Frequently Asked Questions About the Professional and Administrative Classification and Compensation StudyGo Directly to Additions
As you know, the University of Maine System is developing a new compensation program for professional and administrative positions. We are committed to communicating information to employees and supervisors about why the new program is needed, how it will work, and what the process of developing it will involve. We hope that the following information will be helpful in keeping you informed about this new program. If you have further questions, please contact your human resources department.
Why change the System's current approach to professional and administrative compensation?
The University of Maine System, as well as most of our campuses, does not have a compensation plan for professional and administrative (P & A) positions. Those plans that do exist have become fragmented and outdated. The current compensation approaches are inconsistent and sometimes result in perceptions of unfair practices by employees. The goal of the new plan is to have one consistent position evaluation process, reduce the number of position titles, create or update position descriptions, define the labor market/s for each campus and create a compensation foundation for the future.
Will the new plan be simpler and easier to understand?
Yes. The primary reasons the new plan will be easier to understand are:
- It will be consistently applied at each of the campuses, although the resulting salaries and salary bands may be different.
- Compensation will be tied to the relevant labor market, and market data will be methodically collected and analyzed .
- Information will be collected in the same manner for all positions.
- All positions will be evaluated using the same point factor instrument.
Will the new plan improve compensation at the System institutions?
The goal is to fix the existing difficulties with current compensation practices. The new plan will create a better and more consistent classification standard, and will lay the foundation for future compensation improvements within the University of Maine System. It is important to make this first step in organizing the plan and getting to know positions better to improve overall compensation in the future.
Will the new plan include all of the professional and administrative positions, both represented and non-represented?
Yes. The new plan will cover all P & A positions up to the 'management group', which consists of positions at or above the level of dean or equivalent.
Will exempt and non-exempt positions be covered under the new compensation program?
No, this new plan will apply only to exempt professional and administrative positions, those which we often refer to as 'professional.' Non-exempt, or 'classified,' positions are covered under a separate program, the UMS Job Classification Program.
Will the new plan include all of the System's institutions?
Yes. The new plan is a state-wide initiative that will develop a classification and compensation program for all UMS units, including the System Office.
What is the timeline for developing the new plan?
Working with an external consultant, the planned schedule is as follow:
- September/October 2002: The Classification and Compensation Committee (Committee) which includes representatives of all universities in the System, developed the System-wide Position Description Questionnaire and the Point Factor Instrument and conducted a Pilot Study of the PDQ at each campus. This Committee also developed and recommended a System-wide University of Maine System Compensation Philosophy Statement to be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval.
- November 13-22: Employee Information Sessions will be held at each campus and the PDQs will be distributed to all professional and administrative employees for completion.
- December: All employees will give the completed PDQ to their immediate supervisor by December 6, 2002. The supervisor will review it and forward it to the campus Human Resources Office by December 13.
- January-June, 2003:
- Each position will be evaluated using the Point Factor Instrument developed by the Committee.
- With the assistance of the external consultant, a market analysis will be completed for each campus. This will involve identifying sources of information about salaries for similar positions outside the university to be used for comparisons.
- Positions will be assigned to job class families, which are groups of related jobs
- Positions will be assigned to salary 'bands' or 'ranges' based on the results of the Point Factor analysis
When will the new plan be implemented?
The goal is to design the new plan and have it approved by July 1, 2003.
Why do I have to complete a Position Description Questionnaire?
The PDQ is the foundation of the entire compensation plan. Employees know their positions better than anyone else. In order for the university to obtain a clear and comprehensive understanding of the duties and responsibilities of each position, it is essential for each employee to take the time to complete the PDQ accurately. The completed PDQ is then reviewed and approved by the immediate supervisor for completeness and accuracy.
When will the position description questionnaire be distributed?
Position Description Questionnaires will be distributed to employees between November 14 and November 25, depending upon location. Employee Information Sessions will be conducted at each campus between November 13 and November 25 to explain how to fill out the PDQ.
What criteria will be used to evaluate positions?
The position analysis system will consider the key factors that affect compensation decisions, including knowledge required to perform the job, problem-solving, decision-making, impact on the institution, fiscal responsibility and supervisory responsibility.
How will my position be evaluated?
Each P & A employee will provide information about his or her position using the Position Description Questionnaire. The completed questionnaire will then be reviewed by the employee's immediate supervisor. Using the Point Factor Instrument and the questionnaire responses, human resources staff will evaluate the positions. A random sample of the evaluations by campus human resources staff will be audited by the external consultant. The Position Description Questionnaires will be different from those used in the past and all employees must fill out the new questionnaire .
How long will it take to review all positions?
The goal is to complete the review of all positions by the end of February, 2003.
Will the position reviews result in all employees receiving an increase in pay?
No. The design and development of the classification and compensation plan is intended to create a system for evaluating jobs, not a way of distributing pay increases . With the help of the external consultant, the University of Maine System will design a classification and compensation plan which will place all positions in a relative ranking of value at each campus (high to low) as well as into job class families. Positions will be placed in this hierarchy before salary bands are determined. For each university, positions will then be compared to relevant market data. Finally, positions will be assigned to the appropriate salary bands, and an individual salary will be assigned to each employee holding the position. Any changes in salaries will take place in future fiscal years, will depend on financial resources available, and, for represented employees, will be subject to collective bargaining with the University of Maine System Professional Staff Association.
Will the position reviews result in some employees receiving a decrease in pay?
No. No employee's salary will be reduced as a direct result of implementing this new plan.
Is it possible for a position to be eliminated as a result of this new plan?
No. All P & A positions are being reviewed only to ensure that they are correctly classified and in the appropriate job class family.
Under the new plan will there be grade levels?
There will be different levels of positions that may be called 'bands', 'grades' or 'ranges'.
What will the new plan pay ranges be?
That is yet to be determined.
How is the market considered when setting salaries under the new plan?
With the assistance of the external consultant, each institution will develop and use its own market analysis. Each institution will determine its relevant markets (local, regional, state and/or national; higher education, non-profit, general) for selected benchmark positions (those positions for which reliable market comparators exist). This process will result in the placement of all positions into job class families and pay bands.
How will the job families be determined?
The duties and responsibilities of each position will be compared to related positions, resulting in the creation of large job class families such as: information technology, research, administrative, student services, athletics, etc.
The Following Questions were added on November 27, 2002
Should a new employee complete a PDQ?
Yes, with the help of his/her supervisor.
What if I have supervision of "volunteers" (non-University employees) as part of my responsibilities?
You should complete the appropriate supervisory duties in part 63A of the PDQ for "volunteers" only if you have authority over the volunteers in the work place. An example of this would be VISTA volunteers assigned to a department.
Should salary budgets be included in part 6B1 of the PDQ?
Should I include a driver's license in my response to part 2C of the PDQ?
I directly supervise students and graduate students in my position. Where should I record this on the PDQ?
On page 9, section 6 of the PDQ you should note your supervision authority in part 3 and note these are student employees.
I have different responsibilities in different areas in my job. How many PDQs must I complete?
You should check with your Human Resources office and discuss your particular scenario with the P&A study committee member. A simple standard is if you have one supervisor for your single position you need only complete one PDQ. If you have two supervisors for two distinct responsibility areas in your single description you should complete two PDQs. If you have two job descriptions obviously you should complete two PDQs.
Last Updated: November 3, 2006