The University of Vermont annually reviews its pay bands along with individual staff wages and salaries, and develops staff wage and salary guidelines. These guidelines set parameters for pay band adjustments and individual fiscal year wage and salary adjustments based on merit. For general information, review UVM's fiscal year Staff Wage and Salary Guidelines and Philosophy of Compensation. Specific questions about pay levels and annual increases may be addressed to Human Resources.

Compensation Practices

The Office of Human Resources monitors UVM's adherence to current wage and salary policies for classified staff, including:

Hiring rates for internal or external candidates and returning employees

To offer a staff position with a salary anywhere within the payband, contact your supervisor or your departmental Human Resource representative for budgetary approval. In addition, a salary justification  and approval from Human Resources' staff is required for all staff hiring salaries. To obtain approval, complete the Staff Proposed Salary tab in your posting requisition on UVM's electronic recruitment system. See examples of hiring salary justifications. E-Mail Human Resources for information about external market conditions and/or internal equity. 

Annual fiscal year salary increases

Salary increases for classified staff are granted at the beginning of each staff member's work year. For employees who work the full calendar year, annual increases take effect July 1. For employees who work a 9-month, 10-month, or 11-month academic year, annual increases take effect at the beginning of that employee's work year. Fiscal year increases include an across-the-board increase if performance has been satisfactory, and also address market, equity, and extraordinary merit.

  • Employees may appeal their fiscal year salary increase.
    • Process for Non-Represented Staff to Appeal Their Fiscal Year Wage/Salary Increase: Wage/salary reconsideration procedure

      Staff who believe that their business unit supervisor did not correctly adhere to the salary guidelines may request reconsideration by their supervisor with involvement of unit HR management. If unresolved, further concerns should be directed to the next level manager and Dean or VP as necessary. If still no resolution, the Assistant Director of Benefits & Employee Operations will review the circumstances to determine if UVM Salary Guidelines were followed. Any request for reconsideration must be initiated promptly and in writing.

Off-cycle salary increases for non-represented staff

An Off-Cycle Salary Increase may be appropriate when:

  1. There is a substantial change of duties within an employee's current title
  2. Recruitment, retention or organizational change causes market and/or equity issues for employees in the same title and department.

A request for an Off-Cycle Increase for an employee must be submitted through the UVM PeopleAdmin system. Contact Human Resources (HR) or your Dean's Office, or consult the Staff Actions in PeopleAdmin decision tree to proceed.

Reclassification increases

When positions change from one job standard/title to another, an analyst reviews the incumbent's salary in collaboration with the Human Resources representative, taking market data and internal equity into account. Normally, upon movement of a position to a job standard/title with a higher pay band, an employee will receive a salary increase of no less than 5%. Movement to a job standard/title with the same or lower pay band may result in a change in salary, although any increase will not be subject to the 5% minimum. In any case, the new salary cannot be below the minimum of the new pay band. Any salary adjustment will be retroactive to the date that the Position Description was received by HR after dean/director approval via PeopleAdmin.

Bonus payments for non-represented staff

UVM’s bonus program allows non-represented staff to be recognized for exemplary work-related achievements that exceed standard job requirements and that significantly contribute to the advancement of the University mission.

Bonuses Associated with this Program

  • Are granted at the sole discretion of the supervisory/management team
  • Are not intended to compensate FLSA-exempt employees for extra hours
  • Are not intended to reward employees for merit

Bonus Payments

  • Will be approved on a case-by-case basis by Human Resources
  • Will be funded from the target budget and charged full fringe

Bonus Payment Request:

To request Bonus Payment for an employee, download the Bonus Form from the Forms page under "Misc", complete it electronically, print it, obtain required signatures, and submit the completed form to Human Resources, 228 Waterman Building.

Incentive Compensation

Section 487(a)(20) of the Higher Education Act (HEA) prohibits the University from providing incentive compensation to employees or third party entities for their success in securing student enrollments or the awarding of Title IV HEA program funds. For more information refer to the Incentive Compensation guidelines.

Philosophy of Compensation

Final Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Compensation

Accepted by the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College Board of Trustees
February 26, 2000

I. Philosophy of Compensation at UVM

UVM’s philosophy of compensation supports and advances the institution’s mission, goals, and values and the University’s commitment to provide an exceptional educational experience to our students at a reasonable cost, as well as continuing to fulfill our important research and outreach missions. All that we do, including compensating employees, must serve these purposes.

Recruiting and retaining high quality faculty and staff, and assessing and rewarding their performance, are essential elements of our ability to succeed as a quality university. UVM is committed to compensating employees competitively, equitably, and based on performance.

UVM’s compensation philosophy is built on these principles:

  1. Compensation must directly relate to the larger goals of fulfilling our mission as a university and improving the educational quality and competitiveness of UVM.
  2. Compensation should be determined based on the following factors:
    • Performance
    • Contribution to University goals
    • Market competitiveness
    • Equity
  3. Compensation should be viewed as salary plus benefits.

From the perspectives of both the institution and its employees, the philosophy provides a predictable framework for evaluating performance, providing compensation, and creating the educational and working environment we desire. All that we do should be based on the principles of Our Common Ground: Respect, Integrity, Innovation, Openness, Justice, and Responsibility.

II. Implementation Goals

Successfully implementing our philosophy will require developing and instituting an implementation strategy that:

  1. Articulates a cogent, finite, measurable set of strategic goals for the University.
  2. Develops an effective, mandatory system for assessing performance with sound, capable supervision of every employee.
  3. Generates and communicates clear expectations at both institutional (describing mutual expectations between the University and the employee) and local levels (describing specific expectations between supervisor and employee).
  4. Creates a purposeful, affordable, competitive benefits philosophy and a plan to implement that philosophy.
  5. Regularly assesses UVM’s employment competitiveness, based not only on compensation, but other measures as well (e.g. recruitment and retention). This should be a data-driven initiative, with appropriate goals, metrics, and progress measures developed to answer the question, “Are we doing better than we had done before?”
  6. Examines, implements, and assesses innovative human resource practices.
  7. Focuses on “non-compensation” issues such as career paths and advancement opportunities, positive and safe workplace environment, employee recognition, respect from supervisors and co-workers, campus climate, and good communication.
  8. Builds a strategic budget that allows for a competitive and equitable total compensation package, effective education and supervision, and a positive work environment.

Review of progress on these and other compensation-related issues will occur on at least an annual basis in association with the Board's ongoing assessment with respect to advancement on UVM’s strategic goals.

III. Compensation Planning Parameters

The following parameters were adopted by the UVM Board of Trustees at its August, 1999 meeting:

  1. The compensation plan will be implemented within budgetary projections that recognize the importance of properly funding compensation.
  2. Compensation is but one aspect of our efforts to increase quality. Other initiatives that also impact quality should not be shortchanged. (e.g. facilities, technology, equipment, Compensation must directly relate to the larger goals of improving the educational quality and competitiveness of UVM and fulfilling our mission as a university. employee recognition, education and training, student programs, etc.)
  3. Our compensation plan must allow for strategic investments in targeted areas of importance and opportunity.
  4. Compensation should have a strong performance component in addition to factors such as market competitiveness, equity, and cost of living. Compensation should be viewed in terms of total compensation (salary plus benefits).
  5. Accomplishing the plan will require maximum flexibility, creativity, and commitment in terms of redesigning, streamlining, and improving activities and processes, and reallocating resources to reach our goals.

Respectfully submitted,

Ben R. Forsyth, Chair
February 25, 2000

Bonus Examples

Examples that Illustrate Appropriate Methods of Payment

Supplemental Compensation/Additional Payment for Additional Work

A group of exempt employees worked on a critical, deadline-driven team project, putting in many extra hours in a short period of time. An Additional Payment is paid to exempt employees putting in excessive hours for a short period. This is a non-discretionary payment because it represents payment for hours worked.

A supervisor takes a medical leave. One of the supervisees takes over a significant portion of the higher-level position for a short period of time. An Additional Payment is paid to an employee with a temporary change in assignment (more than three weeks) during regular work hours that requires a higher level of education, experience, or skill. This is a non-discretionary payment because it represents payment for a higher level of work.

Off-Cycle Base Salary Adjustment

An employee is paid $30,000 and the department has hired a new employee into a similar position who is not as well qualified as the existing employee, but market forces them to pay $33,000 to the new employee. An off-cycle base salary adjustment allows the department to make an equity adjustment and increase the salary of the existing employee, retroactive to the day they hired the new employee. This is a non-discretionary payment because it represents an equity payment for similar work.


A supervisee quits in the middle of a critical project. The supervisor gets the project done on time. A bonus would enable the department to recognize the supervisor’s extraordinary contribution in the completion of the critical project. (An Additional Payment would not recognize a supervisor working temporarily at a lower level, but would recognize excessive hours the supervisor worked if that was part of the solution.) The bonus is discretionary because it recognizes an employee’s extraordinary contribution above and beyond the amount already paid for the actual work.

A department is missing a director during a prolonged search. The department employees manage to get the work done with the help of one employee who is serving as the interim director. A bonus would enable the interim director to recognize employees for their extraordinary contributions in getting the department through a difficult transition period. (The interim director would receive an Additional Payment as supplemental compensation for work performed at a higher level.) The bonus is discretionary because it recognizes an employee’s extraordinary contribution above and beyond the amount already paid for the actual work.