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Campus Leadership Provides Update on Compensation Strategy

January 23, 2015

While steady progress continues on the new compensation strategy for non-represented staff at UC Merced, a lot more rigorous work will be conducted in the coming weeks and months.

That was the message delivered by the campus’s senior leadership during the Winter Town Hall held Jan. 14. Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Michael Reese provided a brief update on what has occurred so far and the next steps to be taken.

Among the highlights:

  • After conducting detailed analysis of salaries and job functions, the campus identified 66 people whose salaries appear to be the most inequitable.

  • The next step, Reese said, is to dig deeper into each of those positions to ensure they are appropriately classified and compensated at market value.

  • That process is expected to take at least another month. During that time, Human Resources will work with the department heads of the identified positions to conduct a full review and make recommendations to Chancellor Dorothy Leland, who will have final approval regarding salary adjustments.

Reese acknowledged that the outcome of the process will cause a ripple effect that produces further inequities. As such, that initial pool of 66 will be expanded to include others for review.

“It will be a rolling process done in consultation with department heads,” Reese said. “We’re going to need a lot of information about years of service, experience and updated job descriptions.”

In examining the inequities, it could be determined that people are being appropriately compensated based on market. Those instances could result in a job reclassification.

“What I’m hoping is that within three or four months, we’ll have accurate and up-to-date job descriptions and a better understanding through workforce planning of our staffing needs so that we can begin to open the door to a more orderly process,” Reese said.

Leland announced her approval of the campus’s three-year strategy to implement a new compensation policy last summer in a message to staff. The initiative’s goals are to bring salaries of unrepresented staff members in line with other job functions that are similar across campus and to increase the average range of market percentile from 31.1 percent to 45 percent.

The end goal of this broad effort: Salaries will be more aligned to market, performance will be recognized and rewarded, and the compensation process will be more transparent and improved.

The policy also is part of a larger, multi-pronged endeavor to strategically address UC Merced’s long-term staffing needs as the campus enters its next phase of development to accommodate 10,000 students by 2020.

“To grow, we must hire,” Leland wrote in her message. “But to do so without addressing current staff salary inequities will only make a bad situation worse. The time to address this is now.”

Since the plan was first announced, Reese has dedicated time to explaining the policy and its processes, as well as answering staff members’ questions and concerns through a number of channels that have included a previous town hall, numerous listening sessions and a Web chat.

He will continue to keep staff abreast of the process and related developments, including hosting another Web chat in early February in which participants can anonymously ask questions.

Those who want more news or background information about the compensation strategy can check out the following resources:

Additional questions can be directed to Human Resources.