Salary Setting Goals
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
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.
Salary Setting Factors
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.
Placement in the Range
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 current plan is to incrementally narrow the wider ranges over two years (July 2022 and July 2023).
Market Competitive Zone
Despite narrowing efforts, UCSB's salary ranges are still wider than what is typically found in the labor market. Average range widths in the labor market, for professional and managerial positions, tend to range between 50-80%. Salaries outside of that range (below or above) are considered outliers. The Market Competitive Zone (shown in the red box below) displays ranges that are anywhere from 61-80% wide. This alternative chart is a tool that hiring managers can use to set salaries upon hire, reclass or for pay equity purposes.
Market Competitive Zone 2022 (pdf)