The VCU classified salary administration plan outlines how the university implements the commonwealth of Virginia’s classified compensation management system. This plan outlines specifically how the university implements job evaluation, compensation and performance management. The salary administration plan is the foundation for ensuring consistent application of compensation management and job evaluation decisions. The plan will help prevent employee disputes based on misapplication of policy and it will assist the university in monitoring and evaluating the classified compensation management process.
VCU evaluates classified and wage positions using the commonwealth’s classification system (whole job evaluation method). Positions are assigned to roles (known as “Position Classes” in Banner) that encompass a broad group of occupation-related jobs that represent varying levels of work and are further distinguished using the federal Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system (in Banner, known as federal Occupational Title Code or “OTC”).
The effective date of the original VCU classified salary administration plan was Sept. 25, 2000. The latest revision of the salary administration plan became effective Oct. 25, 2004.
The university’s compensation philosophy is to compensate employees in a manner sufficient to support and develop a high performance workforce so that quality services are provided in a fiscally responsible manner to the university’s internal and external customers and the citizens of the commonwealth.
In addition, VCU has operationalized its compensation philosophy by identifying the basic goals and values that guide the ongoing design, implementation and administration of the university’s classified compensation management program. The following are the underlying principles of VCU’s compensation philosophy:
Human Resources reviews each requested action and conducts post-audits of select compensation actions every six months. Annually, we review and compile a report of university-wide classified compensation actions. Additionally, we continually review all existing policies, practices and information systems requirements to determine if revisions and adjustments are needed to support the university’s compensation philosophy and classified compensation management system.
The following outlines the types of actions each level in the organization is responsible/accountable for in implementing the classified compensation management system. The goal is to delegate compensation decisions to the level of management responsible for supervising the operational unit and the employee.
VCU Compensation Committee
Committee members include representatives from the Office of the President, each vice presidential area, budget and resource analysis, assurance services, a designated school, staff senate and Human Resources. The assistant vice president for Human Resources chairs the committee. The committee’s responsibilities include:
As the university’s senior administrators, this management level oversees the classified compensation management program by:
This level of university management is responsible for the following:
Department chair/division head/first line supervisor
This level of university management is responsible for the following:
Our staff will serve as consultants to university management and employees in order to increase their understanding of the application of the classified compensation management system by:
VCU classified employees are responsible for the following:
VCU will recruit for vacant positions using working titles. As part of the recruitment process, we will assist recruiting managers and supervisors in identifying an “anticipated hiring range” that considers salary reference data, total compensation, internal alignment of similar staff, overall budget and other pay determination factors as appropriate. Generally, hiring ranges will be included in job postings or advertisements.
Qualified applicants will be interviewed and selected according to the VCU Human Resource policy on Employment, Promotion and Transfer. For centralized hiring decisions, Human Resources will review the selection packet and potential salary offer submitted by the hiring department. Upon Human Resource’s approval of the potential salary offer, the hiring department can begin the final salary offer negotiations with the applicant selected for hire. No one has authority to make an offer or to offer a specific salary to a prospective employee until approval from HR has been obtained, with the exception of decentralized hourly new hires. HR will confirm the official salary offer and other conditions of employment in writing to the selected applicant.
The following describes VCU’s performance management process for classified employees.
VCU’s probationary period for classified employees is 12 months from the date of employment. The university uses the probationary progress review form to document performance during the first twelve months of employment. Reviews are encouraged at any time during the probationary review period, but should be conducted after six months of employment.
Extension of the probationary period for an additional six months will be considered for performance reasons or if an employee transfers to a new position within the second half of the 12-month probation period. Such extensions require Human Resources review and the departmental reviewer’s approval as indicated on the probationary progress review form.
Probationary period exception: VCU requires current employees or employees transferring from another state agency who are entering positions classified as police officer and police dispatcher to serve another 12-month probationary period. Since these public safety positions require certification following completion of a mandatory training program, the additional probationary period ensures performance is reviewed after completion of training and certification. Employees will be notified of this requirement during the recruitment process and in the employment offer letter. The departmental reviewer and Human Resources must approve extensions of probation beyond the 12-month period.
Performance management tools for non-probationary employees
VCU has developed the following forms for the performance management process. Departments are encouraged to use these forms but can develop their own with Human Resources review and approval.
Interim evaluations for non-probationary employees are encouraged and the reviewer’s signature is not required. Other performance management tools will be considered in future phases to include team evaluation, upward feedback evaluation and peer/customer (“360 degree”) evaluation. Departments that wish to develop such tools before they are implemented university-wide must work in conjunction with Human Resources to develop.
Employee work profile (EWP)
The employee work profile (EWP) work description/performance plan should be completed within 30 days of the beginning of the performance cycle (by Nov. 25 of each year). The EWP should be completed, reviewed and signed with an employee who is beginning a new or different position within 30 days of the employee’s begin date.
VCU requires that certain elements be included in all EWPs. A required competency of all university employees is “customer service.” Additional required competencies may be established at the departmental level as appropriate. Employees are required to sign a confidentiality and compliance statement, which emphasizes VCU’s values in these areas. Additionally, the job’s physical and cognitive requirements section must be completed. Other specific requirements and evidence of demonstrated competency that are required (certification and licensure) must be listed in the annual requirements section.
Performance increase philosophy and process
The university has elected to distinguish between different levels of performance based on five general ratings (extraordinary achiever, high achiever, achiever, fair performer and unsatisfactory performer).
The Commonwealth of Virginia has specified three performance categories (extraordinary contributor, contributor and below contributor). The university’s three middle performance ratings (high achiever, achiever and fair performer) equate to the commonwealth’s “contributor” level for conversion and compensation purposes.
Annually, the Virginia General Assembly determines the performance increase budget, if any; the amount of increase, if any; and the method of delivery (e.g., base pay increase and/or lump-sum bonus). VCU grants classified performance increases in accordance with the General Assembly’s decision. If performance increases are uniform (e.g., the same percentage amount regardless of the performance rating) or variable (e.g., different percentage amount based on the employee’s overall performance rating), VCU implements accordingly.
Performance appraisal appeals process
Employees who wish to appeal their performance appraisals should refer to VCU’s classified performance evaluation appeal options and/or the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management’s (DHRM) Policy 1.40: Performance Planning and Evaluation.
Wage employment is used to address seasonal or temporary workload increases, interim replacements, short-term projects or other similar situations. Human Resources (and departments in the case of decentralized wage positions) will evaluate wage positions using the same job evaluation methodology and job structure that that is used for classified positions. The following pay practices are used for wage employees:
VCU currently has alternate pay band structures that differ from the Commonwealth of Virginia’s salary structure. Alternate pay bands have been developed based on market analysis for VCU’s information technology and campus police/emergency dispatcher positions. These alternate pay bands are reviewed and, if indicated by labor market, revised annually.
VCU HR consultants provide consultation and technical guidance to managers and supervisors in their assigned departments on issues dealing with compensation management and job evaluation. All compensation actions must follow the pay practice guidelines and recognition award guidelines.
Depending on the pay practice being implemented, documentation may include a pay action worksheet, employee work profile, a current performance evaluation on file with an acceptable level of employee performance and/or a completed personnel action form. Role changes, in-band adjustments and recognition awards are implemented on a monthly basis (effective the 10th of the month). No compensation action will be retroactive.
VCU continuously monitors and evaluates the implementation of the classified compensation management system and makes adjustments as appropriate.
The following factors form the basis for the periodic review of the university’s implementation of the classified compensation management system:
Compensation program evaluation
The university continuously evaluates its compensation management program using the following schedule:
VCU encourages managers, supervisors and employees to communicate openly and clearly about the university’s compensation management system and the organizational unit’s compensation priorities and challenges. Communication should be an open dialogue between all parties.
Use of the appeal process does not automatically extend the 30 calendar-day timeframe to initiate a formal grievance. HR employee relations specialists are available to assist the employee in developing an appeal and the manager in preparing a response.
All compensation decisions must be based on legitimate reasons as detailed in the pay determination factors and unrelated to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability. Compensation decisions will be reviewed to determine their impact on diversity.
The communications vehicles listed below are used by Human Resources to inform, educate and provide updates to university administration, department managers, personnel administrators and employees on the university’s classified compensation management system.