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UPPS 04.04.11 - University Classification and Compensation

University Classification and Compensation

UPPS No. 04.04.11
Issue No. 15
Effective Date: 4/30/2018
Next Review Date: 6/01/2021 (E3Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Assistant Vice President for Human Resources

  1. POLICY STATEMENTS

    1. This policy sets forth classification and compensation procedures for all staff employees, including those paid from grants and contracts. Except in some situations as provided in this policy, the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs (VPAA) determines classification and compensation procedures for faculty. The vice president for Finance and Support Services (VPFSS) must approve any exceptions to this policy.

    2. The compensation and classification procedures of this policy strive to provide flexibility to department heads. However, all policy and procedure decisions are subject to normal administrative review and approval and must comply with applicable federal, state, and university requirements.

    3. At least once every fiscal year, the chief diversity officer and director of Equity and Access will review the university’s compensation criteria and application. The purpose for the review is to comply with applicable federal law and regulations prohibiting discrimination.

  2. DEFINITIONS

    1. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – a federal statute that establishes, among other things, the federal minimum wage and required overtime compensation for certain employees at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a work week.

      1. Unclassified employees (exempt) are not eligible for FLSA overtime, but may be eligible for state compensatory time (see UPPS No. 04.04.16, Overtime and Compensatory Time Policy).

      2. Classified employees (non-exempt) are eligible for FLSA overtime and may be eligible for state compensatory time (see UPPS No. 04.04.16, Overtime and Compensatory Time Policy).

    2. Reclassification – occurs following a job audit performed by Human Resources that confirms a significant change in job duties and responsibilities of an existing position necessitating a new job title.

    3. Promotion – occurs when an employee moves to a different position and job title with a higher pay grade.

    4. Pay grade – represents the value of a job as reflected in the University Pay Plan.

    5. Job Analysis Form (JAF) – the form used to conduct job analyses and assign the appropriate corresponding pay grade, job title, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) category, and FLSA status (exempt or non-exempt).

    6. Benefit Replacement Pay (BRP) – Beginning with wages paid January 1, 1996, the state discontinued paying the federal taxes imposed on state employees under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). The institution of BRP for eligible employees offsets this program.

    7. Bonus Pay – a one-time, discretionary payment that does not increase an employee’s base pay, awarded by the president or President’s Cabinet.

    8. There are five categories of employees at the university: faculty, administrative officers, unclassified staff, classified staff, and students.

      1. Faculty – those employees with a specified academic rank holding a teaching appointment for a fixed term as determined by the president and approved by The Texas State University System (TSUS) Board of Regents (see TSUS Rules and Regulations, Chapter V, Section 4).

      2. Administrative Officers – determined by TSUS Board of Regents or the president, and includes vice presidents, academic deans, and the director of Athletics. These positions are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions and do not have a University Pay Plan pay range maximum.

      3. Unclassified Staff – are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions and do not have a University Pay Plan pay range maximum.

      4. Classified Staff – are covered by the FLSA’s overtime provisions and have a University Pay Plan pay range minimum and maximum.

      5. Student Employees – All hourly students and doctoral and graduate assistants are non-exempt and are subject to FLSA overtime provisions. Doctoral and graduate teaching, instructional, and research assistants are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime provisions.

        Additional information on student employees can be found in UPPS No. 07.07.03, Student Employment Procedures; UPPS No. 04.04.03, Staff Employment; UPPS No. 07.07.06, Salaried Graduate Student Employment; and the University Pay Plan.

    9. This policy pertains to the following types of appointments:

      1. Regular Staff Employees – employed for at least 20 hours per week for an indefinite period, or for a definite period of four and one-half months or more, excluding students employed in positions that require student status as an employment condition. Regular employees are benefits-eligible.

      2. Non-Student Non-Regular (NSNR) Staff Employees – those non-student employees who do not meet the definition of a regular employee. NSNR employees are not benefits eligible.

      3. Student Employees – as defined in Section 02.08 e., except for selected graduate student employees as provided in UPPS No. 07.07.06, Salaried Graduate Student Employment, are not benefits-eligible.

      4. Split Appointees – those appointed to both faculty and staff titles. Employees must have a staff title classified as FLSA exempt. The percentage of time (e.g., FTE) assigned to each appointment must indicate the workload in each appointment. Benefits eligibility for split appointment employees depends on whether they meet regular status requirements.

  3. PROCEDURES FOR CLASSIFYING AND RECLASSIFYING STAFF POSITIONS

    1. The Human Resources website lists the steps for classifying a new staff position or reclassifying an existing position.

    2. Classification

      The duties and level of the position determine the assignment of a classification (job title) to a position. Each regular and NSNR staff position is assigned a classification (job title).

    3. New Positions

      Administrative channels must approve and Human Resources must audit new position requests to determine proper classification and pay grade. Department heads will forward to Human Resources, through proper administrative channels, a position requisition, a JAF, a written justification for the recommended title and pay grade, and an organizational chart reflecting the new position’s relationship to the other positions in the department. Department heads must obtain administrative approval and fund availability prior to the Human Resources audit (see the job audit process).

      When creating a new grant-funded position, the department head must submit a JAF, an organizational chart, and a justification memo through administrative channels to Human Resources via the PeopleAdmin requisition system.

    4. Reclassifications

      Administrative channels must approve and Human Resources must audit reclassification requests to determine proper classification and pay grade. Department heads will use the proper administrative channels to forward to Human Resources, a position requisition, a JAF, a written justification for the recommended title and pay grade, and an organizational chart reflecting the position’s relationship to the other positions in the department. Department heads must obtain administrative approval and fund availability prior to the Human Resources audit (see the job audit process).

      This process is used for reclassification audits of both grant and non-grant funded positions.

      When an audit results in a reclassified position, the following determines the employee’s salary:

      1. Reclassification to a Title in a Higher Pay Grade – If the employee’s salary is below the University Pay Plan minimum of the new title, the employee receives a reclassification increase to the new minimum. If a department head would like to raise an employee’s salary beyond the University Pay Plan minimum for the new title, the department head must process a Personnel Change Request (PCR) through administrative approval channels. The pay increase cannot exceed the maximum of the new pay grade. If the employee’s salary is equal to or greater than the new minimum, no reclassification increase is required. Human Resources will increase the employee’s salary to the new University Pay Plan minimum plus BRP, if applicable.

        Under this section, an employee in a classified position cannot receive a pay increase that would place their salary above the University Pay Plan maximum for the job title.

      2. Reclassification to a Title in the Same Pay Grade – The employee’s new salary is at their current rate of pay. The department head may grant an additional pay increase by separate PCR through administrative channels, if desired.

      3. Reclassification to a Title in a Lower Pay Grade – The employee’s salary does not change unless the employee’s salary is above the maximum for the new grade. In such a case, the employee’s salary is reduced to the new maximum. This only affects classified positions. This section does not apply to unclassified positions that do not have a pay range maximum.

    5. Human Resources will notify the department head of reclassification audit results. If the position has an incumbent, completion of the required background checks is considered a part of the reclassification audit process.

      The effective date of the reclassification results will be no sooner than the first date of the month following the month in which Human Resources approves the audit and the background checks have been completed.

      If a reclassification results in a change in FLSA overtime status, the effective date will not be sooner than the first Sunday of the following month in which Human Resources approves the audit and the required background checks have been completed.

      If the department head wishes to grant a pay increase in conjunction with the reclassification that is beyond the University Pay Plan minimum of the new title, he or she must forward a PCR through administrative channels for approval of the action.

  4. PROCEDURES FOR GENERAL COMPENSATION ADMINISTRATION

    1. Departments may only assign staff appointed on grant or contract funds to one of the specified grant titles in the University Pay Plan.

    2. University Pay Plan Pay Grades

      1. Human Resources prepares and administers the University Pay Plan. The University Pay Plan specifically identifies all university job titles, job codes, FLSA status, Optional Retirement Program (ORP) eligibility, and pay grades.

      2. The VPFSS must approve pay grades. Data from periodic salary surveys conducted by Human Resources, available funding, and internal pay relationships are the basis for the assignment of each title to the appropriate pay grade.

        The grades in the University Pay Plan do not include emoluments such as meals, uniforms, or other similar forms of compensation.

        Pay grades and corresponding University Pay Plan minimums for staff titles increase by a percentage equal to any percentage-based state or university across the board or general increases affecting all regular staff employees.

        The university’s compensation philosophy provides guidance in determining the appropriate pay grade for each staff position. Exceptions must be approved by President’s Cabinet.

      3. All faculty, staff, and graduate student employees with nine-month appointments may choose to receive their nine-month salary in 12 monthly payments. If salary spread is elected, it will remain in effect every year thereafter until either:

        1. the employee signs an authorization to change back to a nine-month pay basis to begin the next fiscal year; or

        2. the employee becomes ineligible. Employees who wish to elect 12-month salary spread or change back to a nine-month pay basis must complete a Salary Spread Election Form in Human Resources.

    3. Compensation

      1. Base Annual Salary – The university will pay each employee an hourly or monthly rate consistent with the pay range assigned to the employee’s position title in the University Pay Plan.

        The rate for unclassified employees will be no lower than the minimum rate in the University Pay Plan.

        The rate for classified employees will be no lower than the minimum rate for the title in the University Pay Plan. The maximum rate may be no higher than the maximum rate in the University Pay Plan for the title or the rate of the previous employee in the position, whichever is higher.

        Salaried and hourly employees filling multiple positions may have multiple pay rates but may not fill salaried and hourly positions concurrently. An employee may not fill FLSA exempt and non-exempt positions concurrently.

        The president will determine salaries for individuals appointed to administrative officer titles.

        Administrative officers, unclassified, and classified appointments are subject to normal university promotion, transfer, and other applicable compensation and classification policies.

      2. Reclassification Compensation – Reference Section 03.04. for more information on reclassification compensation.

      3. Market Adjustment – An employee may receive a salary increase based on the market value of their position. Market-based adjustments must be approved by the appropriate divisional vice president based on objective evidence and the concurrence of Human Resources Compensation and Classification. In such a case, the incumbent receives a market adjustment and retains BRP, if applicable.

      4. Merit Pay – An employee receives a discretionary salary increase awarded for meritorious performance. Eligibility for a merit salary increase under this section requires university employment for the six months immediately preceding the increase’s effective date, and at least six months must have elapsed since the employee’s last merit increase. However, the requirement that a six-month time period elapse between merit increases may not apply to a one-time merit payment if the president determines, in writing, that the one-time merit payment relates to the employee’s performance during a natural disaster or other extraordinary circumstance. Merit increases may only be awarded during the annual salary review process.

        Unless approved by the president, classified employees at or above their job title’s maximum pay rate may not receive merit raises. These employees may, however, receive legislated across-the-board general pay increases.

      5. Promotion Compensation (Staff) – as distinguished from a reclassification, means a change to a different position and job title in a higher pay grade.

        1. Promotion to an Un-Posted Position or to a Position with No Posted Rate – The department head may place the employee’s salary at any rate in the new pay grade or the rate of the most recent incumbent, whichever is higher.

        2. Promotion to a Posted Position with a Posted Rate or Range – If a single rate was posted, the employee’s salary must be placed at the posted single rate. If a rate range was posted, the employee’s salary may be placed anywhere within the posted range.

        When an employee moves into a higher-level job in an acting or other temporary capacity, the move is considered a temporary assignment and not a promotion. Any additional pay for the temporary assignment processed under these provisions is at the divisional vice president’s discretion. Likewise, the determination of whether any such temporary pay increase is permanent or temporary is at the discretion of the divisional vice president within the provisions of this policy.

      6. Transfer Compensation (Staff) – A transfer means a change to another position with the same or lower pay grade minimum salary. It is not the result of a disciplinary action.

        1. Involuntary Transfer – A department may transfer an employee to an equivalent position or title under the same account manager or within the same account, as necessary. The employee’s new salary will be determined as noted below.

        2. Voluntary Transfer – An employee may request a transfer to an equivalent or lower position or title under the same account manager or within the same account. The PCR will show the granted transfer as a voluntary transfer, not a demotion.

          1. Voluntary Transfer to an Un-Posted Position with the Same Pay Grade – The department head may place the employee’s salary at any rate in the new pay grade, but not more than the employee’s current salary. Classified staff may not have a salary that exceeds the University Pay Plan maximum of the new position. Additionally, there is a required 90-calendar-day waiting period before a pay adjustment may be made.

          2. Voluntary Transfer to an Un-Posted Position with a Lower Pay Grade – The department head may place the employee’s salary at the employee’s current rate or the new pay grade maximum, whichever is lower. Classified staff may not have a salary that exceeds the University Pay Plan maximum of the new position. Additionally, there is a required 90-calendar-day waiting period before a pay adjustment may be made.

          3. Voluntary Transfer to a Posted Position with No Posted Rate – The department head may place the employee’s salary at the employee’s current rate or the new pay grade maximum whichever is lower. Classified staff may not have a salary that exceeds the University Pay Plan maximum of the new position. Additionally, there is a required 90-calendar-day waiting period before a pay adjustment may be made.

          4. Transfer to a Posted Position with a Posted Rate – If a single rate was posted, the employee’s salary must be placed at that posted single rate. If a rate range was posted, the employee’s salary may be placed anywhere within the University Pay Plan range for the posted title, but no higher than the employee’s current rate or the maximum of the new pay grade whichever is lower. Classified staff may not have a salary that exceeds the University Pay Plan maximum of the new position. Additionally, there is a required 90-calendar-day waiting period before any pay adjustment may be made.

      7. New Hires – Except in extraordinary situations approved by the president, a newly hired employee must wait a minimum of 90 days before receiving a pay adjustment. This does not affect salary adjustments that result from a reclassification or promotion.

      8. Disciplinary Demotion – A salary decrease will accompany a disciplinary demotion. However, the demotion may not lower the new salary below the new title’s University Pay Plan minimum.

      9. General (Across-the-Board) or Performance Increase – The state or university may mandate either, or both, of these increases for all eligible employees. The state or university mandates eligibility requirements at the time it mandates the increase.

      10. Staff Performance Award (Bonus) – This is a discretionary award approved by the president or members of the President’s Cabinet. The president or members of the President’s Cabinet may establish and distribute guidelines for the granting of any staff performance awards. Guidelines will include specific performance criteria, maximum award limits, and effective dates. Divisions may establish their own process of selection and additional criteria not in conflict with the specific performance criteria.

        The university can grant performance awards for classified employees in addition to overtime and compensatory time, but cannot pay these awards in lieu of overtime and compensatory time.

      11. Equity Adjustment – This adjustment includes a salary increase to improve the salary relationship between employees internal to the university.

      12. Salary Adjustments – The divisional vice president may propose salary adjustments for any reason that does not fall within reasons previously stated. Other salary adjustment PCRs must contain a full explanation of the grounds for the adjustment and are subject to approval by the VPFSS.

      13. Employee compensation is limited to cash or, when eligible, overtime or compensatory time off. Employees may not receive compensation in the form of computers, trips, or other assets.

    4. For eligibility under BRP, an employee must have been a state employee on August 31, 1995, and have been:

      1. eligible for the state-paid social security contribution; or

      2. using unpaid leave, unless otherwise eligible; or

      3. not working because employment did not customarily include summer months, had contracted to resume employment before September 2, 1995, and such employment would have made the employee eligible if the employee had held that position at that time.

      BRP is equal to 5.85 percent of the FICA wages based on October 31, 1995 salary, not to exceed $16,500 annually, plus the additional retirement contribution paid by the employee because of receiving BRP. The total paid out may not exceed $1,034.01 each calendar year.

      An eligible employee who leaves state employment for 30 consecutive days before returning becomes ineligible to receive BRP.

      BRP is included in base pay. An eligible employee’s base pay must be at least the University Pay Plan minimum for that job, plus the amount of BRP.

    5. University Longevity Program (ULP) (Staff) – Each regular staff employee is entitled to receive a 1.5 percent increase every two years up to a maximum of four such increases from the initial eligibility date and are limited to four such increases during an employee’s lifetime.

      1. Eligibility Date – For a new hire or an employee changing from a non-ULP-eligible position to a ULP-eligible position, the employee’s first ULP increase will occur 24 months after the appointment, if appointed on the first day of a month; otherwise, the increase will occur on the first day of the month following completion of 24 months of service. Subsequent ULP increases become effective at either the first of the month after 24 months or the first of the month following completion of the 24-month period, as appropriate.

      2. Staff employees in positions covered by departmental career ladders, as well as the president, provost, associate provost, vice presidents, associate vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, director of Athletics, coaches, college deans, and associate and assistant college and academic deans in the division of Academic Affairs are not eligible for ULP increases.

    6. State Longevity Pay and Hazardous Duty Pay – Certain staff employees are entitled to receive longevity pay or hazardous duty pay in addition to their regular salaries.

      1. State Longevity Pay – Each regular full-time staff employee, excluding law enforcement officers eligible for hazardous duty pay under provisions of state law, is entitled to longevity pay of $20 per month for each two years of service as an employee of the State of Texas up to and including 42 years of service. This pay will begin at the end of the second year of state service and will increase in $20 increments at the end of each two years thereafter.

      2. Hazardous Duty Pay – The position of commissioned peace officer at state institutions of higher education is considered a hazardous duty position and, as such, officers are entitled to hazardous duty pay of $10 per month for each year of service in a state hazardous duty position. Eligible part-time employees receive a proportional amount of hazardous duty pay. Hazardous duty pay begins after one year of hazardous duty service and will increase in $10 increments at the end of each year thereafter, which will include any prior time in hazardous duty service to satisfy the one-year delay.

      3. Conditions and Limitations:

        1. To qualify for state longevity pay for a month, an employee must work in a full-time position, not take leave without pay on the first workday of the month, and have accrued at least two years of service credit by the end of the preceding month. An employee who qualifies for hazardous duty pay on the first workday of the month is entitled to hazardous duty pay for that month.

        2. An eligible employee who enters leave-without-pay status or who terminates state employment after the first workday of the month is entitled to full state longevity or hazardous duty pay for the month. State longevity and hazardous duty pay are not prorated.

        3. An eligible employee who transfers from one state agency to another state agency after the first workday of the month is entitled to payment of full state longevity or hazardous duty pay for the month by the state agency employing the individual on the first workday of the month.

      4. Creditable Service:

        1. To determine the amount of creditable state service for longevity and hazardous duty pay, the university will count all prior employment with any other State of Texas agency or institution, including employment as a student worker. Length of service is determined by counting the actual days, months, and years of state employment. Independent school districts and junior or community colleges are not considered state employment.

        2. Longevity and hazardous duty pay for employees who transfer from one type of position to another are determined as follows:

          1. If a state employee is receiving longevity pay and transfers to a position requiring the performance of hazardous duty, the employee will continue to receive longevity pay for the years of service performed in the previously-held position and will receive hazardous duty pay for the years in the hazardous duty position. Employees may not receive longevity pay and hazardous duty pay for the same years. However, when computing the total years of service as a state employee, the total will include the years spent in both the non-hazardous and the hazardous duty positions.

          2. If a state employee working in a hazardous duty position transfers to a non-hazardous duty position, the employee will no longer receive hazardous duty pay. The employee will receive longevity pay based on the total number of years of service as a state employee. Thus, the longevity pay will include the years of service in the hazardous duty position.

          3. A state employee who received hazardous duty pay based on total state service performed before May 29, 1987 is entitled to continue to receive hazardous duty pay based on that service if the employee continues to hold a hazardous duty position.

  5. PROCEDURES FOR EXTRA COMPENSATION FOR TEACHING ACTIVITIES

    1. Full-time unclassified staff employees or split appointees receive extra compensation for academic instruction performed beyond the normal 40-hour required work week. UPPS No. 04.04.12, Pay Above Base Annual Salary for Staff, establishes the responsibility for determining the appropriateness of such payments. Only unclassified employees will receive compensation for teaching activities. Classified employees may not receive compensation nor participate in teaching activities.

    2. For split appointees (e.g., employees with both faculty and unclassified staff appointments as a part of the employees’ normal workloads), the following guidelines will apply:

      1. Split appointees can have a unique pay rate for each appointment.

      2. The employee must secure prior supervisory approval, as well as concurrence from the appropriate divisional vice president. Employees should note they will not receive any state-granted longevity compensation for the duration of the teaching contract.

        The State Comptroller’s Office has declared that only full-time non-academic employees of higher education are eligible for state-granted longevity payments. Also, full-time non-academic employment is defined as an employee who does not teach an academic course or who is not paid in full or in part from the line item faculty salaries.

        If, however, a staff employee teaches a weekend or night course and receives compensation in addition to a full-time salary, longevity payments will continue as long as a full 40-hour work week is observed.

    3. For unclassified staff employed on a full-time basis, the following apply:

      1. Unclassified staff may teach one three- or four-hour class per each long semester on campus during normal working hours with supervisory approval, as well as concurrence from the appropriate divisional vice president. They may not receive compensation for teaching this class, unless they use vacation or compensatory time to cover the teaching hours or the supervisor modifies the employee’s work schedule around the teaching hours.

        In addition to the three- or four-hour class noted above, an unclassified staff member may also teach one one-hour section of University Seminar subject to the same schedule adjustment provisions.

        These staff may not perform teaching-related activities such as prep work, grading papers, reviewing the syllabus, or any other related activities during normal working hours.

        Pursuant to UPPS No. 04.04.12, Pay Above Base Annual Salary for Staff, a staff employee may receive no more than 25 percent of the employee’s base annual salary each fiscal year. This does not include teaching assignments for staff positions.

      2. The employee should note that if teaching duties are included as part of the full-time appointment, the university will discontinue longevity compensation.

        If, however, a staff employee teaches a weekend or night course and receives compensation in addition to a full-time salary, longevity payments will continue as long as a full 40-hour work week is observed.

  6. PROCEDURES FOR EXTRA COMPENSATION FOR NON-TEACHING ACTIVITIES

    1. Full-time staff employees who accept additional non-teaching assignments may receive compensation for such assignments, within the limitations described below. Such compensation must comply with the provisions established in UPPS No. 04.04.12, Pay Above Base Annual Salary for Staff, or UPPS No. 04.04.16, Overtime and Compensatory Time Policy, as noted below.

    2. Prior to accepting additional non-teaching assignments in another department, an employee must obtain written approval from his or her department head.

      1. Classified Employees – If a classified employee accepts any additional assignment, the employee must be compensated in accordance with the overtime provisions described in UPPS No. 04.04.16, Overtime and Compensatory Time Policy.

      2. Unclassified Employees – Per FLSA guidelines, employees cannot hold both exempt and non-exempt positions. Therefore, unclassified employees cannot receive additional compensation for performing extra duties outside of their classification that are considered classified.

  7. PROCEDURES FOR NON-STUDENT, NON-REGULAR (NSNR) EMPLOYEES

    1. Detailed procedures for appointing and compensating NSNR employees are contained in UPPS No. 04.04.03, Staff Employment.
  8. PROCEDURES FOR STAFF SALARY NOTICES

    1. In years when salary changes are recommended in the budget submitted to the TSUS Board of Regents for approval, the president will notify staff employees regarding the general nature of the recommended changes.

    2. Employees should direct questions concerning approved salary changes to the appropriate department head. If the department head cannot resolve the question, the employee should contact Human Resources for assistance.

  9. REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS

    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Assistant Vice President for Human Resources June 1 E3Y
      Chief Diversity Officer and Director, Equity and Access June 1 E3Y
      Chair, Faculty Senate June 1 E3Y
      Chair, Staff Council June 1 E3Y
  10. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Assistant Vice President for Human Resources; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Vice President for Finance and Support Services

    President