Inside Iowa State
June 11, 1999
Revised pay matrix gives more latitude on starting salaries
by Anne Dolan
Council members reviewed the revised pay matrix for professional and scientific employees during the June 3 P&S Council meeting.
The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved the pay matrix (www.iastate.edu/~hrs_info/Class Comp/P&Spay9900.html) at its May meeting. The first change is a shift upward in the salary range of each pay grade: a 2 percent increase for each minimum and a 3 percent increase at the high end of each pay grade.
The second change is the merging of five points within each pay grade to four. Gone are the "first quartile" and "third quartile" points. The new matrix includes the former pay minimum and maximum, a pay grade midpoint and a new "first third" point. The hiring range has been extended through this "first third" salary level.
Assistant provost Ellen Rasmussen, the Provost Office liaison to the council, said the new matrix, which takes effect July 1, gives greater flexibility to hiring units to offer competitive salaries. Currently, the allowed hiring range extends through the first quartile and when a hiring unit wants to offer a starting salary above the first quartile, it must obtain special permission from the Provost Office. The new policy allows higher starting salaries before special permission is required.
Some council members noted that the revised matrix doesn't alter some P&S staff frustration with the slow pace at which their salaries advance through their pay grades. Members of the council's compensation and benefits committee said they will look into holding a forum in the fall on the pay matrix.
In other business:
The council will not meet in July and holds its annual planning retreat Wednesday, Aug. 4, at McFarland Park.
- The council accepted a committee report on a survey of grant recipients in the first four years of a program that awards P&S staff grants for student recruitment and retention efforts. The committee's recommendations include requiring grant applicants to outline their plans if partial funding is awarded and encouraging departmental "buy-in" by requiring directors to approve proposals. Projects that received outside help -- for example, from the department -- were most likely to succeed and have the most impact on recruitment and retention, the report noted.
- The council approved the appointment of Mark Nelson, Ames Lab, to serve one year to complete the council term of Les Merritt, also Ames Lab, who retired last month.
- Carol Peterson, chair of the P&S compensation and benefits committee, expressed concern about upcoming deadlines (June 30 and Oct. 1) for physicians and hospitals to sign new contracts with Wellmark and potential lapses in health insurance coverage for ISU employees if they don't. The service lapse most significantly would affect extension employees living outside the central Iowa circle. Newly seated council president Danette Kenne said she will meet with the new compensation and benefits committee chair (Peterson's term expired this month) to identify any action the council could take to help remedy the problem.
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