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University of Houston - Victoria

Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance

SECTION: HUMAN RESOURCES INDEX: C-15

SUBJECT: COMPENSATION OF STAFF EMPLOYEES

POLICY

It is the University of Houston-Victoria’s (UHV) policy to compensate employees fairly without regard to age, gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, military status, or sexual orientation. UHV complies with all federal and state laws, regulations and guidelines and with System policies affecting employee compensation. The driving force for achieving a commitment of fair compensation is the availability of funding. All UHV funds are subject to university regulation and control, regardless of the source. The source of funds has no bearing on the job classification, pay grade assignment, or pay rates established for positions. This policy applies to all benefits-eligible staff positions.

UHV will maintain pay plans to establish compensation parameters for benefits-eligible staff positions across the classification system, including:

  • An Administrative and Professional Staff Pay Plan for exempt positions
  • A Support Staff Pay Plan for non-exempt positions

The structure of the plans is intended to accomplish the following functions:

  • Define the competitive pay position of jobs within the university to the relevant external market
  • Establish differential pay levels between jobs to recognize differing demands
  • Establish lower and upper limits of value for each job

The Human Resources Department shall be responsible for maintaining a current compensation plan for university staff employees. The pay grade and rate for each position is based on the job description, job evaluation, and job classification, as defined and described in UHV Policy C-20, Classification of Staff Jobs.

Every two years, the Director, Human Resources/Affirmative Action and an independent Compensation Consultant retained by the university will review the competitiveness of the university’s pay plan. (The Budget Committee may put this review on hold pending budget availability.) Based upon the findings of this review, a recommendation will be made concerning adjustments to the plan. Any revisions or allocation of additional funding needed to adjust the plan requires adequate funding and the approval of the Budget Committee.

Information concerning job classifications and the pay plan is made available to all employees through the Human Resources Department upon request. Supervisors are responsible for actively and openly communicating information regarding the university’s pay program and associated policies to employees.

DEFINITIONS

Across-the-board increase: A certain percentage or amount of pay increase designated to all employees or classifications of employees on the same date.

Additional Compensation: Pay for work performed outside the employee’s normal duties and outside normal work hours. Pay is in addition to the employee’s regular base salary.

Budget Committee: A standing committee composed of senior administrative officials, chaired by the President and including the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President of Administration and Finance. The committee has institutional responsibility for the allocation of resources and typically reviews and approves departmental budgets and other requests submitted through university departments that may have a fiscal impact.

Compensation: Remuneration for performance of work, including wages or salary, fringe benefits, and other perquisites.

Compensation Consultant: An independent outside compensation specialist engaged by the university on an as-needed basis. The consultant assists in the preparation and updating of job descriptions, conducts market analysis, evaluates compensation for new positions and reclassifications and other payroll related issues. The Consultant’s recommendations and justification are provided to the Director HR/AA and shared with the Budget Committee.

Demotion: A change in duty assignment from a position in one classification to a position in another classification in a lower pay grade. Such a demotion may or may not involve a decrease in compensation.

Equity pay adjustment: An adjustment to an employee’s base pay rate to correct or alleviate (1) a significantly negative pay relationship to the external market, and/or (2) a significant internal pay inequity.

Exempt position: A position that is not subject to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Exempt employees include professionals, administrators, and executives and are paid on a monthly basis.

Hire-in rate: The beginning pay rate at which an individual is hired into a job.

Job: A collection of tasks, duties, and responsibilities that constitutes the assignment for one or more individuals whose work is of the same nature and that requires essentially the same qualifications. Each job has an official university title and is assigned to a pay grade based on job evaluation factors.

Job classification: Assignment of a job title to a pay grade based on a quantitative evaluation of the job.

Job description: A summary of the most important features of a job, including the general nature of the work to be performed, job duties, and job requirements.

Lateral transfer: A move to another position with the same pay grade and pay range. Normally, there is no change in pay associated with a lateral transfer.

Merit increase: An in-grade pay increase granted in recognition of an employee’s individual performance level and based upon a documented performance appraisal.

Non-exempt position: A position deemed to be non-exempt according to the Fair Labor Standards Act and, therefore, subject to the overtime provisions of the FLSA. Non-exempt positions include office and clerical positions and are paid on an hourly basis.

Pay grade: A pay level into which jobs of the same or similar value are grouped for compensation purposes. All jobs in a pay grade have the same pay range.

Pay range: The range of pay rates established for a pay grade. The minimum and maximum of each pay range represent the minimum and maximum values, respectively, to the university of all jobs assigned to that particular pay range.

Pay rate: The specific salary or hourly rate within the pay range that is paid to the employee. Under terminology provided by federal law, exempt employees are paid salaries, and non-exempt employees are paid an hourly rate. A pay rate may be computed on an hourly, monthly, or annual basis.

Position: A job assigned a unique position number in a specific department.

Promotion: A change in duty assignment and title of an employee from one position to another in a higher salary pay grade, requiring higher qualifications, such as greater skill or longer experience, and involving a higher level of responsibility, as a result of a competitive search.

Reclassification: A change in a position’s job title and/or grade level based on a significant change in the job duties and level of responsibility, as determined in a review of the position by the Director, HR/AA And Compensation Consultant.

Red circle rate: A pay rate that falls above the maximum of the pay range.

State-mandated increase: An increase set by the State Legislature, normally as a provision of the General Appropriations Act that sets limits and specifies certain terms of the increase. The General Appropriations Act may or may not provide funding for a state-mandated increase.

Transfer: A move by an employee from one university position to another vacant position, resulting from voluntary application for the position by the employee or non-voluntary, such as a reduction in force in one department where that department is shut down and employees are shifted to other departments. A transfer may be a promotion, a lateral move, or a demotion, depending upon whether the position transferred into is assigned a higher, the same, or a lower job classification and pay grade.

UHV PAY PLAN

The objective of UHV’s pay plan is to fairly compensate staff to attract, employ and retain qualified individuals. To meet this objective, UHV utilizes a staff pay plan where positions are ranked and classified based upon scope of duties and responsibilities in relation to other positions at the university. Generic titles are utilized to benchmark distinguishable scopes of responsibility and comparable duties. If approved by the Budget Committee and adequate institutional resources are available, market and turnover analyses shall be conducted biennially to identify UHV’s competitiveness with the external market. Based upon these analyses, recommendations may be submitted to the Budget Committee by the Director HR/AA for pay structure adjustments and/or pay equity increases to maintain the competitiveness of the UHV pay plan and staff salaries in relation to the external market.

Pay equity increases also utilize longevity to address compression caused by the increase in pay grade rates, or pay structure adjustments, to keep the University’s pay plan competitive with market. Compression occurs when incumbents are at or near their minimum applicable pay grade and new hires are brought in at, or near, the same pay rate.

The current plan is also designed to be merit-based. Merit-based plans are designed to move employees through their pay ranges based upon pay increases for meritorious service documented through the performance appraisal system. As long as adequate funding is available, a combination of pay equity increases and merit increases are effective in equitably compensating UHV staff.

Classifications have only been created for existing positions to minimize the number of classifications to be administered. The pay ranges are wide, which allows for merit and/or pay equity increases to compensate employees for meritorious service and/or longevity without necessitating reclassifications to grant pay increases. Reclassifications are reserved for positions where the scope of duties and responsibilities has changed significantly. Classifications are tailored to reflect the new duties and responsibilities required to achieve UHV’s mission.

Part-time and temporary employees should be paid at salary rates commensurate with their abilities and the time they devote to part time or temporary work. However, the rates of pay for persons employed on a part time or temporary basis in the same type of work should generally not exceed the proportional salary rates for full-time, regular employment.

PROCEDURES

Each staff position will be assigned an equitable rate of pay for the duties and responsibilities defined for their job. Job classification and compensation rates will be determined through consideration of a variety of elements; i.e., job responsibilities and duties; skills, experience, and education required to perform the job; consideration of market criteria; turnover analysis within a job group; and available funds.

Market criteria: In developing exempt and non-exempt pay structures for staff positions, the Human Resources Department will consider compensation rates for comparable positions from a variety of primarily public-sector employers since UHV is a public state agency. UHV will develop and seek to pay rates that compare with prevailing rates. In general, the markets to be considered for comparison to various job groups will be:

  • Non-exempt - local Victoria area, regional and comparable state universities
  • Exempt - national (like size institutions), regional, and comparable state universities

New Positions

Requests for new positions shall be evaluated, classified, assigned a pay grade, and approved in accordance with UHV Policy C-20, Classification of Staff Jobs.

Hire-in Rates

All hiring decisions and rates require the approval of the Director, Human Resources/Affirmative Action before any offer of employment can be made.

New Hires and Promotion through Competitive Search (Non-Exempt): The hire-in hourly rate for new non-exempt (hourly wage) employees will generally be the minimum of the assigned pay grade for the position. Hiring supervisors may request a hire-in rate up to 10% above the minimum for a new employee under the following guidelines:

  • 2-3% for 2 years or less of additional experience beyond the minimum posted requirements for the position.
  • 4-5% for more than 2 years but less than 4 years of additional experience beyond the minimum posted requirements for the position.
  • 6-7% for more than 4 but less than 6 years of additional experience beyond the minimum posted requirements for the position.
  • 8-10% for 6 or more years of additional experience beyond the minimum posted requirements for the position.

Additional experience should be recent and relevant to the requirements of the job description.

The Director, HR/AA will consider issues of equity with other similarly qualified incumbents in the same classification before approving exceptions to the minimum hire-in rate. However, all hire-in rates above the minimum of the pay grade are to be approved by the Director, Human Resources/Affirmative Action Officer (HR/AA) before any offer of employment may be made. If the hiring supervisor does not concur with the Human Resource Director's recommendation, an appeal may be sent to the Budget Committee.

Hiring supervisors who believe circumstances warrant additional compensation above the 10% must have their requests reviewed (in order) by their cabinet-level supervisor, the Director, HR/AA, and the Budget Committee before any offer of employment may be made.

The source of funds must be identified prior to any job offer.

New Hires and Promotion through Competitive Search (Exempt): The hire-in salary for exempt (monthly salary) employees will generally be the minimum of the assigned pay grade for the position. Hiring supervisors may request a hire-in salary up to the 40th percentile above the minimum for a new employee with recent and relevant experience beyond the minimum posted requirements for the position.

All hire-in rates above the minimum of the pay grade are to be approved by the Director, HR/AA before any offer of employment may be made. The Director, HR/AA will consider issues of equity with other similarly qualified incumbents in the same classification before approving exceptions to the minimum hire-in rate.

Hiring supervisors who believe circumstances warrant additional compensation above the 40th percentile must have approval (in order) from their cabinet-level supervisor, Director, HR/AA, and the Budget Committee before any offer of employment may be made.

The source of funds must be identified prior to any job offer.

Rehires: A person who voluntarily resigns from the university employment and is rehired in the same classification within six months following resignation may be paid the same rate earned at the time of termination, dependent upon the individual’s continued ability to perform the work involved in the job. A person who terminates from university employment and is rehired in the same job classification more than six months following termination will be paid the hire-in rate for a new employee unless an exception is approved by the Budget Committee.

Pay Adjustments

Legislatively-or university-mandated pay increases: University-wide pay adjustments may result from Legislative mandates as set forth in the General Appropriations Act or from decisions made by the UH System or the UHV administration. Depending upon the basis for the decision, these pay increases may be across the board or based on merit, and are normally effective September 1, with the option of mid-year increases.

University-wide pay adjustments shall normally be developed in conjunction with the annual operating budget preparation and based on guidelines distributed at that time by the Budget Office.

Reclassifications: As a result of a change in job duties and/or responsibilities, a unit supervisor may request that a position be re-evaluated by the Compensation Consultant. The request shall be in accordance with UHV Policy C-20, Classification of Staff Jobs.

When a position is reclassified to a higher job classification and pay grade, an increase to the base pay rate of the employee in the position may be required. The new salary shall reflect the greater of: (1) the employee’s current salary + 5%, or (2) the new pay grade minimum. The Budget Committee has the discretion to change the percentage in the above formula based on availability of funds.

Promotions: When an employee is promoted to a higher pay grade as a result of a competitive search, his or her pay will be increased to reflect the new level of responsibility in accordance with the guidelines of this policy.

Equity increases: Every two years or as directed by the Budget Committee, the Director, Human Resources/Affirmative Action and Compensation Consultant will audit pay rates within classifications to identify potential pay inequities. Based upon the findings of this review, a recommendation will be made concerning equity adjustments. Any revisions or allocation of additional funding needed to adjust the pay inequities requires the approval of the Budget Committee.

It is the responsibility of the unit supervisor to bring to the attention of the Budget Committee any significant pay inequity or other pay problem that may exist within the unit. The unit supervisor may make the request for an equity review during the annual classification review process.

A request for any equity pay adjustment may be requested when the unit supervisor has reason to believe that the present pay level of an employee or group of employees is presenting one or more of the following problems and is, therefore, significantly reducing the university’s ability to provide services:

  • The position(s) experience an unusually high level of turnover compared to other positions in the group;
  • The affected department has experienced difficulty in recruiting qualified candidates to fill vacant positions;
  • A significant disparity exists in rates for similarly classified employees in the unit, or
  • The level of pay is substantially below the comparable level of compensation for similar employment outside the university.

Lateral transfers or reclassifications: Lateral transfers occur when an employee transfers to another position within the same pay grade and pay range. Lateral reclassifications occur when the responsibilities of the position have changed but are similar in scope, and the overall job requirements are comparable and have the same pay grade as the old position. Normally, there will be no change to the base pay rate of an employee who is laterally transferred or whose position is laterally reclassified.

Demotions: If a filled position is reclassified and downgraded as a result of a management initiative, the incumbent’s pay rate may or may not remain the same, contingent upon management’s review. However, when an employee transfers voluntarily to a different position assigned to a lower job classification and pay grade, the employee’s base pay may be reduced. New pay levels of employees who transfer to jobs in lower pay grades will be based primarily on the base pay rates of current employees in the new classification.

Merit increases: University policy permits the awarding of merit increases as part of university-wide pay increases. In order for an employee to receive a merit increase, a current staff performance appraisal must have been completed in accordance with UHV Policy, C-13, Staff Performance Appraisals, and the employee must meet the eligibility criteria set forth for merit increases in the budget guidelines.

Pay Above the Maximum

If, for any reason, an employee’s base pay exceeds the maximum for the grade, the pay will be "red circled." This means that all base pay rate increases may be withheld (with the exception of state-mandated across-the-board increases) until the base pay rate falls within range, at which time the incumbent will be eligible for future increases. Any exception to this requires approval of the Budget Committee, with recommendations made by the Director, HR/AA and Compensation Consultant.

Additional Compensation for Staff

Exempt staff are salaried employees, paid on a monthly basis, and as such, do not normally receive additional compensation for any of their work activities. Further, exempt staff are not subject to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and are expected to work whatever hours are necessary to satisfactorily accomplish their job functions. However, under special and extenuating circumstances, exempt employees may receive additional compensation for work that falls outside the scope of activities or functions performed as part of his or her regular job assignment.

All additional compensation payments must be made through the university’s payroll system and are subject to withholding and other payroll deductions.

The department requesting the additional compensation must submit a “Request for Additional Compensation Form” (see Attachment A, References Section) prior to when the employee begins to perform the additional assignment. The requesting department could be the home department of the employee or another department. The form must identify the employee who will be performing the work, include a description of services to be performed, and specify when the work is to be performed. The home department supervisor and the requesting department supervisor must sign the form. Total requests that are expected to equal more than one month’s wage in a fiscal year must also be approved in advance by the Budget Committee.

The employee must sign an “Addendum to Request for Additional Compensation” (see Attachment B, References Section) certifying that the additional work will be performed on the employee’s own time. If the employee must be absent from his/her regular duties in order to carry out the assignment for additional compensation, the employee shall report vacation time on the appropriate time reports for the days(s) he/she must be absent from his/her regular duties to carry out the additional assignment. The addendum must be approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor.

The request form and addendum should be forward to Human Resources for approval prior to when the employee begins to perform the additional work. Human Resources will review the request for compliance with the provisions of this policy and for compliance with equitable pay guidelines (rates of pay for persons employed on a temporary basis shall not exceed the proportional salary rates for full-time, regular employment). The original request and addendum will be held in Human Resources pending submission of a personnel action request for additional compensation. Note: Additional compensation assignments do not have an associated full-time equivalency or FTE, and are to be coded with 0.00 FTE on the personnel action request.

This policy and procedure also applies to non-exempt employees paid on a monthly basis who may qualify to receive additional compensation for additional temporary professional duties.

References:

  1. Policy C-20, Job Classification Review
  2. Attachment A Form – Request for Additional Compensation
  3. Attachment B Form – Addendum to Request for Additional Compensation

Approved by:

Signature Obtained           09/10/12

Philip Castille, Ph.D.          Date
President

Originating department: Human Resources
Next Review Date: September 2015

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