Stanford University Home

Stanford News Archive

Stanford Report, August 26, 1998

Total Comp News: Staff Salary Program: 8/98

1998-99 Staff Salary Program

The time frame for communicating salaries effective September 1, 1998, is determined by individual Deans and Senior Officers, and may begin as early as mid-June and continue throughout the summer. The Compensation Department of Total Compensation has prepared the following information to assist you in understanding Stanford's direct compensation program for staff members who are not part of a bargaining unit.

Objective of the salary program

The objective of Stanford's salary program is to attract, retain, and reward qualified, effective staff in support of Stanford's mission of teaching and research. To achieve this goal, salary ranges are reviewed annually and adjusted, as needed, to ensure that they continue to be fair and competitive.

Each Spring, the Board of Trustees approves the salary program for the upcoming fiscal year. Where the Board approves an increase in the salary program, it is a percentage increase over the aggregate base salary of continuing employees. This percentage (referred to as the salary allocation) is determined largely by consideration of external market conditions and the University's financial resources. The University strives to maintain a competitive salary position within the relevant labor markets for its jobs.

Related Information:

Who is covered by the staff salary program

The staff salary program applies to all regular staff, including exempt staff, nonexempt non-bargaining unit staff, supervisors of bargaining unit employees (S-range staff), nursing staff, Bing teaching staff and academic library staff. It does not apply to staff covered by collective bargaining agreements, faculty, teaching staff or academic research staff.

This year's salary program

The salary program consists of two primary components:

Performance-based increases

The 1998-99 salary allocation applies to the following categories of regular staff and increases for individual employees will vary, based on performance:

Range adjustments

Effective September 1, 1998, all salary ranges are being increased. These include the Curve Ranges for exempt staff, the Four-Step Ranges for nonexempt non-bargaining unit staff, the S-Ranges for Supervisory Range staff, the K-Ranges for nursing staff and the T-Ranges for Bing teaching staff.

Range adjustments apply to individual salaries only in the following cases:


Within the university budget guidelines, schools and VP areas administer their own salary-setting and program-delivery guidelines, which relate to their performance-ranking systems and business needs.

Each school and VP area may withhold, as necessary, some percentage of the total salary allocation to address exceptional performance/contribution, equity adjustments, and midyears. As a result, there will be variations in program announcements by schools and VP areas.

General questions and answers on the staff salary program

Q. I hear that employees in other schools and VP areas may be informed of their salary increases at different times throughout the summer. Why is there a difference in announcement time?

A. Recognizing that each school and VP area establishes its own review and approval process for salary and budget proposals, we give these large administrative areas the option to announce their salary increases between June 15 and September 1.

Q. Why do some schools and VP areas communicate different salary programs?

A. The university is subject to one salary program and the salary allocation was communicated to the Deans, Directors, Vice Presidents and Vice Provosts of each school and VP area.

Each school and VP area is expected to withhold, as necessary, some percentage of the total salary allocation to address exceptional performance/ contribution, equity adjustments, and midyears. As a result, there will be variations in program announcements by schools and VP areas.

Q. What are the factors that influence or affect my salary increase?

A. The primary factor that should be considered when determining your salary increase is your performance. Other factors that may influence salary include internal equity, external market pressures and, to some extent, years of experience.

Q. What if I have questions about my increase?

A. You should discuss the matter with your immediate supervisor, who has knowledge about your job performance.

Q. What if my performance should change after my new salary is determined, but before it is implemented?

A. Your salary increase is intended to reflect sustained performance over a year's time, not just during the last few weeks prior to your review. A recent change in your performance should not result in a change in your salary increase this year. However, departments do reserve the right to revise salary increases ­ upward or downward, as long as they stay within the established guidelines ­ at any time before they are implemented.

Q. Do we get a "cost-of-living" increase?

A. No. Our salary program is based on how well employees perform their jobs and does not provide for a minimum increase based on the rise in the cost of living. Several factors influence our salary allocation, such as external market conditions and the University's financial resources.

Q. How does Stanford know if its salaries are competitive with the market?

A. Each year, the Compensation Department of Total Compensation conducts and participates in a variety of local, regional and industry-wide salary surveys that provide information for comparable positions in the University. This market pay information is reviewed and analyzed to identify trends and changes in pay practices locally and regionally. This information is then used to develop the salary program and pay ranges that ensure that the University remains competitive.

Q. What if the surveys indicate that the salaries of a specific job group are not competitive with the market?

A. In evaluating the market position for specific job groups, we look at market trends and recruitment/retention issues. When the market position of a specific job group needs improvement, a market adjustment is recommended. This means that individuals in specific job groups may be eligible for a percent increase in addition to their salary program increase. An individual employee's market adjustment will depend on such factors as his/her performance evaluation and current salary in relation to peer salaries.

Q. Has Stanford's current financial status affected the size of our salary program?

A. Yes, just as it is affecting our ability to spend in other areas.

Q. Does the size of my salary increase depend on where the money comes from? (My salary is funded by a government agency, and I'm wondering whether that will affect my increase.)

A. No. The university has a long-standing policy that the source of salary funds will not be a factor in determining an individual's rate of pay or the individual's eligibility for benefits. Thus a shortage of agency funds would not mean a smaller salary program for individuals funded by that agency; nor would a surplus of agency funds mean a larger salary program. It is important to remember that your employer is the university, not the funding agency.

Q. I have been a nonexempt employee in the merit zone for several years, and my increases have been smaller than those of newer nonexempt employees in my department who are on steps. Why is that?

A. When an employee is first hired for a job, it is expected that he or she will go through an initial period of fairly rapid growth in learning the new job.

Steps A through D of the B-Ranges for nonexempt non-bargaining unit staff are intended to recognize this rapid growth. If you are in the merit zone, your salary already reflects the rapid growth of the step increases. Employees in the merit zone continue to grow and learn, but the rate of growth isn't expected to be as great as it was when the person was new in the job. Consequently, the rate of salary increase for new nonexempt non-bargaining unit staff is greater than that for a more experienced staff.

The important point to remember is that even though your rate of increase may be smaller than that of your new co-worker, your salary is still higher. You are being paid as a fully experienced employee, enjoying the benefit of past step increases, while your co-worker on the steps is still working toward that goal.

Q. I am part of a bargaining unit. How does that affect my salary?

A. Nonexempt workers in technical, maintenance and service jobs are represented by the United Stanford Workers (USW). Please refer to the September 1, 1997, Stanford University/USW Agreement for pay guidelines and tables.

For Community Service Officers and Deputy Sheriffs who are covered by the August 1, 1998, Agreement between Stanford Deputy Sheriffs' Association and Stanford University, refer to the Agreement for guidelines and tables.

Q. What if I have questions about this article?

A. You should talk to your supervisor or your local Human Resources Officer (HRO). If you do not know who your Human Resources Officer is, you can find out by calling the Compensation Department of Total Compensation at 3-4083.