FAQ - Compensation
This page is a list of all frequently asked questions for the Compensation section. The questions are grouped into different categories. Please click on the appropriate topic to view questions and answers for that section.
Positions at the Manager 4 (M4) level serve as the senior manager overseeing a large organization with multiple departments. They identify objectives and direct critical programs with major constituencies across campus. Very few positions on campus meet the M4 criteria. In contrast, a M3 position leads a critical function on campus, typically managing multiple subordinate organizations with different levels of Managers 1 and 2, Supervisors, professionals and other staff.
Positions at the Manager (M3) level lead a critical function on campus, typically managing multiple subordinate organizations with different levels of Managers 1 and 2, supervisors, professionals and other staff. In contrast, a M2 position has responsibility for managing a department though subordinate managers, supervisors and professionals, serves as a consultant to senior management, has significant responsibility to achieve broadly stated goals for the department, identifies objectives, directs programs, and develops overall departmental strategies and policies.
Positions at the Manager 2 (M2) level have responsibility for managing a department though subordinate managers. In contrast, a Manager (M1) level position is the primary manager of a unit or department and does not manage subordinate managers. This is a difficult concept to apply consistently given the lack of hierarchy in many departments on campus, and great care is taken to ensure employees were not unfairly disadvantaged based on department. The M2 level definition includes those who oversee one or more managers or multiple supervisors and professionals. The review process also consistently applies other components of generic scope –positions at the M2 level need to document in the job description how the incumbent would serve as a consultant to senior management, have significant responsibility to achieve broadly stated goals for the department, identify objectives, direct programs, and develop overall departmental strategies and policies
Specific differences are described by the generic scope of each supervisory and managerial level. Another way to look at it is that a manager is responsible for making significant decisions on what the unit does: its purpose, functions and role, and for making commitments and decisions that require the expenditure of significant unit resources. Managers have a significant, external focus (to the world outside the unit), whereas a supervisor has a more internal focused responsibility for implementing the manager’s decisions through the work of subordinate employees. Once a decision is made on what to do, supervisors have a significant role in deciding how to do it; how to achieve the objective established by the manager. Supervisors often perform the same kind of work that the subordinates do; managers do not do the daily work of the unit as a regular part of their work, they may do it more on an exception basis or in resolving the most difficult problems facing the unit.
The key differences between Supervisor 1 (S1) and Supervisor 2 (S2) are defined by the generic scope. An S1 provides immediate supervision to a unit or group of operational or technical employees, whereas an S2 provides supervision and guidance to a group of professionals or skilled operational and technical employees.
The Supervisory and Managerial category describes positions that exercise independent judgment in determining the distribution of work of at least 2 FTEs, and make decisions or recommendations about 3 or more of the following: hiring decisions, performance ratings, merit increases, promotional opportunities, reclassification requests, written warnings, suspensions, disciplinary actions, and/or resolution of grievances or complaints. Each individual job description is reviewed against this definition, and if the customized job content provided by the manager for custom scope, key responsibilities, problem solving and supervision (including organizational chart) does not support the definition of a supervisor or manager job standard, the position will subsequently be approved for a professional job title. Professionals may achieve and be responsible for many of the same functional responsibilities as a manager or supervisor, but achieve results through their own, personally-performed duties, rather than through the efforts of direct reports.
Specific differences between manager and supervisor are described by the generic scope of each supervisory and managerial level.
Another way to look at it is that a manager is responsible for making significant decisions on what the unit does: its purpose, functions and role, and for making commitments and decisions that require the expenditure of significant unit resources. Managers have a significant, external focus (to the world outside the unit), whereas a supervisor has a more internal focused responsibility for implementing the manager’s decisions through the work of subordinate employees. Once a decision is made on what to do, supervisors have a significant role in deciding how to do it; how to achieve the objective established by the manager. Supervisors often perform the same kind of work that the subordinates do; managers do not do the daily work of the unit as a regular part of their work, they may do it more on an exception basis or in resolving the most difficult problems facing the unit.
The generic scope for a professional 5 describes a position that is a recognized campus expert with significant impact and influence on campus policy and program development. Professional positions at this level regularly lead projects of critical importance to the overall campus. Very few positions on campus are at the Professional 5 level.
In contrast, professional 4 positions regularly serve as a technical leader to their department/campus community, perform duties requiring specialized expertise, and frequently analyze or resolve issues that are unique and without precedent.
If the job description submitted provides very limited customized content that supports the level 5 scope, the Compensation Unit can’t assume the employee is performing a professional level 5 position.
The generic scope for a professional 4 describes a position that regularly serves as a technical leader to their department/campus community, performs duties requiring specialized expertise, and frequently analyzes or resolves issues that are unique and without precedent.
The generic scope for an experienced professional 3 describes a position requiring full understanding of the professional field, the ability to apply theory and put it into practice resolving problems of diverse scope and complexity, and broad job knowledge. If the job description submitted provides very limited customized content (i.e., problem solving examples don’t align with professional level 4 key responsibilities or scope) the Compensation Unit can’t assume the position is performing at a professional level 4.
Length of service, while providing employees and the campus with a wealth of institutional knowledge, does not by itself determine the level of responsibility required for the position. Length of service, as well as experience on committees or special projects outside of the scope of the primary job responsibilities, are helpful for preparing the individual for future career opportunities but also do not define the scope or level of the current position.
The generic scope for an experienced professional 3 describes a position requiring full understanding of the professional field, the ability to apply theory and put it into practice, resolving problems of diverse scope and complexity, and broad job knowledge.
A P2 position typically applies acquired professional knowledge and skills to complete tasks of moderate scope and complexity, and exercises judgment within defined guidelines or practices to determine appropriate action.
If the job description submitted at a P3 level provides very limited customized content in custom scope, key responsibilities or problem solving that support the level 3 scope, the Compensation Unit can’t assume the employee is performing at a professional level 3 and would change the title to a P2.
Sometime in the future, key responsibilities from the job description will be copied into the performance evaluation form. Until that additional functionality is available, supervisors/managers will need to copy the content from the description into the performance evaluation form manually. In this manner, there is a direct link between the job description and the performance expectations of the employee performing that job
A job description for review should provide a sentence or two for each applicable key responsibility to explain or customize that responsibility for an individual position. Also, bullet points that expand using examples on specific responsibilities for the incumbent are helpful. We also ask for 2 -3 examples for each of the problem solving sections. The problem solving examples should support the decisions expected of the category and level (i.e., Professional 4: decision making examples aligned with a technical leader demonstrating specialized expertise and resolution of unique issues; Manager 3: managerial decisions demonstrating oversight of subordinate organizations through different levels of managers, supervisors, and professionals.) See Categories and Levels for definitions of the job levels.
It is especially important to provide an accurate and true representation of an individual’s job duties because what is described in the job description will be the basis for review on the performance appraisal form. In other words, since an employee’s performance expectations will be based on their job description, the description needs to accurately define the job.
Individuals appointed to career positions covered by the above mentioned bargaining contracts:
- who are on non-probationary, career status in a position covered by RX & TX on January 1, 2013, and
- who are still on the payroll as an RX & TX career employee at the time the rosters are processed and uploaded into HCM, and
- whose current step rate is below the maximum step rate for the title, and
- who has a documented performance evaluation rating of “Satisfactory” increase
Employees with an appointment type 2 (Career) and appointment type 7 (Partial-Year Career) are considered a "career" employee.
Yes, if the total number of hours worked in the prior 12 months is 1,000 hours or more.
No, this is only for non-probationary career employees.
Yes, assuming they meet all other eligibility criteria. However, the step increase for employees on leave cannot be processed by the automatic roster upload to HCM, but by the department when the employee returns from leave.
No, the RX & TX January 1, 2013 step increase is not intended for non-career employees.
The current department will need to contact the old department for an assessment of the employee's performance for the time period the employee was in the old department in order to determine eligibility.
Employees who do not have a written, documented performance evaluation during the recent twelve month, evaluation period will be deemed to be "Satisfactory".
The employee will appear on two rosters – your department roster and the roster in the other control unit. Each 50% appointment will be handled separately.
No, when the rosters are submitted electronically, the campus e-policy holds that whoever submits the roster has obtained the internal approvals necessary to generate the salary increases. However, departments are encouraged to maintain signed hard copies of their rosters.
Both Achievement and Spot Awards are intended to recognize and reward individuals, and teams of employees, for demonstrating:
- Exceptional performance: Demonstrated and sustained exceptional performance that consistently exceeds goals and work expectations in quantity and/or quality.
- Creativity: One-time innovation or creation that results in time/dollar savings, revenue enhancement, productivity improvement; and/or ongoing innovative/creative activities that benefit organizational systems, protocols, and/or procedures.
- Organizational abilities: Exhibiting extraordinary skills in leadership resulting in the accomplishment of significant departmental or divisional goals and objectives; effective project management, which could include developing a project and/or implementing a project with substantial success; and/or demonstrating organizational capability leading to a greater level of effectiveness.
- Work success: Significantly exceeding productivity, customer service, quality of care or similar goals, including demonstrating superior interactions with managers, peers, supervisors, subordinates, the University community, and/or clients and customers served.
- Teamwork: Acting as an exceptionally effective and cooperative team member or team leader for a team that has significantly exceeded the goals/objectives of the department unit.
The threshold for granting an Achievement Award is significantly higher than for a Spot Award, and the level of approval has been set higher.
- Achievement Awards are designed to recognize sustained, exceptional performance and/or significant contributions over an extended period of time that represents a major portion of the employee's area of responsibilities, including performance or project goals above and beyond normal performance expectations.
- Spot Awards are designed to recognize special contributions, as they occur, for a specific project or task. Spot Awards are generally for a special contribution accomplished over a relatively short time period. A Spot Award lets employees know that someone has noticed their noteworthy contribution. At the same time, it recognizes and reinforces the behaviors and values that are important at UC Berkeley.
The campus will seek feedback from supervisors, staff, and administrators to ensure the program is achieving outcomes that benefit the campus, departmental operations and individual employees. Control Unit Administrators will also review usage of Achievement and Spot Awards to ensure colleges, divisions, and departments are encouraged to utilize the program funds. Central HR will evaluate and monitor usage of funds on a regular basis.
Although a nomination form may work for many areas of campus, for some areas, it may not be the most effective means to determine who may deserve an Achievement or Spot Award. If a campus department feels another method of nomination may be more appropriate, an alternative approach may be used, provided it is reviewed with the Control Unit Administrator and the Compensation Unit to ensure the method meets the guidelines of the Achievement and Spot Award program.
Control Units will receive an allocation for Achievement and Spot Awards at the beginning of each fiscal year. If a Dean or VC may not expend all of the current fiscal year's funds for the fiscal year, as they approach the last month of the fiscal year, they may use any remaining nominal amount to provide training for their staff.
In the new fiscal year, Deans and VCs will receive a supplemental annual allocation to "top off" last year's remaining funds (if any) in order to provide a total allocation appropriate for the unit as of the end of the previous fiscal year. The supplemental allocation for the new fiscal year will be determined in the first week in August to ensure all awards which were processed at the end of the past fiscal year are captured.
The assessment for represented employees was negotiated into employee salaries as part of the contract bargaining process. Employees represented by unions are not eligible since the funding for this program comes from monies generated from an assessment on payroll for non-represented employees.
The award funds may not be supplemented by department, division or college funds.
Employees who are part of a team may be considered for the Berkeley Campus Achievement and Spot Award program.
Any employee who is eligible (based on the published criteria) may be nominated for an Achievement or Spot Award. However, the employee must be on active pay status or on an approved unpaid leave at the time the award payment is processed.
The program is funded by a payroll assessment of non-represented employees. Funds are distributed to the Vice Chancellors or Dean on the basis of the eligible population. The funds are a portion of campus payroll and not a deduction from individual salaries.
Students are NOT eligible to receive Achievement Awards, which are limited to Career, Partial Year Career, and Contract employees. Student employees ARE eligible to receive Spot Awards. Both Work Study and non-Work Study student employees in non-academic positions are eligible to receive Spot Awards.
Award funds are allocated based on the total salaries of PPSM staff employees in the following appointment types: Career, Partial-Year Career, Contract, Limited, and Per Diem. The population is based on figures as of the end the fiscal year.
Yes, the University-paid fringe benefits rate will be charged to the units. Due to varying amounts for Recognition Awards, units should calculate the full costs of the award which includes the 38% Fringe Benefits Rate. These costs will be charged to the same fund as the Achievement and Spot Awards. Departments should use 38% of the planned award amount to calculate this cost. For example, for a $400 Spot Award, $552 should be reserved in the fund to cover the unit cost and for a $2,000 Achievement Award, $2,760 should be reserved to cover the unit cost.
In the examples above, the actual award made to the employee would be $400 (less taxes) and $2,000 (less taxes) respectively. In other words, awards should not be grossed up.
No, the Achievement or Spot Award may be paid to employees via a direct deposit as soon as reasonably possible. Providing employees with the award along with a Thank You Letter and an Award Certificate will reinforce the campus’ appreciation for the special achievement.
With one exception, under the PPSM program, stipends are granted to employees, including those in step ranges, in place of temporary reclassifications or promotions. Thus, employees in this program retain their classification and are granted a stipend as a percentage of their salary. The PPSM procedures identify the factors managers should consider in recommending an administrative stipend.
In certain cases, a temporary reclassification or promotion to a higher level position may be appropriate to assure compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If the employee's permanent position is non-exempt under FLSA, e.g., Financial Analyst 2, and the higher level position is exempt under FLSA, e.g., Financial Analyst 3, a temporary reclassification/ promotion with a change in title may be appropriate. Otherwise, any time worked over 40 hours in a workweek in the higher level position would have to be compensated at the premium rate of time and a half and conflict with the exemption of the higher level position.
Note that consideration for a stipend may also be given on an exceptional basis for performance of "other significant duties not part of the employee's regular position."
As with other increases - merit, promotion, reclassification - the salary structure for the position will determine whether increases are granted by percentage or step: positions with step ranges will remain eligible for a half-step increase; limited appointment employees who meet the requirements will be eligible for a percentage increase of up to 2%.
Yes, if they are otherwise eligible.
Yes, employees who accept lateral transfers retain eligibility for their merit increases.
Under the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM), the hiring department is delegated salary setting authority, up to and including Step 3, for those in step ranges, and between the minimum and up to and including the midpoint of the range for those in salary grade ranges. The Vice Chancellor approves salaries above the midpoint and Step 3. (Information about delegations for setting salaries upon reclassification, promotion, or lateral transfer is posted elsewhere on this site.)
A promotion involves movement from one position to a different position with a higher salary range midpoint through a competitive recruitment process. An upward reclassification involves a change in the functions of a position, which results in the assignment of an employee’s current position to a new payroll title with a higher salary range midpoint. A reclassified employee typically retains the majority (50% or more) of the prior functions and assumes additional functions as well.
An employee's new salary after a reclassification or promotion depends on a number of factors, including external market comparisons, internal equity, departmental budget considerations, the employee's performance, and the knowledge and skills the employee brings to the position.
A lateral transfer is movement to another position with the same salary range midpoint. A lateral transfer may occur within a department, or between departments on the Berkeley campus, or between campuses.
No, lateral transfer salary increases are not automatic. A lateral transfer salary increase may be given upon movement to a position that was openly recruited. A manager should consider the skills the employee brings to the new position, relevant external market comparisons, internal equity, and departmental budget considerations. The department offering the lateral transfer may make one salary offer. The transferring employee's current department can counter-offer if it chooses, but one time only, to avoid bidding wars. As in the case of other salary offers, managers will want to consider the criteria discussed above. A manager may have the funds to offer a salary up to the range midpoint, or even to request approval of an over midpoint salary from the relevant Vice Chancellor. But in doing so, the manager will also want to avoid creation of inequities with others in the unit.
The Compensation Unit is available to provide guidance to managers and supervisors who are making decisions about salaries, for external market salary comparisons and internal equity considerations based upon availability of information. If you have questions about your own salary range, please talk to your manager or supervisor. (For more information, see Salary Ranges.)
The department head (or designee) may approve reclassification/promotional and lateral transfer salary increase requests up to and including the midpoint of the range for a position without steps and up to step 3 for a position with steps. To ensure that salary decisions receive all due consideration, each Vice Chancellor will continue to have the authority to approve salaries above the midpoint of the range for Professional and Support Staff (PSS) positions and Management and Senior Professional (MSP) positions. However, each Vice Chancellor has the authority to further delegate that authority within his or her control unit.
Under University policy, an employee's total base salary increase in a single fiscal year may not exceed 25% of the employee's June 30 salary, unless an exception is granted by the Chancellor.
The Compensation Unit is available to provide guidance to managers and supervisors who are making decisions about salaries, for external market salary comparisons and internal equity considerations based upon availability of information. If you have questions about your own salary range, please talk to your manager or supervisor. (For more information, see Salary ranges.)
More than 25%, i.e., 25.1% or higher.
No, moving from a salary grade 18 to a grade 17 position is considered a downward reclassification or a demotion, not a lateral transfer, since the midpoint of the grade 17 salary range is lower than the midpoint of the grade 18 salary range.
Actions taken for employees represented by bargaining units must still be in accordance with the contract language covering the situation.
Each of the four Student Assistant series levels has a defined pay range. Departments should consider the title and salary level provided to limited or career staff performing similar work, the knowledge, skills and abilities the student employee brings to the position, and the departmental budget.