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June 29, 2006

P&S Council: Form could improve understanding of salary increase

by Anne Krapfl

The P&S Council has developed a fill-in-the-blanks form it hopes supervisors will use to explain individual salary increases to their employees. The form was approved June 26 and forwarded to the president, three vice presidents and human resource services director Carla Espinoza. It could be available for use during salary increase communications this summer.

"We know it's late in the year for this, but we'll introduce it now and hope some supervisors will consider using it yet this year," said council president-elect Teri Peterson, Office of Biotechnology. "We'll also remind people next spring about our recommendation that supervisors use this form."

The form is intended to address some of the confusion caused by the difference between the published average salary increase and an individual's actual salary increase. According to data published by the Office of Institutional Research, during each of the last three years, between 69 percent and 78 percent of P&S employees received salary increases that were less than the P&S salary increase average announced after increases had been awarded.

For example, the council's motion noted that the piece of this spring's salary increase policy that encourages managers to reallocate unit funds -- if they are able -- to raise the targeted average salary increase another half-percentage point "is inequitable across the university" and "raises false hopes and expectations."

As approved, the form features lines for each of these possible components in a salary increase:

  • Increase (range provided) for unsatisfactory performance
  • Increase (range provided) for satisfactory performance
  • Additional increase (range provided) for satisfactory performance
  • Increase for outstanding performance (this year, from reallocated unit funds)
  • Increase for market or equity issues

Each option includes space for comments from the supervisor.

Salary data requested

The council also approved a motion that requests of the provost office a summary of P&S salary increases once they have been awarded. The requested report would break down salary increases by pay grade and in roughly half-percentage point increments.

Why such small increments? Council member Kevin Kane noted that institutional data collected in recent years on salary increase size is presented in half-percent increments.

The requested report also would include summary information for major units, such as colleges and vice presidential areas.

The council's next meeting is Thursday, Aug. 3.


The P&S Council hopes that supervisors' use of a new form will help improve employees' understanding of their annual salary increases.