program and how their own performance will contribute to goal achievement and earn them an award.
        • Assess performance and determine eligibility by analyzing the impact of individuals and/or teams on desired outcomes, processes, or efforts leading to the outcome (“line-of-sight”) relative to goals/expectations.

Evaluating effectiveness

It would be helpful to conduct a “post-mortem” once the performance period is completed and the awards have been distributed. This is particularly important if the program is intended to continue beyond one award cycle, so that necessary modifications can be made to maximize effectiveness (HR is available to assist).

Some of the questions to ask are:

        • Was the desired level of performance achieved? If so, are there indications that the Variable Pay Program contributed to it? If not, what are the reasons?
        • Was the program (performance goals, award levels, processes, etc) appropriately communicated to participants? Did participants understand the program and how their individual performance would impact the desired results and their payouts?
        • Did participants feel that the awards were commensurate with the performance expectations?
        • Were the appropriate staff members/jobs eligible for the program?

There are two variable pay models: retrospective and prospective.

Retrospective Model

A retrospective variable pay award recognizes extraordinary performance after the fact. The criteria and award levels are identified after the performance has occurred.

Implementing and managing the retrospective model

        • Managers/supervisors assess performance relative to job expectations by analyzing the impact of individuals and/or teams on desired outcomes, processes, or efforts leading to the outcome.
        • Managers/supervisors determine the appropriate award (HR is available to assist) and secure the appropriate approvals (see “Variable pay award size, funding, and benefits impact“).

Example

        • The work assignments of a key staff member who is out of work for an extended period of time (e.g. disability) are distributed to other staff so that important project milestones are met. This adds significantly to their workload as they continue to perform their own work in addition to that of the missing staff member.
        • A storm on Labor Day 1998 caused significant damage to campus property and disrupted services. Salaried staff participated in the after-storm cleanup, in addition to their own regular work responsibilities.

Prospective Model

A prospective variable pay award is based on planned performance related to a project/initiative or other type of anticipated work. The intent is to generate higher levels of performance and reward people for their role in achieving these levels. Actual performance is evaluated by comparing it to planned performance. Awards are based on this comparison. Prospective variable pay awards are used mainly for incentive and retention purposes. Much more preparation is involved in using the a prospective model.

Implementing and managing the prospective model

Preparation

        • Determine if a prospective variable pay award would positively impact performance or otherwise enhance results for a planned project/initiative.
        • Determine the goals/objectives and performance levels necessary to achieve desired outcomes. Establish criteria for earning prospective variable pay awards and the award levels (HR is available to assist).
        • Managers/supervisors develop (HR is available to assist) and submit a proposal to the director or department head, who will submit it to the appropriate dean or cabinet officer for approval. The proposal should document goals and expectations for performance overall and on an individual/team level, including:
          • desired outcomes
          • processes, activities, and resources needed to achieve the outcomes
          • method and criteria against which performance will be evaluated
        • Communicate the purpose to staff. It is imperative that participants have a good understanding of the broad objectives the department is attempting to achieve, as well as the more specific, individualized objectives that he/she can contribute to. Without this understanding, the performance levels achieved are unlikely to be maximized.

Example

        • A prospective variable pay award was developed to address retention issues related to a multi-year client-server conversion project that significantly impacted University operations and required considerable sustained attention to the project activities and deadlines. The program was successful in assuring retention of key staff for the duration of this critical project by rewarding them for their exceptional efforts.

Variable pay award size, funding, and benefits impact

The following processes apply for both retrospective and prospective variable pay models, unless otherwise noted.

Award approval process

        • Proposals for prospective variable pay awards and nominations for retrospective awards, including the suggested funding source, must be approved by the dean, director, or department head, who will forward them to the appropriate cabinet officer for review, additional consultation with HR if necessary, and approval.
        • Cabinet officers who have an indirect reporting line to the Chancellor should secure the approval of their immediate supervisors.
        • Proposals originating from the Chancellor’s office may be approved by the Chancellor, or by the senior vice president for Human Services and Government Relations on the Chancellor’s behalf.

Award size

        • Managers/supervisors are encouraged to confer with HR to determine an appropriate target award amount, considering factors such as magnitude and value of the performance expectations, contributions/potential contributions of individual staff members, competitive pay practices, department budget, practices in similar situations in other departments, etc.
        • The minimum award under the variable pay program is $500.

Funding

        • Awards payable under the program will come from the department’s budget or the project budget as appropriate. Approval of the suggested funding source is necessary and will occur during the approval process noted above.Potential department funding sources include:
          • Departmental budget
            • general operating
            • personnel categories, e.g. a percentage of the annual increase
          • Vacancy credit
          • Carryover
          • Restricted funds for which such awards would be permitted

Funding a Variable Pay Program from a project budget requires the approval of the cabinet officer(s) with spending authority for that budget.

        • In the case of Prospective awards, managers/supervisors should determine in advance the maximum amount needed to fund the program if all expectations are met, and ensure that the funds will be available.

Benefits impact

        • Variable pay awards are not eligible for the University’s contribution to TIAA-CREF. They are subject to a flat percent tax withholding rate (approximately 40% in 2006). This information should be communicated to participants and taken into account by managers/supervisors when contemplating the amount of a variable pay award.
          Note: A listing of the earnings types that are eligible and ineligible for the University’s contribution to TIAA-CREF and the earnings types which are subject to the flat withholding rate appears in the Appendix.

Setting expectations and performance criteria for variable pay awards

Here are a few guidelines to help you define performance criteria and expectations for a Variable Pay Program.

Setting expectations

The measure of extraordinary performance begins with the identification of performance expectations. Performance expectations should be prioritized and:

        • Measurable – quantitatively, or as the way something is accomplished, or as a contributing factor to the results (or all of the above).
        • Attainable yet provide for a stretch – managers/supervisors and staff discuss what is expected and what would be considered outstanding performance.
        • Time specific – defined/driven by the project/event.
        • Agreed upon – in the case of prospective variable pay awards, discussion between managers/supervisors and staff is critical to ensure an understanding of what the expectations are and the potential rewards.
        • Based on results not activities – rewards should be linked to results that are both defined up front and agreed to by managers/supervisor and staff members (prospective awards), or acknowledged after the fact (retrospective awards).

Performance criteria

The table below illustrates criteria for defining on-track, exceptional, and outstanding performance. For outstanding performance, worthy of the highest award level you have established in your Variable Pay Program, the elements in the last column should be well represented.

Performance Criteria Table

APPENDIX

Examples – Assessment Model

Here are a few examples of how to use the assessment model to help you determine advancement increases.



Staff Job Classification Model Descriptions

Staff II

Staff members in this category:

        • exercise some independent judgment in following instructions, established policies, and procedures to perform a variety of routine and some non-routine tasks in office or non-office settings.
        • take actions that may affect their own unit and/or succeeding operations.
        • interact with others primarily to interpret and exchange non-controversial information/data.
        • demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills and use basic desktop computer technology (e.g., word processing software, spreadsheets), telephone systems and/or laboratory techniques (e.g., equipment setup, solution preparation, or other activities).
        • may be responsible for maintaining a variety of records and/or monitoring some expenses.
        • require specific direction; however, they occasionally work autonomously with a supervisor available to answer questions or handle unusual situations.

Positions in this category generally require a high school degree plus additional specialized training, coursework or skill acquisition related to the position plus up to three years of relevant experience.

Staff III

Staff members in this category:

        • exercise some independent judgment and discretion within established policies and procedures to analyze facts or circumstances surrounding problems or transactions and take appropriate action.
        • make recommendations/decisions that affect those individuals directly involved.
        • interact with others to integrate, interpret and exchange information/data where some difference of opinion may exist.
        • have well-developed oral and written communication skills.
        • are proficient in the use of techniques, tools and software (e.g., research and compose correspondence, create graphics files, run laboratory experiments, fabricate equipment or other activities) that are appropriate to their area(s) of specialization. In-depth knowledge of a particular topic may be required (e.g., employee benefit options, academic program requirements, student housing policies, or other topics).
        • organize their own work and manage their own time; work is checked largely for progress toward completion of assignments.

Some staff members in this category:

        • are responsible for modifying a variety of records.
        • monitor expenses and/or recommend expenditures.
        • provide work direction for others.

Positions in this category generally require a two-year degree, business or trade school degree, or certification in a specialized field plus up to three years of relevant experience.

Staff IV

Staff members in this category:

        • rely on independent judgment to coordinate resources and initiate actions within established guidelines to achieve unit/departmental objectives.
        • make recommendations/decisions that may affect activities, programs, groups, and/or departmental operations.
        • generally interact with others to analyze information/data, provide advice, opinions, and counsel utilizing problem solving skills (e.g., instructional activities, financial aid, admissions, career development counseling or other activities).
        • use well-developed analytical, technical, computer and/or oral and written communication skills.
        • may have input into the budget planning process and/or responsibility for controlling and recommending budget expenditures within their own area.
        • receive general direction and participate in setting work objectives; guidance is limited to results expected.

Individual contributors in this category (employees in jobs that have no supervisory responsibilities):

        • use fundamental concepts, practices, and procedures of their specialty field to provide administrative support, or use fundamental technical capabilities and skills to perform tasks in an assigned area.

Supervisors in this category:

        • oversee routine operations for a unit, program(s), or project(s).
        • provide input on employment and termination decisions (hiring, advancements, salary increases, termination, performance reviews).

Positions in this category generally require a two- or four-year degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience plus up to three years of relevant experience. Some positions may require thorough knowledge of a technical or specialized field (e.g., accounting, computer science, higher education administration, nursing, or other fields).

Staff V

Staff members in this category:

        • interpret, plan and execute their work within general guidelines to achieve departmental objectives.
        • make decisions that affect schools/colleges or major departments.
        • are a resource to help resolve complex issues and generally work with other areas/departments/work units to achieve objectives.
        • use well-developed analytical, cognitive, technical, and/or computer skills.
        • may use persuasion and negotiation skills.
        • may have input into the budget planning process and may be responsible for controlling and recommending budget expenditures within their own area.
        • independently perform assignments; work is evaluated on results achieved.

Individual contributors in this category:

        • apply or impart their own experience and the advanced concepts, practices, and procedures of their specialty field to achieve objectives.

Supervisors in this category:

        • manage routine operations for a unit, department, or program(s).
        • are responsible for making employment and termination decisions or recommendations (e.g., hiring, advancements, salary increases, termination, performance reviews).

Positions in this category generally require a four-year degree, possibly an advanced degree, or an equivalent combination of education and experience plus three to five years of relevant experience.

Staff VI

Staff members in this category:

        • are generally expected to interpret and apply University policies, manage resources and initiate actions to achieve broadly defined objectives.
        • provide input into strategic decisions that affect planning, policies, practices, and operations for a department, function and/or school/college.
        • in addition to using highly developed analytical, technical, computer, oral, and written communication skills, use high-level persuasion and negotiation skills.
        • provide input into the budget planning process and are responsible for controlling and recommending budget expenditures within their own area.
        • have full responsibility for interpreting, organizing, and executing assignments.
        • receive limited direction typically related to complex projects/situations.

Individual contributors in this category:

        • apply expert knowledge of concepts, practices, and procedures of specialty field(s) to achieve objectives.

Supervisors in this category:

        • manage a department, unit, or major project(s).
        • are responsible for employment and termination decisions (hiring, advancements, salary increases, termination, performance reviews).

Positions in this category generally require a four-year degree, possibly an advanced degree, or an equivalent combination of education and experience plus five to eight years of relevant experience.

Staff VII

Staff members in this category:

        • lead a major department or multiple departments; develop strategies, design policies and deploy resources to achieve objectives.
        • make decisions that affect more than one school/college or department and sometimes the entire University.
        • apply highly developed creative and problem solving skills and use high-level persuasion and negotiation skills.
        • are accountable for budget planning and controlling expenditures.
        • have substantial latitude for independent action.

Positions in this category generally require a four-year degree, possibly an advanced degree, or an equivalent combination of education and experience plus eight or more years of relevant experience.

Pension Eligible Earnings

Not all earnings are eligible for the University’s 10 percent contribution to the TIAA-CREF pension fund, nor will voluntary contributions be taken on all types of earnings. In addition, some earnings are subject to the IRS flat tax of 40 percent. The following eligibility rules and IRS regulations apply.

Earnings eligible for the University 10 percent contribution

        • Regular earnings
        • Prior period regular earnings
        • Regular rate adjustment
        • Summer earnings (faculty)
        • Summer session
        • Vacation – including unused vacation pay upon termination
        • Advance vacation
        • Holiday
        • Floating holiday
        • Personal business
        • Training
        • Sick pay
        • Disability
        • Salary continuation and long term disability
        • Worker’s compensation
        • Jury duty
        • Military leave
        • Funeral leave
        • Excused with pay
        • Union business
        • Shift differentials*
        • Working out of classification (bargaining unit only)*
        • Temporary leader/acting supervisor (bargaining unit only)* Flat amount

* Temporary part-time earnings above 1,000 hours (as determined by HR).

*applies only to straight-time earnings

Earnings ineligible for the University 10 percent contribution

        • Straight time overtime
        • Overtime at time and one-half or double time
        • Extra service
        • Overload
        • Other earnings
        • Pay in lieu of notice
        • Severance pay
        • Supported resignation
        • Sick pay bonus
        • Awards:- Variable pay awards- Allowances for DIPA, housing, meals, moving, auto expense, adoption, etc.

The following ineligible earnings are also taxed at a flat 40 percent withholding rate per IRS regulations

        • Extra service
        • Overload
        • Severance pay
        • Supported resignation
        • Sick pay bonus
        • Variable pay awards:

Voluntary Contributions

If an individual has elected to make a voluntary contribution to his or her TIAA-CREF account, that contribution will be deducted from all earnings that are eligible for the University’s 10 percent contribution, as listed above. Voluntary contributions will not be deducted from earnings ineligible for the University’s 10 percent contribution.

Glossary of Terms

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – This Act protects “qualified individuals with a disability” from discrimination in employment. Qualified individuals are those who can perform the essential functions of a job with or without reasonable accommodations. The ADA requires employers to ensure that job duties and job requirements, especially those pertaining to the physical/environmental aspects of the job, are valid and do not represent an artificial barrier to disabled individuals.

base pay – The amount of money you can expect to earn working your regular schedule without any overtime, extra pay, fringe benefits or deductions (see total compensation).

benchmark job – A job that is defined in the same way, or nearly the same way, across many organizations and for which market pay comparisons can be made simply by using the job’s title or a short description (such as accounts payable clerk).

competencies – Behaviors that contribute to and predict superior performance, i.e., how one performs a job rather than what is done.

discretionary pay increase – A performance-based increase to base pay that may be awarded at any time during the year with cabinet officer approval.

exempt – A term defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (see below). Jobs are designated as exempt if they are exempt from the overtime provisions of this federal labor law. An employee who works in an exempt job will be a salaried employee (see salaried).

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – This federal labor law established minimum wage and overtime compensation (time and one-half one’s regular rate of pay for hours over 40 worked in one week). The FLSA defines three types of work that employers may pay on a salaried basis regardless of the number of hours worked: executive, administrative and professional. These jobs are referred to as “exempt” because they are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Act. Exempt jobs must meet certain job content criteria, limit the amount of “non-exempt” type work required in the position, and pay at least the minimum salary established by the Act (see overtime pay).

hourly – Staff members whose earnings are based on an hourly rate (see non-exempt).

job category – A designation for differentiating between roles and responsibilities across positions.

job classification – A grouping of jobs having similar duties and responsibilities and assigned to the same job category.

job classification system – A technique to assess the relative value or contribution of positions in an organization.

position evaluation request – A statement of the duties and responsibilities for a specific position or individual job.

market study – An analysis to determine the rates other organizations pay for specific jobs. (See salary survey)

non-exempt – A term defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (see above). Jobs are designated as “non-exempt” if they are subject to the overtime provisions of this federal labor law. An employee who works in a non-exempt job will be paid on an hourly basis. (See hourly and overtime pay)

overtime pay – The practice of paying non-exempt (or hourly) employees time and one-half their regular rate of pay for hours over 40 worked in one week.

pay administration – An organization’s policies and guidelines for setting and adjusting rates of pay.

pay band – The upper and lower salary limits that may be paid for a particular job category.

pay equity – A concept that refers to internal or external equity. Internal equity is the fairness of one’s pay relative to others performing similar work, taking into account differences in performance, length of service or other factors.

External equity is the competitiveness or fairness of an organization’s salaries relative to the external labor market.

pay for performance – A reward system that relates pay to an individual’s fulfillment of expectations or objectives. (See performance-based increase)

performance-based increase – A pay increase typically granted annually that rewards an individual’s performance or accomplishments in the prior period. A performance-based increase amount/percentage can vary from employee to employee based on his or her performance and other factors. (See pay for performance)

performance review – The step in the performance management process in which a supervisor evaluates his or her employee’s performance and achievements relative to expectations.

performance management/partnership – A systematic approach to planning, coaching, evaluating, and rewarding individual and/or team performance with the overall objective of improving the level of performance across SU. It involves collaboration between an employee and his or her supervisor in goal setting, ongoing feedback on performance, formal performance appraisal at the end of the performance period and career development.

salaried – Staff members who are paid a constant salary regardless of the number of hours they work in a given pay period. A salaried staff member must work in an exempt job position. (See exempt)

salary survey – A process to assess rates other organizations are currently paying for specified jobs. (See market study)

skills – Measurable abilities to perform job-related functions, such as word processing, computer programming, etc.

total compensation – The total of one’s base pay plus other cash compensation and the value of non-cash fringe benefits such as employer- paid pension contributions, insurance premiums and tuition remission. (See base pay)

variable pay – A retention and incentive program that provides a non-base option for one-time compensation of exempt and non-exempt staff (excludes bargaining unit staff) to recognize extraordinary performance.