P&S Council approves FY19 salary recommendations

Next P&S Council meeting: Feb. 1 (2:10-4 p.m., MU Gallery)

P&S Council professional development conference: Feb. 14 (8 a.m.-4:45 p.m., Scheman Building), register online

Professional and Scientific Council passed a motion on Jan. 4 to send university administration two documents -- its 2018 compensation and benefits report and FY19 compensation and benefits recommendation. The motion was passed after one reading, following a request by council member Barb Wollan, human sciences extension and outreach, to suspend rules requiring a second reading at the council's February meeting.

"Given the budget cycle and whatever might happen because of concerns about the current year's budget, we feel like it's worth suspending the rules in order to get this out there because it's urgent," Wollan said.

The report

The 2018 compensation and benefits report asks administrators to focus on four areas to ensure professional and scientific (P&S) employees are rewarded for their efforts and talented individuals seek employment at Iowa State. The four areas are:

  • Total compensation
  • Adequate performance-based pay increases
  • Annual and uniform employee evaluations to support pay increases
  • New revenue streams to pay for salary increases

The report concludes that, without attention to these efforts, the pool of talented P&S employees will diminish, decreasing the effectiveness of university programs and projects.

The recommendation

The council's P&S compensation and benefits recommendations for FY19 are:

  • Annual salary adjustments should be based on employee performance as part of the university's stated policy, and employees who perform at a satisfactory level should receive an increase at least equivalent to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • University human resources (UHR) should require universal compliance with the employee performance policy, making sure each employee has an annual appraisal. Supervisors who fail to give performance appraisals would be held accountable by UHR.
  • Employees who perform at or above a satisfactory level should receive an average salary increase of at least 3 to 5 percent, and the minimum increase should at least match the CPI for the year.
  • The university should develop and communicate a strategy for improving and developing new revenue streams while continuing to advocate for increases in legislative appropriations.
  • Administrators should satisfy these salary needs before pursuing funding for other projects and new initiatives.

Councilors discussed the motion at length, offering minor revisions and expressing appreciation to the council's compensation and benefits committee for its work.

Class/comp review update

Emma Mallarino-Houghton, UHR director of classification and compensation, told members the classification and compensation review project team will spend January collecting and evaluating benchmark market data to determine if university employees' salaries are competitive with similar positions in other organizations.

Council president Jessica Bell asked Mallarino-Houghton when employees will know if their positions are changing as a result of the project. Mallarino-Houghton said it's too soon to talk about specific impacts.

"That much more robust conversation on what we've developed will come later," she said.

Mallarino-Houghton also told councilors reclassifications and hiring should continue as usual.

"It's business as usual. Keep going. Despite all these big initiatives, we're still processing requests, we're still filling jobs," she said. "Don't discourage people from that."