Classified personnel are defined as per Section 800.01 of the policy and procedures manual, as exempt and nonexempt employees occupying staff, professional and administrative positions, not including faculty or graduate assistant appointments. Employee compensation decisions and initiatives for classified personnel at Valdosta State University are grouped into four main categories, Initial Appointments, Reclassifications, Reorganizations and Pay Increases. All approvals for compensation decisions and initiatives are dependent on the availability of funds and increases may be denied or held if it is deemed in the best interests of the university. Justification for changing a rate of pay must be submitted to Human Resources and Employee Development for review and approval. No commitment may be made until the approval is received.
The following is a summary description of each of these categories with an explanation as to when each may apply to a request to change compensation.
1. INITIAL APPOINTMENTS
New employees will be appointed at the starting rate of pay assigned to the position classification in the Valdosta State University Wage and Salary Schedule. When a department head believes he/she has a candidate who because of exceptional training or experience is deserving of more than the posted minimum for the classification, they may offer the candidate up to 10% over the minimum. However the department head must either have the money already in their budget or have it transferred to their budget through the dean or vice president. This change in policy is not intended to permit the department head or authority to offer more than 10% over the minimum and in no case is the offer to be made without sufficient departmental funds to meet requirements of the hire. While no additional documentation is required to be submitted to Human Resources and Employee Development, the department head should note the justification for the increase above the minimum and should consider the implications of the salary of the new employee in regards to the salaries of current employees who hold similar or like titles.
When a department head believes he/she has a candidate who because of exceptional training or experience is deserving of more than the 10% above the minimum for the classification, the department head must request approval from the Vice President and Human Resources as to the amount to be added. In no case is the offer to be made without sufficient departmental funds to meet the requirements of the hire. Effective as of 1/5/17 all postings for director levels and above (all PGS), at the request of the hiring authority; may use “Commensurate with experience” phrase and do not need to post minimums.
A reclassification may occur in two situations:
a. Requests initiated by Department Head
When there is a significant and permanent change in the duties of a single position, the budgetary head should consider submitting a reclassification request to Human Resources and Employee Development. Although reclassifications have traditionally been made once per year, they may now be submitted for consideration anytime throughout the year; however, there is usually a period of time when all reclassifications are halted due to end of year processing, budget load, etc. This time has historically been April 1 through June 30 each year, although this timeframe is subject to change depending on circumstances. Employees having re-classification requests which result in a promotion approved effective with the fiscal year shall be entitled to a promotional increase equal to the minimum rate of the new classification or up to a 10% increase. Amounts above 10% will need to be approved by HR and the VP for the area. All reclassification requests should now be submitted online via PeopleAdmin as of 2014.
b. Requests initiated by Human Resources and Employee Development
Human Resources and Employee Development may determine through an analysis of several related positions on campus that a reclassification is needed for all positions on campus holding those same job titles and/or performing similar job duties.
Reorganization involves a change in the operational structure of a department and the associated changes in the reporting lines of the positions within the department. Reorganization may also involve changes in the job duties of two or more departmental positions. The Vice President or Cabinet Officer may submit reorganization requests accompanied by the appropriate documentation and organizational charts, at anytime throughout the year, however funding may not be available until the following budget year. A change in the title of one position is not considered reorganization; such a request should be made by the budgetary unit following the current guidelines and procedures for reclassification.
4. PAY INCREASES
The pay increase policy is administered in the following ways:
a. Merit and Cost of Living- Merit is a percent range based on performance. Cost of living is a set figure on all classifications. When authorized these are administered at and under the direction of the System Office of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia and become effective at the authorized adjustment date.
b. Promotions- The opportunity for a promotion becomes available when:
an existing position with a higher pay grade becomes open allowing an employee to apply;
duties with greater responsibility are added to a department and a reclassification request for the existing position is approved with an associated higher pay grade;
a new position with a higher pay grade is added to a department and an employee within the department is hired into the position.
when an employee is promoted to a position in a classification with a higher minimum rate of pay, the employee will normally be awarded an increase based on years of job-specific experience not to exceed either the greater of 10% above their current rate of pay or 10% above the minimum of the new pay grade. Determinations of the actual increase should consider relevant factors such as internal pay relationships and the individual’s qualifications and experience for the position.
c. Interim and Acting Assignment- A temporary pay increase may be given to an employee who is asked to take on the responsibilities of a higher level position for a limited time period until the position can be filled on a permanent basis.
An "Acting" title is used if an administrator is absent or reassigned for a short period of time ( usually three months or less). The absent administrator retains the responsibility of his/her position but delegates the authority to the acting person.
An" Interim" title is used if an administrator resigns and a replacement is sought or if an administrator is absent for a longer period of time ( usually exceeding three months). The "interim" person has both the authority and responsibility of the office.
Justification for an acting assignment should be submitted through the PeopleAdmin system to Human Resources and Employee Development for review. A commitment may not be made to the current employee until the approval is received. During an interim or acting assignment , employees may be compensated the higher of 10% of the employee's current salary or 20% lower than the benchmarked CUPA median for the vacant position, whichever is greater.
The former rate of pay will be re-assigned when the acting or interim assignment is completed. Amounts greater than those stated above must be approved by the Vice President of the appropriate area or the President for presidential direct reports and reviewed by the Director of Human Resources and Employee Development.
d. Additional Pay Adjustments- When there are other factors that warrant additional compensation, supervisor may with the approval of the Vice President, Cabinet Officer or the Human Resources and Employee Development Department, request an additional pay adjustment by submitting supporting documentation along with a Budget Amendment Form through the PeopleAdmin system to Human Resources and Employee Development. No commitment may be made to an employee until the approval is received. Additional Pay forms submitted to Human resources will be effective the next regular pay period after approval.
Some of the situations that can be considered for this increase are:
Additional responsibilities are assigned to a position but not significant enough to justify a reclassification. This request requires a revised position description along with a letter of justification.
Market conditions discovered by either a verified external offer to an employee or by a wage and salary market survey performed by Human Resources and Employee Development. Wage and salary market information must be included in the supporting documentation.
Completion of specialized education or training or experience adds productivity or capability to the completion of duties and was not considered in the initial rate of pay or the merit increase process. Verification of completion must be included along with letter of justification explaining how this enhances the duties of the position.
Human Resources and Employee Development has determined that salary compression (where the salaries of employees are too close together) or inversion (when newly hired employees are paid more than the senior employee) has caused a pay disparity. Salary data must be attached with explanation.
An increase can be requested for superior performance, including both quality and/or quantity of work performed, that was not considered in the merit increase process. Letter of justification, with explanation must be attached.