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PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372

Phone: 910.521.6209

Location: Lumbee Hall, Room 320
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Salary Administration and Compensation Philosophy Policy

Human Resources Policy HR 81 05 (revised 7/10/09)

A. Purpose: To define the University of North Carolina at Pembroke‘s (UNCP) Salary Administration and Compensation Philosophy Policy.

B. Scope: Employees subject to the State Personnel Act (SPA).

C. Policy: It is the policy of UNCP to grant salary adjustments to SPA employees in a fair manner consistent with the compensation philosophy.

D.  Compensation Philosophy: UNCP supports and sustains a high performance work environment that recognizes productivity and commitment of a highly qualified, diverse staff by seeking to maintain a competitive market within similar positions in relevant labor markets and internal equity by endeavoring to provide a level of compensation that will enable the University to attract, motivate, and retain the quality workforce necessary for the achievement of its mission, goals and objectives.
The staff creates and maintains the infrastructure that supports the educational experience and allows faculty and students to pursue their intellectual interests.  Therefore, our compensation philosophy must support the hiring and retention of excellent employees, and our culture must challenge them to contribute in meaningful ways to the mission of UNCP.
The University’s mission supports a compensation philosophy that:

  1. Attracts and competes successfully for a qualified, diverse workforce through seeking a competitive compensation program within the relevant labor markets;
  2. Retains and motivates a qualified, diverse workforce by recognizing and rewarding individual knowledge, demonstrable competencies, skills and abilities which contribute towards meeting the mission, goals and objectives of the University while considering complexity of the work and performance excellence in an environment of opportunity and fairness;
  3. Recognizes demonstrable job competencies that are linked to meeting organizational goals and exceeding performance objectives;
  4. Encourages and promotes opportunities for employee learning, growth and development that are critical to the mission, goals and objectives of the University;
  5. Provides a non-discriminatory compensation program that provides flexibility and responsiveness to dynamic challenges facing the University such as changing labor market demands, prioritization of scarce resources, organizational structure changes, and sufficient response to turnover, while ensuring accountability and compliance with all applicable legal requirements; and
  6. Mirrors the University’s commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action. 

To accomplish these objectives, within the boundaries of financial feasibility and responsibility, the University strives to provide a compensation philosophy that establishes and seeks to maintain competitive salary levels within relevant labor markets and availability of appropriate funding resources with fiscal prudence, and which is consistent with job content, competency level, responsibilities, and requirements, while remaining current on emerging compensation practices which may address changes in the workforce, or regulatory demands that may cause the University to change its compensation practices.  The relevant labor markets, depending on the position job family, may be at the local, state, regional, or national level and include comparable institutions as well as relevant private sector organizations.

Consistent with the above, salaries for SPA employees will be market responsive and affordable and will seek to lead relevant labor markets when performance of competencies is substantially above established standards and expectations and will lag relevant labor markets when performance of competencies satisfactorily meets or falls below established standards and expectations.  In recognition of market pressures in designing pay practices, both external and internal competitiveness are recognized factors.

Externally competitive position in the market means that:

  • Average salaries will be targeted at the average salary level of employees in comparable positions in the various labor markets while ensuring no unlawful discrimination in pay.
  • Average salaries may exceed the average of the particular labor market in order to recognize exceptional recruiting and retention needs, or for purposes of attracting and retaining employees.

Internally equitable position means:

  • To establish criteria to determine the relative contribution of jobs in a consistent and objective manner.
  • Within the parameters of discipline and function, employees shall be paid similarly for similar work.
  • Balances the need for internal equity while recognizing the desire to be market competitive subject to financial resource availability.
  • Salaries of new employees should be established at levels that recognize the individual’s demonstrable competencies and skills, education and experience while considering the salary levels of current employees within the same job title and competency level.

E. Responsibilities
1.  The Chancellor and Vice Chancellors are responsible for determining overall priorities concerning all salary administration programs and assuring that these programs are conducted in a fair and consistent manner, assuring equity is maintained and that the University does not engage in any unlawful discrimination by:

  • reviewing and refining the University’s Salary Administration and Compensation Philosophy Policy as needed;
  • overseeing the Salary Administration and Compensation Philosophy Policy, and related policies,and designating levels for approval authority;
  • holding financial managers accountable for compensation recommendations and proper application of the Salary Administration and Compensation Philosophy Policy and related policies;
  • encouraging financial managers and supervisors to participate in educational/training opportunities in the areas of compensation, competency assessment and job evaluations,  and to seek the Office of Human Resources guidance as appropriate to ensure understanding;
  • assessing and determining the overall goals and priorities of potential compensation issues for the campus;
  • overseeing compliance with all rules and regulations;
  • reviewing EEO impact of salary decisions, job evaluation results, and other decisions impacting compensation; and
  • approving or delegating the approval of each requested compensation action.

2.  Financial Managers (FM), in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, are responsible for the communication of Human Resources policies to employees by ensuring employees attendance at related HR training, determining the best approach to recognize permanent significant competency level and job change, recommending resolution to correct bona fide inequitable salary relationships, identifying appropriate role competencies and consistently applying pay factors as defined in the policy, or responding to unique labor market conditions for equitable determination of employee salary recommendations by:

  • communicating information concerning the salary administration and compensation philosophy policy to supervisors and employees to ensure understanding by all levels;
  • partnering with the Office of Human Resources to develop communication strategies for employees;
  • encouraging and coaching employee career development;
  • assessing salary priorities and departmental needs that will have the greatest impact on the organizational unit(s);
  • complying with the Salary Adminstration and Compensation Philosophy Policy and related policies;
  • ensuring that compensation actions are supported by adequate justification and funding;
  • knowing the goals of the policy and for administering the policy in a timely and equitable manner;
  • recommending compensation actions to Deans/Directors/Division Heads or designee;
  • ensuring that there is no adverse EEO impact on compensation recommendation and decisions, job evaluation allocations, and other decisions impacting compensation;
  • responding to employee questions/concerns about compensation decisions;
  • gathering information to support compensation recommendations to include: percentage increase requested; source of funding; total percent of all previous increases this fiscal year; justification for salary increase; and the amount of increase by addressing the applicable pay factors; and
  • negotiating salaries with applicants and employees as appropriate and in partnership with the appropriate divisional management and the Office of Human Resources; and educating employees on the management of salary change issues; and responding to employee appeals.

3.  The Director of Human Resources/EEO Officer, or designee, is responsible for ensuring that the policy is administered in a non-discriminatory basis and ensuring all necessary  components of program operations are in place for an effective policy, completing the reporting of results to Office of State Personnel as required, conducting periodic self-assessment and serving as consultants to University management and employees in order to increase their understanding of the application of the Salary Administration and Compensation Philosophy Policy by:

  • partnering with managers and providing consultation, review and approval of compensation and job evaluation actions;
  • managing the University Core Career Banding Committee functions;
  • providing communication to employees on the University’s Salary Administration and Compensation Philosophy Policy and related policies;
  • providing training and educational resources to managers and employees;
  • providing tools and resources to allow for flexible implementation of compensation practices;
  • preparing and reviewing reports regarding compensation decisions and practices;
  • reviewing and reporting on employees salaries periodically to assess market competitiveness and effectiveness in attracting and retaining employees;
  • complying with rules and regulations;
  • reviewing EEO impact of compensation decisions, job evaluation allocations, and other decisions impacting compensation;
  • providing a biennial evaluation of compensation decisions to the University Core Career Banding Committee;
  • providing recommendations for change to this policy;
  • evaluating compensation practices and other Human Resource actions that can be decentralized within the University; and
  • rescinding decentralized authority if a department fails to follow proper policies and procedures.

4.  Designated Human Resources Staff are responsible for administering the Salary Administration and Compensation Philosophy Policy in conjunction with other related HR policies, providing technical consultation to managers in making compensation recommendations and oversight of all program areas including comprehensive communication of career banding to employees, employee and manager training, ensuring equity is maintained and completing program evaluation. Salary Administration and Compensation Philosophy training is part of the required “core” training program for staff development.

5.  Core Career Banding Committee is responsible for review of the operations of the Career Banding Policy by assuring fair and consistent program implementation, auditing career banding compensation decisions to assure fair and consistent operations, reviewing of program self-assessment on annual basis, and providing career development guidance and assistance to employees in the review process.

6.  Employees are responsible for:

  • developing and applying new competencies and skills valued by the university and managing their own career development and growth in collaboration with his/her supervisor; and
  • staying informed about all the University’s Career Banding Policies.

F. New Position Funding: Position funding must be identified prior to submitting the Online Employment System (OES) requisition to establish the position.  New positions requests will not be classified by the Office of Human Resources until funding is identified and authorized by the Director of Financial Planning & Budgeting.  Funding for new positions established and the initial hiring salary is the full responsibility of the designated department and/or division.

G. Salary Administration Priorities & Funding

  1. assures that funds are being expended wisely,
  2. confirms that increase amounts are consistent across the organization,
  3. establishes a procedure for updating and revising the policy in response to changing budgetary and organizational priorities. 

The priority ranking listed below will guide the implementation of salary adjustment options:   

  1. State mandated salary band revisions   
  2. Reemployment Priority,
  3. Promotional increases,
  4. Reallocation increases,
  5. New Hire salaries,
  6. Retention Adjustment,
  7. Career Progression,
  8. Temporary Salary Adjustments.

H. Salary Adjustment: When an employee’s position is career banded and/or changed, and a competency evaluation completed, including pay factor analysis review, if this review indicates a salary adjustment is appropriate, the salary adjustment award may range from the minimum of the new classification salary range  up to a maximum of 20% salary increase during a calendar year, while ensuring internal equity is maintained by job family. When an employee’s position is moved to a lower band or competency level through a disciplinary demotion or employee initiated voluntary reassignment UNCP policy is to review the salary for reduction as appropriate based on pay factor analysis including review of completed competency evaluation for the new position.

When a key employee, as determined by the appropriate Vice Chancellor, has submitted a letter of resignation, provides written evidence of a job offer from an employer outside the government structure, and/or there is no current employee with substantially equal competencies to assume those duties a salary increase may be necessary to retain the employee.  A retention adjustment may result in an employee’s salary being above the appropriate rate based on applicable Pay Factors.  The salary shall not exceed the maximum of the pay range.

If the salary change is due to a demotion or reassignment and the employee's current salary falls within the range of the lower band, it may remain the same or be reduced to any salary in the lower range due to pay factors.  Exception: when an employee is promoted or reallocated upward and subsequently demoted, reassigned, or reallocated downward to any lower band within one year, the following shall apply:

  • If to the same band level before the promotion or advancement, the salary shall revert to the salary being paid before the promotion or advancement, plus any increases that would have been given had that promotion not occurred, i.e. legislative salary increase.
  • If to a pay band lower than held before the promotion or advancement occurred, the salary shall not exceed the maximum of the pay band.
  • If to a position within the same pay band, but at a different level, the salary may be reduced to any amount within the pay range established for the pay band, or it may remain the same except the salary may not be below the minimum of the pay range for that band.
  • If a demotion or reassignment is made to a position within the same pay band, the employee automatically meets qualification requirements. However, if a demotion or reassignment is made to a different pay band or job family, the employee must meet the minimum education and experience requirements, or their equivalent, as set forth in the band specification.

Approved salary increase amounts will be effective the first day of the next pay period following the approval date if funds are available and if there are no current performance or personal conduct issues involved.  If the desired amount of increase for approved career banded salary actions is greater than 20% and/or not given on the effective date based on funding limitations, increases, up to the full allowable amount, may be given at later dates on a current basis.  All requests greater than 20% requires advance approval by the Office of State Personnel.

If funding required to fully implement salary adjustments exceeds the availability of salary reserves, salary adjustment requests from that point forward, during the fiscal year, will be held until December 1.  The Director of Human Resources will not approve further salary adjustment actions from that point in time. As of December 1, if additional amounts have been escrowed in the salary reserves funds, they will be distributed per the priority ranking defined in this policy on a first received and first funded basis. Salary increases will be awarded on a current basis on the first day of the pay period following identification of funding. Departments may elect to fund salary increases when insufficient salary reserve funds are available to award approved salary adjustment actions or when exceptions to internal equity are requested by the divisional Vice Chancellor and authorized by the Chancellor.

I. Procedures: The procedures to submit a salary adjustment request are defined in the related HR Policy on Career Banding HR 08 05.

J. Salary Appeal Process: The Salary Appeal Procedures (or dispute resolution), separate from the University’s formal grievance procedures, will allow an employee to have salary decisions reconsidered by a source beyond the initial decision-maker or evaluator.  Salary decisions which are eligible for consideration must be based on the following in conjunction with a promotion, reassignment, demotion or career progression adjustment as defined by the Office of State Personnel Policy:

  • Amount of salary adjustment* is less than appropriate amount as determined through pay factors.
  • No salary adjustment* has been granted when application of pay factors would support an adjustment.
  • Employee competencies have been inappropriately evaluated. 

*Note:  Career banding salary decisions that are restricted solely because of limited funding are eligible for appeal consideration only if the University salary administration and compensation philosophy policy is not followed.

An employee may appeal a manager’s decision with regard to a career banding salary action by documenting the basis for an appeal and following the review process.

Review Process
Step 1: Department
The FM or the employee may initiate requests for salary adjustments based on this policy and related Career-Banding policy, as appropriate, by completing the related documents and submitting requests with all required documentation through the appropriate management channels to Human Resources.

The FM makes the first determination as to forwarding an employee’s request for approval(s) and/or to Human Resources for consideration.  If the FM denies the employee’s request at the department level, a denial letter must be provided to the employee within 10 working days of the decision. A copy of the denial letter should also be provided to Human Resources.

Step 2: Employee
Upon receipt of a denial to process an employee's request by the FM, the employee may file a written request to meet with the FM to discuss the reason(s) for the denial. Such a written request must be made within 10 days of receipt of a denial letter and include documentation of his/her basis for reconsideration. The purpose of the meeting may also be to discuss what direction the employee might need to take in order to improve the possibility for future salary adjustments and career development. The FM will provide a written report to the employee and Human Resources within 10 working days following the meeting.

If the employee is not satisfied with the decision of the FM and wishes to have the action reviewed further, they may submit a written request to the Director of Human Resources within 10 working days from the date the FM report is received. The purpose of the request would be to have the decision reviewed at the next level.

Step 3: Director of Human Resources
If a salary adjustment request is approved and/or denied by Human Resources and the applicant wishes to discuss the decision, the FM or employee may submit a written request within 10 working days from the date the notice is received to the Director of Human Resources.
Upon receipt of such a request, the Director of Human Resources has 15 working days to convene a meeting that may include the employee, the appropriate FM, director, and vice chancellor.  The purpose of such a meeting is to discuss the written request and reason(s) for Human Resources' decision. The Director of Human Resources will provide a written report of the decision within 10 working days to all parties.

Step 4: Core Career Banding Committee
Should the employee wish to pursue this matter further, they have 10 working days to request a meeting with the Core Career Banding Committee. Upon review of all the information available pertaining to the matter and after meeting with the employee, the Core Career Banding Committee shall render the final recommendation. The Committee Chair will have 10 working days after the meeting to file a decision to all parties.
Any disputes resulting from salary administration actions will be tracked and independently reviewed by Human Resources and the Office of State Personnel in accordance with the established process.

K. Salary Adjustment Final Approval Authority

The Chancellor, appropriate Vice Chancellor, and Director of Human Resources will exercise final institutional approval for salary adjustments based on documented competency structures, internal salary equity, job changes, journey market reference rates, or labor market conditions.


Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2013

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