FAQs - Classified Pay Structure - Effective July 1, 2014

Q: Who is impacted by the new classified compensation pay structure?

A:  The classified compensation pay structure applies to all current non-bargaining classified staff employees and all non-bargaining classified staff new hires going forward.  Plans to review the unclassified pay structures will be launched this fall. All bargaining unit staff is subject to the provisions of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement.


Q: When is the effective date and how does it impact the annual increase?

A:  The classification compensation structure became effective July 1, 2014. The related pay adjustments were also effective July 1, 2014. Based on an employee’s individual performance appraisal, he or she may be eligible for both merit (1.5%) and/or across the board (ATB, 0.5%) increases as part of a separate annual pay increase process.  Any applicable pay increases appeared in the July 11, 2014 paycheck.


Q:  What information about the grades/pay opportunities will be made available on the website?

A:  The new pay structure has been posted on the HR Compensation website within the tab labeled “Pay Structures.”  The list of positions with the assigned pay level, along with a link to the corresponding job specification, is located within the tab labeled “Job Specifications.”


Q:  Why was the job specifications revised?

A:   Job specifications are continually reviewed and updated as needed. Most reviews are driven by a job audit, a new job posting or a job review request. With the transition from a six-level pay structure to an eight-level pay structure, all job specifications were reviewed by HR to incorporate each into the new pay level numbering. Additionally, some of the minimum requirements were adjusted to ensure consistency of requirements for positions assigned to the same pay level. Most requirements remained unchanged, some were reduced and a few requirements increased at the higher pay levels.  The content of the job specifications, job purposes and essential functions, did not change.  


Q:  What if the job description used to place my job into a title/grade wasn't up to date?

A:  Existing job specifications were used during the process of updating the structure. Job specifications are a generic overview of what the job entails.

Job descriptions are more specific to each individual position, providing more detail and alignment of time; but any description should also align with the base job specification. If an employee believes that the duties of his/her job no longer align with the current job specification for the position, the employee should discuss the job duties with their supervisor, agree to an updated job description, and subsequently submit the job description for a job audit review. The job audit review process is an assessment of the current job duties to determine the appropriate classification for the job.


Q:  Will any position be eliminated due to the Classification/Compensation redesign process?

A:  No, the redesign process is not a reason for eliminating positions. However, we strive to keep our positions current and applicable to the university’s business needs as roles evolve.  As we have done in the past, if some roles become obsolete, we will remove them from the job series, and as new roles are created, they are added.

For example, the Word Processing Specialist and Micrographics Specialist are no longer utilized within WSU and thus were removed.  The Energy Management Assistant and the Academic/Classroom Scheduler 1 and 2 were recent additions. Also, there were a couple jobs where the prefix such as “1” and “2” were present, but only one position had existed for the past few years.  Therefore, the job title was revised to drop the unnecessary prefix. For example, Grants and Contracts Specialist 1 was no longer being used and the Grants and Contracts Specialist 2 was renamed to “Grants and Contract Specialist.” 


Q:  What does market and market pricing mean?

A:  Market refers to a group of organizations whose defined similarities (e.g. geography, industry, size) form a competitive labor market/pool of data used to determine competitive salary data.  Market pricing is the process of reviewing reliable published survey data to determine the competitive compensation rate paid for similar jobs within the competitive labor market (e.g. similar geography, industry, size) for a given position.

As a university, we actively pursue verified market survey vendors to ensure the accuracy of the salary data received for these analyses.  Some of the criteria that a survey vendor must provide in order for consideration include the participating industries (e.g. education), participating organization size (e.g. # of employees), the vendor’s due diligence in auditing the data to verify all participants matches/data to exclude extreme outlier anomalies as well as the geographical relevance of the data provided (e.g. Dayton Metro area, Ohio/Midwestern vs Silicon Valley, New York City areas). 


Q:  How did the university determine where a position was to be placed in the new pay structure?

A:  Many factors were reviewed by HR to determine which pay level for each position would be most appropriate within the new pay structure.  Job specifications were utilized to match the Wright State job to a similar job within the market pricing survey.  The pay data obtained for the matched positions were aligned to determine logical groupings of similarly paid positions and the job specification duties were reviewed to align comparable roles. 


Q:  Why does the structure go from CS 11 to CS 18?

A:  The new eight-level structure is more reflective of the compensation for the jobs we have today. The jobs were compiled into logical groupings of similarly paid positions with similar job duties.  Differential of pay for the various jobs are noted and a decision is made as to the “midpoint differential” which then determines the number of levels within a structure.  The midpoint differential is the percentage difference between one pay level to the next; thus representing the potential compensation increase as a person moves from one level to the next.  The new numbering scheme of 11-18 was chosen to allow the 01-06 numbering to be preserved for historical HRIS records.     


Q:  What was the compensation impact for the new structure?

A:  As mentioned above, jobs are not constant and thus change over time; therefore obsolete jobs are eliminated and new jobs are added as needed.  This is also true for the compensation of these jobs.  As jobs evolve, compensation can increase; however, the increase is typically at different rates for different roles.  And, as was seen in year 2008, compensation can go down.  Thus, the six-level structure created in July 2004 has evolved in the last ten years; hence, the placement of the various jobs would be expected to be different today than it was in 2004. 

The new eight-level structure is more reflective of the compensation for the jobs we have today.  When comparing the midpoints of the previous structures midpoints to the new structures midpoints, seventy-six of the current eighty-one positions resulted in a higher midpoint for the position. 


Q:  Why am I not positioned proportionately in my new range compared to my old range?

A:  When incorporating a new pay structure, there are several options as to how employees are transitioned into the new structure.  Since the new pay structure was expanded to include additional levels that previously did not exist, a simple shift of equal positioning within the structures was not a possibility.  The positioning within each range was not an “apples-to-apples” comparison; the proportionality of the new pay ranges differs with each employee’s unique situation. The approach that was taken increased each person’s pay in accordance with the shift in the structure, according to their new level. This guaranteed that everyone was paid at least at the minimum of their new range. 


Q:  Did anyone receive a pay decrease at the end of this process?

A:  No one received a pay decrease as a result of the redesign process; in fact, every employee received an increase.


Q:  Did the market analysis include benefits competitiveness?

A:  No.  However, benefits are an important part of the Wright State Total Compensation package.


Q:  What is the process for an employee to appeal/complain about their placement in the new pay structure?

A:  Under civil service law, the University is responsible for setting appropriate levels of compensation for their positions. Only the results of a job audit review may be appealed to the State Personnel Board of Review (SPBR).  Any employee who feels that their job description does not match their current duties may apply for a job audit review.