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Several years ago, Auburn University’s senior leadership committed to implement several compensation initiatives to enhance competitive pay for Staff and Administrative & Professional (A&P) employees. In 2019, Auburn partnered with Mercer, an internationally respected consulting firm, to execute a competitive compensation study of Staff and A&P jobs on campus. 

Since then we have accomplished the following:

  • Collaborated with over 100 campus stakeholders to gather information regarding jobs across campus

  • Organized jobs at Auburn into 23 occupational job families (not the same as the AU job family promotion program)

  • Reviewed market data for over 1,300 jobs on campus

  • Built new salary ranges

  • Assigned jobs to new salary ranges

  • Analyzed the university’s competitive market position 

What You Should Know

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There are nearly two dozen new job families.

Every Staff and A&P position has been placed into a job family. A job family is a group of jobs that involves similar work and requires similar training, skills, knowledge and expertise. By the end of September, Staff and A&P employees will be formally notified of their new job family. Additional information on Job Families is available online. 

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Each job family has a unique salary structure.

A salary structure provides a framework to determine how employees are paid. Each structure is made up of salary grades. Jobs in the same grade have similar pay in the market. Each grade also has a salary range that is based on qualifications, skills, experience and external market values. By the end of September, Staff and A&P employees will be formally notified of their salary grade.

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Many positions are being paid competitively to market. Other positions are not. 

A majority of Auburn employees are being paid competitvely when compared to market (peer institutions, regional employers, etc.) However, the university has identified hundreds of jobs where our pay can be more competitive. In fact, every job family has jobs with market gaps. Auburn is in the process of addressing these gaps. 

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Effective Oct. 1, some employees will receive a market adjustment. 

The Fiscal Year 2023 budget includes funding to begin addressing these market gaps. Employees whose jobs are not being paid competitively to market will receive a market adjustment, effective Oct. 1. Please note the following:

  • The adjustment will be a portion, or percentage, of the current market gap. Percentages will vary, based on the respective job family's market gap priority.

  • Market adjustments will vary, from $500 to several thousand dollars or more.

  • As a reminder, a majority of employees (60%+) are being paid a market competitive salary or above and are unlikely to receive a market adjustment. 

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This is a multi-year process. 

While the budget includes significant funding to address market gaps, few if any employees will have their market gap completely eliminated in the new fiscal year. However, the market adjustments, if approved, would begin to address these gaps and ensure that salaries at Auburn are rapidly progressing toward market competitive levels. The adjustments would represent an important next step in a multi-year initiative. In the next phase of this project, every employee will have their salary reviewed to determine if they should receive a market adjustment, based on their experience, education, certifications, etc. Additional information will be forthcoming.

Important Reminders

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  • No employees will lose their jobs as a result of this project.

  • Most job titles, responsibilities, and duties will not change as result of this project. 

  • Employees do not have to reapply for their jobs.

  • No employee salaries are being reduced as a result of the project.

Additional Information

What We Have Done

In the past few years we have accomplished the following:

  • Collaborated with over 100 campus stakeholders to gather information regarding jobs across campus

  • Organized jobs at Auburn into 23 occupational job families (not the same as the AU job family promotion program)

  • Reviewed market data for over 1,300 jobs on campus

  • Built new salary ranges

  • Assigned jobs to new salary ranges

  • Analyzed the university’s competitive market position

Learn more about our Five-Point Initiative which helped us get to this point. 

Why is This So Important?

Nationally, the challenges of recruiting and retaining a quality workforce continue to increase. While Auburn is considered an employer of choice in this region, we are not immune to these challenges.

National surveys indicate that pay is the No. 1 reason for employees leaving jobs. Labor shortages and cost increases along with historic consumer price increases are also impacting the workforce. At Auburn, we have experienced competitive market gaps among some positions. Colleges and divisions are also reporting increased employee turnover, pay-offer “turn-downs” and counter-offers, along with smaller applicant pools.

We now have data and information that show how competitive our pay levels are within the markets from which we recruit talent. This information shows that while many jobs on campus are currently competitive with, or even exceed, the average median market, there are market gaps for other jobs.

The steps mentioned on this website are needed to ensure that we are able to recruit and retain top talent. Updates to this website will be made as warranted.

FAQs

All Staff and A&P jobs will be assigned to the newly created pay ranges.

While all Staff and A&P designated employees’ jobs were subject to the study, there are many employees in jobs that may warrant market adjustments. However, other employees are already being paid competitively when compared to market, and therefore are less likely to receive a market adjustment. Faculty, TES and student jobs were not subject to the study or the results.

  • Over 2,100 (or 61% of covered employees) are currently being paid, to a greater or lesser extent, at or above the competitive market for their jobs, and they will not be receiving an adjustment at this time. Over 1,300 employees (or 39% of the covered employees) are being paid, to a greater or lesser extent, below the competitive market for their jobs, and will be receiving a market adjustment.

  • It is important to note that we segmented the market gaps into groups of “market gap priority". Based upon the market gap priority groups, many employees are in jobs that warrant market adjustments (about 39%, or over 1,300 employees). Other employees are currently being paid competitively or better (about 61%, or over 2,100 employees), so these employees are less likely to receive a market adjustment.

It is important to note that we segmented the market gaps into groups of “market gap priority". Based upon the market gap priority groups, many employees are in jobs that warrant market adjustments. However, other employees are already being paid competitively when compared to market; employees in these jobs are less likely to receive a market adjustment.

Market-driven adjustments will be determined for employees who most warrant an adjustment reflecting their designated market gap priority group.

Ensuring that employees’ salaries are progressing toward or at competitive market levels, individual market adjustments will be determined using a leadership-approved methodology identifying those employees most warranting a competitive market adjustment based on the following factors:

  • The Market Gap Priority Group to which the employee’s job’s is assigned

  • Size of employee’s individual gap to competitive range

  • This methodology for determining the market adjustments has been approved by senior leadership. No management discretion is permitted at the individual employee level.

Employees will be notified whether they are, or, are not receiving market adjustments by the end of September.

Business & Finance is continuing to work with Human Resources to study the financial impact of both the merit pay opportunity for FY23 and Mercer market study implementation. All available resources are to be considered in funding compensation changes for the upcoming fiscal year. Budget and Planning Services will work closely with any unit to help identify sources to fund compensation increases. Units should contact their analyst in Budget & Planning Services to discuss various options.

By the last week of September, colleges and divisions will receive a list of all eligible employees and any adjustments that would take effect on Oct. 1, 2022 – pending BOT approval. Notification templates will be provided to colleges and divisions.

By the last week of September

Most likely it is due to your current pay is at a competitive market level or better.

At this time, when there continues to be many factors occurring that will impact the outcome, such as turnover, promotions, and the potential for merit increases, it is hard to say. If approved the targeted FY2023 market adjustments would ensure that our current and new employees’ pay levels are progressing toward or at market competitive levels.

No. No employees will lose their jobs as a result of this project.

Generally speaking, most job titles, responsibilities and duties will not change as result of this project. 

However, many titles and job descriptions for jobs in the Information Technology job family will. The Specialist, Information Technology I-VI job title series was too generic in nature and caused benchmark matching to appropriate IT market information to be difficult at best. Various IT leaders from across campus came together to work on these job titles.

Those titles and job descriptions were reviewed by IT committees, HR Compensation and Mercer and we now have a finalized list of job titles much more reflective of the primary work being performed by Auburn’s IT staff. Functional titles for application developers, endpoint support analysts, telecom support, network engineer, systems engineer, business analyst, and technical support were just a few of the titles developed to align with the IT market. If your job is in the Information Technology job family, more information will be forthcoming if your job title and description will change.

No. This project will not result in employees having to reapply for their jobs.

No, no employee salaries will be reduced as a result of the study.

No. If a “merit eligible” employee receives a BOT-approved FY23 market adjustment, it will not affect the employee’s eligibility for the FY23 merit increase opportunity. Please see the Merit Increase and Promotional Increase Guidelines on the AU Human Resources website for additional information. 

Last updated: 09/28/2022