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April 18, 2003

Council proposes changes to P&S pay matrix

by Anne Krapfl
The Professional and Scientific Council on April 2 approved several resolutions aimed at correcting the inconsistent effect of periodic "adjustments" to the P&S pay matrix and clarifying employees' expectations for advancing through their pay grades.

The council's compensation and benefits committee earlier this spring completed a 25-page analysis of Human Resource Services' annual report on P&S salaries, as well as perceived problems with the P&S classification system. Resolutions approved by the council respond to pieces in that analysis.

The first recommends phased (three-year) adjustments to the P&S pay matrix to eliminate inequities between low and high P grades resulting from 10 years of adjusting minimum and maximum levels of all P grades by nearly the same percentages. According to the committee's analysis, the inflation-adjusted effect on those "increases" actually has resulted in negative changes on P11 to P14 pay levels, with pay grade minimums or maximums as low as 3.2 percent below inflation after 10 years.

Pay grade minimums and maximums on P15- to P20-level jobs run as high as 12.4 percent ahead of inflation for the same time period. The motion doesn't endorse a funding source, but an illustration provided with it corrects the inflationary problems in the low pay grades by offering lower salary increases for those in the higher pay grades. In the illustration, there also would be corresponding smaller increases to the pay matrix in the higher P levels during the three years.

"With the way budgets are now, a one-time adjustment that fixes the problem is not likely," said Trevor Riedemann, co-chair of the committee sponsoring the resolution.

The resolution also asks HRS staff to include an inflationary measure, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Midwest Regional CPI, in the annual P&S salary report.

Pay grade penetration
A second resolution directs the council president to pursue discussions with several administrative offices, including the president, provost, vice president for business and finance, and HRS on:
  • Defining employee expectations for movement through the salary range of a pay grade and, if possible, developing a policy.
  • Giving managers the "discretion" to offer new hires salaries that are up to the midpoint in a pay grade. Currently the limit is up to the first third (without special permission).
In other business, the council approved a resolution supporting an ISU Extension request to tie ISU's mileage reimbursement rate to the IRS reimbursement rate. The IRS limit currently is 36 cents per mile; Iowa State reimbursement is 31 cents.

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