Compensation Guidelines

go to top

1. Guidelines for Administering Compensation at UNL

Under NU Values the role of Human Resources (HR) is that of a business partner, or consultant to unit leadership, assisting them as they make pay rate decisions. HR monitors for compliance with state and federal regulations, as well as University policy, and may require a review of documentation describing pay decisions that are outside of certain policy and governmental parameters.

Unit leadership holds the primary responsibility of ensuring that staff is compensated appropriately and fairly. HR will provide these leaders with the necessary resources to make decisions on salary. Unit leadership holds responsibility for making and documenting decisions in compliance with all laws, regulations and policies. HR has primary responsibility for gathering and utilizing labor market pay data, determining the employment category (M/P or O/S), making the FLSA exemption designation (exempt/salaried or nonexempt/hourly-paid), and assigning the title code. In addition, job family, zone assignment and job title require HR concurrence. In order to make these determinations, HR will acquire and maintain internal and external salary data, review all newly created positions, review all changes of zone or family, and review all salary changes that exceed policy guidelines.

go to top

2. New Hire Salary for a New or Refill Position

Prior to filling a position, unit leadership has the responsibility for determining the hiring pay rate or range of pay within which the starting pay will fall. Unit leadership should consult with HR in determining appropriate rate/range.

Hiring rate/ranges are documented within the development of the on-line job description for all new positions and for vacant positions that require updating or reclassification. Hiring rate/ranges for refills without reclassification of position are documented as part of the on-line requisition system.

Upon request, HR will provide units with relevant information to consider when determining appropriate hiring rate/range. This position-specific information may cover a wide range of data, including:

  • Entry, competitive, and performance salary ranges based upon external market data.
  • Internal (unit/department) salary data of same or similar positions.
  • Campus-wide salary data of same or similar positions.
  • Position turnover history.

The rationale for salary offers that exceed the established hiring rate/range must be documented on the
Salary Determination Form and forwarded to HR prior to submission of the PAF.

Note: Employees who transfer to a different organizational unit are treated as new hires for pay purposes.

go to top

3. Temporary Employee Salary Decisions

Pay of temporary employees should be kept in an appropriate relationship to the pay of regular employees who perform similar duties. Temporary employees' pay may change when the work that they are performing changes similar to a reclassification of a regular position. Setting rates above the currently approved threshold require a description of duties and consultation with HR. Longer-term temporary employees pay may be increased on July 1st. Requests for salary consultations/approvals should be submitted by e-mail to hrclasscomp@unl.edu.

go to top

4. Pay Increase – Advancement Within Zone

Using the on-line job description unit leadership reviews and updates the job description and determines that the addition of duties, assignments, or employee competencies warrants advancement within the zone. The increase and rationale for this increase are documented in the Salary Considerations Section of the job description.

Advancements that exceed 10% per action require HR concurrence.

go to top

5. Pay Increase – Promotion to a Higher Zone

Using the on-line job description unit leadership reviews and updates the job description and, upon reviewing the Master Matrix, determines that the addition of duties, assignments or responsibilities warrants promotion to a new zone.

Promotions that exceed 20% per action require HR concurrence.

go to top

6. Pay Increase – Market or Equity Adjustments

If unit leadership feels that staff pay is out of alignment with the market, or that internal pay equity issues exist, they are encouraged to contact HR to initiate a review of staff compensation. The rationale for market adjustments, including counter offers, and equity adjustments must be documented on a
Salary Determination Form. Market adjustment requests should identify the applicable market comparisons. Outside offers should be verified by the department prior to submission of request. Equity adjustment requests should specify which individuals/jobs are being compared and how are they comparable. These pay increases require HR concurrence.

go to top

7. Pay Increase – Performance or Merit

Performance increases may be given on January 1 and July 1 for 12-month employees, and at the beginning of the academic year and beginning of the second semester for academic year employees. Performance increases may not exceed 10% of an individual's salary within a fiscal year. Performance increases require approval of the appropriate dean or director and vice chancellor.

go to top

8. Pay Increase – Temporary Responsibility Pay/Overload

Temporary increases in pay may be appropriate when there is a temporary increase in responsibilities. This should occur only when the increased responsibility is work performed outside of the assigned job and at a higher level of classification. Temporary increases are limited to 20%. Rate change and rationale for the temporary increase may be documented either on a Salary Determination Form or other written documentation. Preferably, HR consultation should be obtained prior to submission of PAF. Requests may be submitted by e-mail to hrclasscomp@unl.edu.

go to top

9. Pay Increase Limitations

Salary increases for the purpose of advancement, promotion or performance may not exceed 2 occurrences in a fiscal year without prior approval from HR. Salary increases from the Legislature are not included in this limitation.

HR may intervene in a salary offer if it in any way creates a legal liability for the University. HR may stop a pay change for an existing employee or change the amount if they determine that the change amount will create a legal liability for UNL.

go to top

10. Reduction in Pay

Reductions in pay may either be voluntary or involuntary. Specifically:

  • Voluntary Reduction may occur when an employee either accepts or requests a decrease in pay. This may be as result of reclassification or placement in another position. If the employee remains in same position, a revised on-line job description must be approved prior to salary reduction. HR provides consultation/review prior to effecting the action.
  • Demotion will occur if a corrective action or disciplinary reduction in job assignment results in a decrease in pay. A revised on-line job description must be prepared and HR must approve the reduction in pay action prior to employee notification or changing of pay.