The University of Idaho uses a market-based compensation system to determine salaries. This website provides an overview of that process. More information is available through the Human Resources Office.
The market-based compensation system for staff was created in 2016 and 2017, and implemented on Dec. 31, 2017. Learn more about the Staff Compensation Task Force.
About Market-Based Compensation
Salary administration at the University of Idaho is based primarily on market rates, or the average salary paid for a particular job. Each position has a market rate assigned to it based on the duties and responsibilities of that particular position.
U of I uses the rates available from the following two primary-salary surveys:
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which collects data with salary information from an eight-state region — Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming
- The College and University Professional Association (CUPA). The CUPA data is based on both regional and national data for institutions with the same Carnegie designation (R2, Higher Research Activity) as U of I.
This information is managed position by position and not aggregated into a pay chart with grades and steps.
Beyond the market rate, there are six other factors considered to develop a target salary concept. Those factors are:
- Minimum Compa-Ratio: The minimum compa-ratio is 80 percent of the market rate or greater, if the market data indicates the entry level is more than 80 percent.
- Education: Education is considered if the employee’s academic degree exceeds the minimum required for the position.
- Prior Experience: Prior experience is considered when the employee’s previous work was essentially the same as the current job. Not all prior experience related to job counts, it must be the same job.
- Time-in-Service (TIS): TIS is a longevity/experience factor counted from the current hire date with the university.
- Time-in-Position/Responsibility (TIP/R): TIP/R is longevity/experience factor counting the years doing the particular work assigned.
- Merit: Merit is a performance-based decision based on a supervisory determination.
Each factor is given a percentage value and these values are added together to create a target compa-ratio. That total percentage is then multiplied by the market rate assigned to create a target salary. The target salary becomes the guiding figure used for salary determination. The creation of a target salary is not a guarantee of that salary amount. There may be funding limitations and other factors that may hinder our ability to reach the target.
The initial assignment of market rates to each position involved a collaborative effort that included Human Resources, supervisors and college/division management teams. For various reasons, the market rate may need to be reviewed to ensure the assigned rate is appropriately aligned with the work and responsibilities of the position. This review may be initiated at any time by Human Resources, the supervisor or the college/division management team.
To initiate a review, the supervisor must complete a Modify Action within PeopleAdmin. In the Rationale field, indicate the request for a Market Rate Review and the reason the unit feels a review should be completed. The HR Classification and Compensation Specialist will complete a market rate review, record the final rate within the action, and update the employee's target pay if there are any change as an outcome of the review. An assignment of a new market rate as a result of this review process will not trigger an out-of-cycle salary adjustment. A corresponding salary adjustment may or may not be requested by the supervisor, and such requests must follow the salary adjustment process.
The market rate will be reviewed for all staff positions prior to advertising a vacancy through the PeopleAdmin hiring procedures.
From time to time and for various reasons, staff employees are given temporary work assignments that call for a temporary pay increase. Temporary pay increases should be based on the performance of duties with significantly more responsibility than the primary position. “Temporary” in this case is defined as six months or less. If the duties are long-term or permanent, consider requesting a market rate review to assign a new market rate to the position. If the duties do not warrant a temporary change in pay, you may consider this in the merit pay decision with the next salary cycle.
Supervisors of a classified or exempt staff employee who require an employee to temporarily perform work at a higher level must take into consideration all available and comparably skilled employees within the department for that opportunity. The AA/EEO Officer should approve the request from this perspective. Once approved, Human Resources must confirm that the majority of the duties assigned to that employee are at a higher level and will be worked for a period of not less than four weeks.
Determining the amount of the temporary increase will also use a market-based approach. The process will consider the market rate of the primary position, the market rate of the temporary responsibilities and the full-time equivalency for both. Human Resources will work with the supervisor using this approach to provide its recommendation. A supervisor may need to consider other factors, such as available funding, equity and internal compression.
Work performed at a higher classification may continue until the position is filled, eliminated or six months, whichever is shorter.
Please complete the required form and send it to your HR business partner. This form should be completed as soon as the supervisor is aware of the need; however, the effective date cannot be earlier than one month prior to the submission of the form to Human Resources.
As outlined in the Faculty-Staff Handbook policy 1420.A-2, the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President is responsible for the oversight of the faculty personnel system. Please refer to the Provost/EVP office regarding information and questions related to faculty employment.
The salary agreement defines the annual period of the appointment, change of agreement notice requirements, salary, pay periods, position title, employment status and such other information to define the contract of employment each year for faculty and exempt personnel.
Pay for student and temporary positions covers a range from the state minimum wage and up, depending upon the skills and experience required for the position. Pay ranges for temporary positions are decided upon and approved at the department level, depending upon departmental needs and budget. When determining pay or a pay increase for a temporary employee, please be sensitive to the pay rates of regular, ongoing staff performing similar work and/or working in similar proximity.
FSH 3480, Compensation for Service in Addition to Regular Duties, describes a fairly narrow means to secure additional compensation for faculty and exempt staff. The policy continues to apply to faculty.
For FLSA exempt staff, we now follow the Temporary Pay Increases for Staff Employees process outlined above.