Compensation Study Contains Several 2014 Recommendations

2013 Remuneration Study
Considerations for Action – 2014

Below are the recommendations contained in the recently-conducted remuneration study. This is only a clarification of the recommendations without analysis of the impact to our members. OPEA staff is working on further analysis of the study and will share that with members when complete.

Salary Structure

Move Current pay bands 2-3% movement with effect July 2014. Remove all salaries except elected officials and pay band structure authority out of statute and under authority of HCM (Requires Legislation).

All state jobs have a pay band in which the salary paid to a person doing that job must fall. Those ranges are set in law by the legislature and only the legislature can change them. This recommendation would increase all pay bands by two or three percent in 2014 and would shift the responsibility for setting pay bands from the legislature to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services’ Human Capital Management Division.

Funds (overall)

Given the gap between the current pay practice and the market we recommend a target of 3% funding as a first step toward closing that gap. It should not be seen as an “across the board” movement.

This change would provide funding in 2014 to increase salaries by three percent. It says this funding should by be an “across the board” raise. The criteria for how the increases should occur is spelled out in the “pay delivery” section.


Additional Targeted Funding for classifications in the following Occupational Groups: law enforcements, corrections and juvenile services, nursing and social services.

This recommends the state provide additional funds for salaries for these positions. While is it not yet clear if the recommendation includes all persons in positions in these occupations, it is likely that these positions were chosen due to the market competitiveness for these types of jobs and/or the difficulty that state agencies have in filling these types of positions.


Develop new definition of what is unclassified (to be done as a part of Merit System reform). Place a moratorium on new unclassified positions and agency based classification salaries (Requires Legislation).

This would be the first step in developing definitions to determine which positions should be classified and which should be unclassified across all agencies. Currently, there are some state agencies whose entire workforce is unclassified. It would also prohibit agencies from changing positions from classified to unclassified in the future or from changing a position’s salary based on classification status.

Pay Delivery

Based on an assumption of three percent funding. Two percent to all who meet standards for a statewide market adjustment. One percent for targeted performance and equity adjustments. (Note: being 20 percent behind market, this is a start towards moving towards market. Separate funding for specific classifications in Occupational Groups listed above) (Requires Legislation).

This change would grant a two percent raise in 2014 for state employees who “met standards” as a market adjustment and a first step in correcting low salaries. The other one percent could be used for additional raises but the criteria for those raises are not spelled out in the recommendations. The study says potential options for the additional one percent raise includes employee performance or for persons in positions that are farther behind market than other positions 
Longevity: Four Options: (1) Keep, (2) Gross up and terminate, (3) Grandfather and terminate for new employees, (4) Change name to employee reward recognition program, criteria outside of tenure would be considered (Requires Legislative Action).

This recommendation addresses longevity. The study’s author says fewer and fewer companies and government organizations are making these types of payments based on tenure. He provided four options that the state could do including keeping longevity payments the same as now or terminating them for future employees but keeping them for current employees. The other options he described would be moving longevity payments into employees’ salary or changing it to a payment based on an employee’s job performance rather than their length of employment.

Design and implement an effective performance management process that will allow for strengthening the linkage between pay, performance and relativity to market. Continue the market/targeted based pay increases.

This change would replace the current employee performance system with a different one that could be used to provide for future pay increases based on performance.


Increase benefits to “one times salary” with a minimum of $40,000 (Requires Legislative Action).

This would increase the value of state employee life insurance payments. Upon death of a covered state employee, that employee’s beneficiary would receive a payment equal to the deceased’s annual salary or $40,000 whichever is greater. The current death benefit paid by the state is $20,000 but employees have the option to pay additional premiums to provide for a higher benefit amount upon their death.

Sick Leave/Short & Long-Term Disability

Consider reducing sick leave to 10 days a year. Lower the amount of sick leave that can be donate/used in the shared leave program. Increase the long term disability (LTD) cap from $3,000 to $5,000/month (Requires Legislative Action).

This change reduces the amount of sick leave an employee earns annually from 15 days to 10 days but does not change the amount of leave an employee can accrue. It proposes to lower (amount not specified) how much donated leave can be used by an employee accessing shared leave and the amount that can be donated by an employee. It proposes to increase the limit on the monthly short-term disability payment from $3,000 to $5,000 per month.


Modify the statute that allows for potential escalation of the benefits allowance. Consider reducing the benefits allowance to start the process of employee cost sharing. For example: reduce the employer subsidy for dependent coverage from 75 percent to 50 percent. (This should be done in conjunction with funding for salary increases)(Requires Legislative Action).

This proposal would reduce the percentage that the state pays toward employees’ families’ health insurance coverage. The change would require that employees who provide health insurance for their family members pay more of the premium. It does not propose to change the percentage that the state pays toward employees’ health insurance premiums.

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