Compensation Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find out what my salary range is?
The Classified Pay Plan lists all classified job titles showing the Pay Grade and the Salary Range for each respective job title. Administrative and Professional (A&P) job descriptions and recommended starting salaries can be requested from the Office of Compensation.
How are salary reviews or starting salaries different for grant funded positions
The funding source is not considered when setting a starting salary or during the salary review process, regardless of the action triggering the review.
How is the Salary Placement for reclassified and newly hired employees determined?
The institutional standards below apply to the salary placement of hires, reclassifications, and equity adjustments at UTRGV. Any additional funding needed during these reviews will first need to be identified within the division. Only after internal resources have been explored can a request for additional funding be submitted through the division head.
If the selected candidate is an internal candidate and the new position is a promotional opportunity, i.e. the new job is a higher grade and pay range than the position the candidate currently holds, the internal candidate is, based on qualifications and internal equity, eligible to receive up to a 10% salary increase, or be placed up to the 25th percentile of the new salary range (whichever is higher). For uniquely qualified candidates or positions identified as hard to fill, a competitive salary review will be conducted. If the position is a lateral or lower-level move, a salary increase is not available. Any exception to this guidance will need to be approved in writing by the division head and Chief HR Officer.
If the candidate is external, the initial salary placement will be up to the 25th percentile of the salary range (considering qualifications and internal equity), unless a strong justification is provided in writing why a higher initial salary placement will be necessary. Any exception to this guidance will need to be approved in writing by the division head and Chief HR Officer.
Internal Equity Review
All salary evaluations will include a review of potential internal equity issues for the hiring department. Until the review process has been completed and the final salary amount approved by HR, the department should not discuss salary offers with the finalist. Exceptions to salary placement guidance are possible if the labor market has shown that the position is difficult to fill, such as when external recruitment has been conducted for an appropriate amount of time, yielding few qualified candidates.
Administrative & Professional (A&P) Position Salary Placement
The salary recommendation and placement for A&P positions will be based on a review within Human Resources Compensation following comparable standards to the classified staff. In addition, the salary placement will include the evaluation of whether the position is considered hard to recruit, critical for UTRGV, or if the selected finalist brings a unique skill set to UTRGV. Exceptions will need to be approved by the division head and the Chief HR Officer.
What forms are used by Compensation and what is their purpose?
There are three forms used by Compensation
- Job Description Questionnaire (JDQ): used to establish a new job title that does not currently exist in the UTRGV pay plan, or to update existing job descriptions.
- Job Audit Request (JAR): used to properly classify a position based on the actual duties currently performed by an employee or planned to be performed if the position is scheduled to be filled in the future
- Staff Salary Equity Adjustment form: Use to provide salary equity adjustments or counter offers to staff.
How do I know when a position should go through a job audit?
You should consider reclassification for a position when:*
- Responsibilities have evolved over time, the primary focus has shifted away from the job description.
- There has been a reorganization that impacts their position;
- There has been a transfer of duties/responsibilities from another position;
- There have been significant changes in their supervisory responsibility;
- There have been significant changes in their scope of assignments and/or responsibilities;
- Functions have been added to their position that was not previously performed;
- There has been a change in the complexity of problems or assignments required for their position.
What role does a supervisor play in the audit process if the position is filled?
The role of the supervisor in the job audit process can range from reviewing and signing a completed audit form to assisting the employee in filling out the form. The supervisor can help by encouraging the employee to be as accurate and thorough in the completion of the form as possible. However, the supervisor may not complete the Employee Section for them, just as the employee may not complete the Supervisor Section for you.
Can a supervisor conduct a salary survey to determine an employee’s salary?
In order to guarantee consistency and to ensure that all applicable laws and regulations are maintained, all salary reviews are completed by the Office of Compensation within HR.
How are reviews conducted?
The salary reviews are based on information submitted by the managing department as well as information obtained by research through Compensation. The review includes research of comparable job titles within other UT Institutions and other Universities as well as data retrieved from purchased software.
What happens if HR contacts the supervisor or incumbent for additional questions regarding the job duties and responsibilities?
The responses should be as clear and concise as possible in order to provide a clear understanding of the position's responsibilities.
Can I submit feedback from others or letters of reference as part of the audit process?
Feedback from others and letters of reference will not be considered during the audit process. This is not an appraisal of the employee’s performance but an assessment of the position’s classification.
If I am unsatisfied with the results of the audit, can I make revisions to specific sections or resubmit for a new audit?
Yes, if you would like to request a second review, please submit the justification identifying the points behind your reasoning for a revision of the findings no later than 5 business days from the receipt of the determination. Once the second review has been finalized no further review is possible. Only one job audit request will be conducted per position, per fiscal year.
If my position is upgraded due to the results of the Job Audit Request, what will be the cost to the department budget?
If a position is reclassified to a higher pay grade, the employee’s annual salary shall be increased to the minimum of the pay grade for the new classification or the salary he or she would have received without the reclassification, whichever is greater. The funds will need to be provided by the Divisional Head if the department cannot fund them.
What happens if my department doesn’t have the money to upgrade a position and the audit indicates that the position is at a higher level?
If your department doesn’t have the necessary funds to support an upgrade and the Division Head’s Office will not fund the reclassification, then the duties assigned to the incumbent will need to be revised to ensure they are in line with the current job description. It is important that this action is coordinated with Human Resources to ensure the successful transition and reassignment of the duties being removed.
If my department doesn’t have the money to fund the upgrade, does the University offer a central pool of funds available for positions that have been upgraded?
The University does not have a central pool of funds available for this. Any needed funds will need to be made available by the department or Division Head
What if the position isn’t upgraded?
If the position isn’t upgraded, it means it was already classified at the correct level. This is not a reflection upon the employee or their performance and you can help by providing them with this explanation.
Why is FLSA important?
The University is, as are all other major employers, covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which requires that certain employees receive overtime pay for any hours over 40 worked during the employee’s work week.
What do the terms “exempt” and “non-exempt” mean?
Positions whose responsibilities meet the exemption test and the employees occupying them are classified as “exempt” from the requirement to pay overtime. Jobs with primary responsibilities that do not meet the exemption test are classified as “non-exempt” and the employees occupying them will be eligible for overtime pay if they perform more than 40 hours of work during a work week.
Who determines whether jobs are exempt or non-exempt?
HR determines the exempt status based on the job description and discussions with the employee and supervisor, as needed.
Can staff receive extra payment for additional duties performed?
- Interim Assignments– Supplemental payments for interim assignments are intended to augment an exempt employee’s salary while temporarily taking on management and/or leadership responsibilities to continue the operations of a function, department, or unit during a critical vacancy. The payment should not exceed 10% of the impacted employee's current salary rate unless approved by HR-Compensation.
- Additional Duties Assignments are defined as situations in which exempt staff employees assume extra duties above and beyond the normal scope of their regular job duties and responsibilities due to a critical vacancy that causes hardship at the university level, as long as these duties do not fall under the scope of the regular job description. Additional work cannot interfere with the employee’s regular responsibilities and must be performed in addition to their normal job function. Supplemental payments for additional duties are to be awarded as an exception, not as a regular method of compensating staff for additional effort, and should not exceed 10% of the impacted employee's current salary rate unless approved by HR-Compensation. In certain instances, work performed on behalf of another department may also be considered “additional duties.”
Non-exempt employees are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compensatory regulations and any temporary assignments that cause the employee to work beyond the regular forty hours in a workweek must be accounted for on their regular timecard and will be compensated at a rate of 1.5 x their regular hourly rate of pay based on established guidelines.
Contact the Office of Human Resources
Kristina K. Chavez
Director for Compensation & Talent Acquisition
Sr. Compensation Analyst
Sylvia De La Cruz