University of Vermont

Human Resource Services and Operations

Untitled Document

FY17 Non-Represented Staff Salary Increases: Frequently Asked Questions

1. How was the across the board increase established for staff at 1%? 

The 1% across the board increase is based, in part, on advice from Staff Council who advocated for a merit component in the staff salary increase pool. After reviewing national and regional data on inflation, a decision to set the across the board increase at 1% was made in an attempt to provide as much flexibility as reasonable to address merit and compression within an overall pool of 2.3%, which is an average of the individual 2.5 %, 2.25% and 2.0% pools.

2. Why were the individual pools set at 2.5 %, 2.25% and 2.0%? 

In an effort to maintain our competitive advantage the individual pools were designed to be consistent with salary increases that are being estimated in the economy in general. Specifically, we chose to closely align with the 2.34 % staff average increase pool currently estimated by our peer institutions.

3. Why is the overall increase level separated into three pools, and why is the lowest pool receiving the highest increase? 

The FY17 graduated staff salary increase pools are the result of a strategic, progressive, socially-conscious decision to provide larger salary increase pools for those earning lower salaries. It is important to realize that when lower paid staff receive the same percentage increase as higher paid staff, the actual dollar amount awarded is lower.

4. My supervisor hasn’t told me what I need to do to earn the merit portion of the increase; who should I talk to for clarification?

You should talk to your supervisor, since supervisors are responsible for setting performance standards. You and your supervisor should meet on an annual basis to discuss performance expectations. If you or your supervisor would like additional guidance, please see the performance review process here, which includes the performance review documents. These documents contain general instructions as well as specific criteria to determine various levels of performance. In addition, there are regularly scheduled performance management trainings offered by Professional Development and Training Services.  Click here for more information about "The Art & Practice of Effective Performance Reviews".

5. I won’t have a performance appraisal until August, when things quiet down. How will my merit be awarded this budget building season?

Your merit increase will be awarded based on your supervisor’s assessment of your performance over the past 12 months, regardless of your formal review date.

6. I have never had a performance review. What if there is no current evaluation to serve as justification for the merit component? 

Whether or not you received a formal performance evaluation, your supervisor should base your FY17 merit increase on an evaluation of your overall performance during the last fiscal year. It has been our experience that managers are reasonable in considering merit, market, compression, and internal equity as they set merit increases. However, it is a University goal that all staff receive performance reviews to assist in professional development. If you’ve asked your supervisor for a performance review and still haven’t received one, please contact your HR Representative.

7. Why is the non-represented staff pool less than that for United Electrical Workers and United Academics represented employees? If there was concern about maintaining parity for non-represented staff in October of 2014, why is that not a concern now?

Context is important to answer this question. In establishing a staff salary pool that will enable UVM to recruit and retain valuable staff members, we analyze UVM salaries relative to appropriate market comparisons each year. Non-represented staff salaries are driven predominately by the local market. We also consider estimated salary increases at comparable universities and at local businesses. This approach allows UVM to stay externally competitive and retain staff. There has been no commitment for ongoing parity among all employee groups for salary pools. Given the timing of bargaining agreements, given the changing state of the economy, and given different market forces applicable to the different employee groups, parity at any individual moment from year to year is difficult or impossible to achieve. Sometimes contractual increases are not as generous as non-represented staff increases, and sometimes they are more generous. Faculty, moreover, compete in a different national market, that affects in a different way the salary pool necessary to recruit and retain that employee group.

8. Is there any analysis done about whether I’m being paid equitably in comparison to other colleges, or to other businesses within Chittenden County? How is my salary determined?

UVM annually benchmarks salaries against local market data. Approximately 32.5% of the staff are benchmarked against Chittenden County salary data. University salaries have consistently been at or above average salaries for those benchmarked positions. These benchmarks may vary slightly year to year. However, while we are not able to benchmark all salaries, the information we receive for the salaries we do benchmark serve as comparison points for remaining positions.

9. Does the University conduct any comprehensive analysis about how our employees are paid relative to local, regional or national markets?

Yes, of 113 non-represented classified staff titles, we benchmark 77 (68%) of our titles in four different surveys. Of 1,892 non-represented classified staff employees, 1,051 (56%) are in benchmarked titles.

10. My take home pay seems smaller every year as benefit costs increase, especially healthcare. Are there any plans to take these increasing costs into consideration?

Over the past several years, benefit costs have exceeded salary increases nationally throughout the United States. This is an issue that is not limited to UVM, but is one that affects both public and private employers nationwide. Increases in the cost of benefits also affect the size of UVM’s contributions to each employee’s benefits package. As a policy matter, the whole compensation package, both salary and benefits, must be considered in determining the right balance and proportion between salary increases and cost of benefits increases.

11. I’m already working hard as a non-exempt employee, and my department can’t afford overtime.  Will merit performance add to my workload, and will overtime be funded to accomplish it?

Non-exempt employees are required to be paid time and one half, in either dollars or compensatory time, for all hours worked beyond 40 hours per week. If a supervisor assigns work beyond 40 hours, the employee must be compensated for that work.  


Last modified June 07 2016 01:07 PM