Compensation & Classification

Pay Guidelines

In addition to the annual Merit Program for policy-covered staff and the wage increases for represented employees, there are a few other pay vehicles for staff employees.

Equity Increases (Policy-Covered Staff)

**These guidelines apply to non-represented Professional and Support Staff (PSS) employees only**

The Equity Increase Guidelines explain the purpose, criteria, process and effective date rules for Equity Increases at UCSB. In sum, Equity Increases are meant to help correct cases of salary inequity (internal or external), immediate retention problems or inappropriate salary differences between Supervisors and those they supervise (referred to as “salary compression”). Equity Increases are not meant to replace or supplement merit increases or reclassification increases, nor are they given solely on the basis of longevity, performance or increased workload.

Only management may request an equity review or propose an equity increase for an employee. Equity reviews and increases are not an entitlement of the employee nor are they a requirement by the University. The Compensation Analysts are available to advise Management on the appropriateness of such requests.

Purpose: The UCSB Equity Increase Guidelines for Non-Represented Employees are published by Human Resources in order to help departments balance competitive pay with campus salary equity. The guidelines are to be used in conjunction with Local PPSM policy 30.B.7.

Criteria: To be eligible for an equity increase, an employee must be actively working (not on leave), have performance of satisfactory or above and meet one or more of the below criteria:

    1. Internal salary inequity between employees in the same job title on campus.
    2. Internal salary inequity between new hires and current employee in the same job title in a particular department, division or college.
    3. External market inequity, as evidenced by one or more of the below situations:
         a. Valid market data showing that our competition pays higher salaries for similar work
         b. Recruitment difficulties
         c. Sharp increase in turnover for similar work on campus
    4. Immediate retention concerns, such as an external job offer made to an employee.
    5. Salary compression between supervisors and those whom they supervise.
    6. Additional duties and/or responsibilities have been added to the position that increase the complexity or scope but do not warrant a reclassification. Changes to the job must be substantial and on-going and will typically represent at least 20% of the overall position. An updated job description is required to substantiate the request for an equity increase.

Process: If a department is concerned about possible salary inequity, their designated Compensation Analyst can be contacted through HR's Service Now portal. You can request an Equity Report of your department employees by selecting "Equity Information Request".

Once you're ready to submit a request formally, the process is as follows:

  1. Obtain all necessary pre-approvals from your divisional or department authority/control point prior to submitting a request to HR. The delegated authority or control point is typically the Dean, Provost or Vice Chancellor. The department is responsible for understanding and abiding by their approval processes. Please note that all increases are subject to budgetary approval from the appropriate department control point.
  2. The department submits a formal request for equity review by submitting an HR ServiceNow ticket. The process in ServiceNow will prompt you to explain why the increase is being requested. The request should explain which of the equity criteria listed above is met. Information not pertaining to the criteria, such as workload, performance or longevity, need not be included. If the justification includes additional duties and responsibilities, an updated job description must be submitted via OACIS as part of the equity request.
  3. Compensation will confirm the approval or denial of the increase, the new salary and the effective date via a ServiceNow generated email to the department.
  4. If approved, the department may then input the increase into UCPath using a PayPath action. Action code = PAY and Reason code = EQU.

Effective Date: Equity increases for monthly paid employees may be effective the first of the month or later following receipt of the request in Compensation. Equity increases for hourly paid employees may be effective the first of the bi-weekly pay period following receipt of the request in Compensation*.  If the department desires an effective date LATER THAN the first of the month or bi-weekly pay period following receipt, please note this in the request memo/email to Human Resources.

* This policy for hourly employees became effective on July 1, 2013.

Equity Increases (Represented Employees)

In general, all terms and conditions related to pay increases for represented employees are negotiated in the applicable collective bargaining agreement.  Beyond the negotiated terms of an agreement, management has the sole discretion to request an equity review or propose an equity (off-cycle) increase for a represented employee.  All requests for reviews or off-cycle increases must be submitted to Compensation (via Service Now) by management.  Compensation will review and advise management on the appropriateness of such requests.  Any approved off-cycle increases or adjustments must conform with the terms in the applicable collective bargaining unit contract.

Salary Setting


Our goal at UCSB is to compensate our staff employees fairly, equitably and consistently. The two main drivers behind how we do this are:

• Pay Methodology
• Budget

The Career Tracks framework and salary structure are both market based and therefore allow us to focus on how our pay compares to the labor market.

We believe that with evey new hire, promotion, equity or reclassification that each case is unique and a variety of factors should be evaluated to determine the most appropriate pay for that position. Keep in mind that UCSB is a public, higher education employer and how we're funded is an extremely important part of the equation. We're funded through student fees, federal contracts and grants, state tax dollars, and gifts. As such, we have a fiduciary responsibility to maintain sound, equitable and defensible pay practices.

Where in the salary range should employees be paid? Why do we have market based salary ranges if we don't plan to pay everyone at midpoint? We know that midpoint represents the average market median, so should everyone be paid at midpoint?

The answer is No.  Having salary ranges with midpoints as a reference means that the midpoint should represent just that - a reference point. It just means that ON AVERAGE half of all salaries in the market data set fall below the midpoint and half fall above.   We expect salaries to be dispersed throughout the salary range to reflect the differences in experience, knowledge, skill, and service that different employees bring to the position. Generally speaking, we expect that employees with less experience, less knowledge, less skill will be paid in the lower section of the range. And we expect that employees with more seasoned experience at their level, more knowledge and more skill to be paid in the middle section of the range.  Keep in mind that each division has their own unique budget concerns, priorities and limitations so these are just general guidelines and you should be paying close attention to what the internal divisional practices, priorities and limitation are. Overall, placement in the range is largely influenced by a holistic review of the salary setting factors.

When we transitioned to Career Tracks, we created unusuallly wide salary ranges in order to accommodate where existing employees salaries fell within their new grade ranges and to minimize cost to departments to transition to the new Career Tracks framework. These wide ranges contain minimums and maximums that are outside of the norm in the labor market. Our long-term plan is to incrementally narrow the wider ranges over the next several years.

UCSB plans to begin narrowing our ranges considerably over the next few years to fit into a smaller, more "market competitive" zone, as loosely referenced in the red box below. The red box is an example of the grades and salary ranges that may be narrowed and therefore departments should be mindful of how they set salaries over the next few years and aim to hire within narrower limits.


Other Salary Increases

Base-Building Increases:

If more than one salary adjustment takes place on the same date, actions occur in the following order:

  • Systemwide Salary Program actions (i.e. Merit);
  • Salary action resulting from promotion, reclassification, transfer, demotion, or equity adjustment; and
  • Salary range structure adjustment (if applicable).

Promotional Increases:

A salary increase may be granted upon promotion or upward reclassification.

Salary Increases for Lateral Transfers and Lateral Reclassifications:

A salary increase may be granted upon lateral transfer to another position or upon lateral reclassification.

Salary Adjustments Upon Demotion or Downward Reclassification:

An employee should receive a salary decrease upon demotion and they could receive a salary decrease upon downward reclassification. Alternatively, the employee’s current salary rate may be retained even if the salary is above the salary range for the new classification upon special approval per the approval matrix in PPSM 30.

Salary Increases for Limited Appointment/Casual-Restricted Positions:

Employees in limited appointment or casual-restricted positions are eligible for a salary increase at the discretion of the department head during their appointment. In general, departments should pay special attention to the salaries of long-term career employees when granting limited appointment and casual-restricted increases and should align them with internal equity concerns and market considerations. Managers should also take into account the nature and level of work being performed, the performance cycle and the volatility of the market when granting increases.


Meal and/or housing perquisites are provided to employees when they are required as a condition of employment and for the convenience of the University. Such perquisites are considered mandatory. The value of meals and/or housing is included as part of compensation in calculating the regular rate for determining premium overtime pay (if applicable).

Staff Incentive, Recognition, and Bonus Awards

There are two types of cash award programs that can be administered by each UC campus - Incentive Award Programs and Staff Recognition Award Programs. UCSB only offers two recognition award programs (a.k.a. STAR award programs) for staff employees and does not offer an Incentive Award Program for employees.  

Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) Awards:

UCSB provides two different STAR award programs for staff employees:

1. UCSB Staff Assembly's Annual Staff Citation of Excellence Awards Program; and

2. UCSB Chancellor's Sustainability Committee Staff Sustainability Recognition Awards Program.

Incentive Awards:

UCSB does not offer an incentive award program for staff or student employees. 


Stipends can not be issued to staff as a form of recognition, appreciation, reward or bonus. Stipends can only be given to staff employees according to the temporary administrative stipend policy guidelines found in PPSM 30: Compensation. Generally speaking, temporary administrative stipends may be requested for policy-covered staff employees when they spend a significant portion of time, for 30 days or longer, performing duties that are classifiable at a higher level or that are at the same classification level, but significantly different than what they normally do.  Please consult the applicable collective bargaining contract for the policy pertaining to represented employees. 

Non-Cash Awards and other Gifts:

There are other ways of recognizing and rewarding staff and student employees with non-cash awards and other gifts. Please consult the UC Business and Finance Bulletin G-41 for policies and guidelines on issuing non-cash awards and other gifts (such as gift cards) to staff employees.