2022-2023 Administrative Policy Manual Published September 2, 2022 
    
    Apr 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Administrative Policy Manual Published September 2, 2022 [ARCHIVED COPY]

Salary Increases/Adjustments


Policy Number: 8.2.18.2
Effective Date: February 27, 2023
Revision History: March 17, 2022 
Policy Contact: Chief Human Resources Officer

I. Purpose and Policy Statement

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for granting pay increases for employees and to ensure consistency in compensation practices across Georgia Gwinnett College (“GGC”).

Pay increases to employees may be granted upon promotion or reclassification to a higher-level position, through pay grade adjustments for job titles, to address salary inequities, or through merit increases. Increases are based on the requesting Department and/or the Institution’s ability to fund.

II. Scope

All employees of GGC are covered by this policy.

III. Definitions

Base salary or base pay: The rate of compensation for a standard work period, job, or position exclusive of bonus payments, benefits, additional payments or allowances.  It can be expressed as an annual salary, or as being paid hourly, weekly or monthly.

Salary/Pay Range: The GGC approved pay range for a position, consisting of a minimum zone, proficiency zone and maximum zone base salary amount.

Minimum salary zone: The least amount of compensation that will typically be paid to a new hire in the salary grade for the classification or position. 

Proficient salary zone: The competitive salary expected for experienced and fully competent employees for the classification or position. 

Maximum salary zone: The maximum salary to be paid for a job assigned to that grade, classification or position. 

Job title: The title assigned to a specific position to which an individual may be appointed.

Merit: An increase applied to an employee’s base compensation designed to reward and retain employees for meritorious performance.  A merit increase in an employee’s base pay rate is typically granted at the beginning of the fiscal year and subject to policy and guidelines established by the University System of Georgia (USG).

Cost of Living Adjustment (“COLA”): A compensation adjustment designed to increase an employee’s pay or benefits to offset the impact of the rising cost of goods and services-also called inflation.  Typically, a COLA increase is granted at the beginning of the fiscal year and subject to policy and guidelines established by the University System of Georgia (USG).

Promotion: The movement of an employee from one job title or position to another having higher level duties or requiring greater knowledge, skills and abilities. A promotion is generally associated with a higher minimum rate of pay and/or salary range. 

Reclassification: Generally, a substantial change in a position that results in the position being assigned to a different classification.  For the purposes of this policy, a reclassification that results in the position being assigned to a classification of a higher pay grade, or range, than the former position, is considered a promotion.

IV. Roles and Responsibilities
  1. Chief Human Resource Officer (“CHRO”) or designee: Ensures all managers are aware of the policy and provides guidance on its appropriate use.  The CHRO or designee is responsible for ensuring that requests for promotions, reclassifications, pay grade adjustments for job titles, or merit increases are fairly and properly evaluated and administered in accordance with policy and applicable federal and state laws, and that appropriate documentation is maintained.
  2. Human Resources: Provides guidance to management on appropriate application of the policy. In compliance with the policy, follows appropriate procedures to administer fair and equitable evaluations of requests for salary increases/adjustments.
  3. Chief Business Officer or designee: Certifies the availability of funding associated with compensation changes and alignment with fiscal affairs policies.
  4. Manager: Responsible for requesting and approving salary increases and adjustments fairly and consistently in consideration of internal equity, compliance with institutional policy, USG policy, budgetary limitations, and in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.
  5. Cabinet Member or designee: Responsible for being familiar with GGC’s compensation practices and guidelines; responsible for compensating employees fairly and consistently within their division.
V. Compliance
  1. GGC may adjust employee compensation as a result of multiple factors, including, but not limited to, merit adjustments, promotions, position reclassification, counteroffers, and in-range adjustments.  Salary and wage adjustments will generally be awarded to employees upon promotion or reclassification to a higher-level position, through pay grade adjustments for job titles, and when an equity or administrative adjustment is deemed necessary. All adjustments are contingent upon available funding.
  2. Adjustments to GGC’s pay plan and merit increases are generally effective at the beginning of the fiscal year unless otherwise designated.  Pay grade adjustments for specific job titles may be made within a fiscal year based on an analysis of competitive wage rates in the job market.
  3. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for the development and assignment of job titles and review of corresponding pay rates to ensure competitive pay ranges and fair and equitable compensation.
VI. Types of Salary Adjustments
  1. Merit Increases
    1. Merit increases are typically authorized at the beginning of a fiscal year and are subject to salary limitations and guidelines established by the USG System Office. When merit increases are approved, the increase will be planned for and implemented in conjunction with the budget development process. 
    2. The Georgia Legislature and the USG review the annual budget and then may designate available funds specifically for merit.  Those funds are divided and distributed among the USG’s institutions.  With merit allocations, there are specific rules about how the funds can be distributed.  When merit increases are approved, the rules governing these increases are provided by the USG and will be made available to the institution by the Office of Human Resources.
  2. Cost of Living Adjustments. The Georgia Legislature and the USG review the annual budget and then may on occasion designate available funds specifically for COLA.  Those funds are divided and distributed among the USG’s institutions.  With COLA allocations there are specific rules about how the funds can be distributed.  When COLA increases are approved, the rules governing these increases will be made available to the institution by the Office of Human Resources.
  3. Promotional Increases/Reclassifications
    1. GGC may authorize salary increases for promotions and reclassifications or to address salary inequities, subject to USG policy.  Promotional and reclassification increases are subject to the availability of funds.
    2. An employee who is promoted (either by taking on a new job or by reclassifying the position the employee currently holds to a higher salary grade) or is reclassified to a higher classification will normally be awarded a salary increase to at least the new pay range minimum.  Increases above the minimum of the new pay range and/or in excess of 10 percent require additional justification by the manager and approval by the Office of Human Resources.
    3. Increases are capped at the pay range maximum and are subject to review and approval by divisional leadership and the Office of Human Resources.
  4. Special Pay Increases. Pay adjustments outside of  normal salary actions (promotions, reclassifications, merits, etc.) may be requested to address external market pressure, internal equity or salary compression, and/or employee retention.  Sufficient justification must accompany a department’s request for such adjustments.  The recommended salary is subject to review by the Office of Human Resources.  The increase request should consider relevant factors such as internal equity, and the individual’s qualifications and experience.  Increases will be capped at the pay range maximum and are subject to review and approval by divisional leadership and the Office of Human Resources.
  5. Administrative Adjustments. Subject to funding availability, the CHRO, or their designee, may approve an adjustment to an employee’s rate of pay to correct an administrative oversight.
  6. Advanced Increase Request.
    1. Cumulative fiscal year salary adjustments greater than, or equal to, ten percent above the USG’s annual salary and wage guidance require the advance approval of the Chancellor unless the salary increase:
      1. Results in a salary below $100,000.
      2. Is a promotional increase at or below the mid-point of the salary grade for the new job classification
      3. Is for a faculty member moving into an administrative role, in which the salary will convert from a ten-month salary to 12-month salary, provided it is consistent with the institution’s formula and applicable policies for faculty administrative appointment salary rate conversions
    2. Salary increases which result in a cumulative fiscal year adjustment equal to or exceeding ten percent above the percentage increase authorized in USG’s annual salary and wage guidance, and do not require the Chancellor’s approval, must be approved by the CHRO.
VII. Changes to Legislative Appropriations

Expenditures for operation of the University System are contingent upon legislative appropriations which may be increased or decreased by the Legislature or the Governor during the period of any fiscal year.  In the event appropriated funds are reduced, employee compensation and other operating expenses may be reduced.

VIII. Related Regulations, Statutes, Policies, and Procedures

BOR Human Resource Administrative Practice Manual (“HRAP”) Wage and Salary Administration Policy 
BOR HRAP Policy on Salary Increase Administration Process 
BOR HRAP Policy on Promotions