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COMP 2014 concludes with positive response from Department of Education

Biennial equity analysis scheduled for 2016

The Department of Education has indicated to Ohio University that all terms of the University's voluntary resolution agreement regarding the Compensation 2014 Project have been fulfilled, and that the Office for Civil Rights has concluded its monitoring activities.

The University Human Resources Compensation Team initiated the COMP 2014 Project to satisfy the requirements of the resolution agreement entered into with the DOE to comply with regulations. COMP 2014 was successfully implemented on Nov. 1. 2014, and the University received the DOE’s response about final monitoring reporting on Jan. 5.

Review of COMP 2014 Project

In April 2012, the University started a compensation project focusing on 1,900 classified non-bargaining employees and administrative/professional employees on all campuses. The project was initiated to satisfy a resolution agreement with the DOE in which the University voluntarily agreed to review the compensation of each employee and develop an appropriate market-based compensation strategy.

COMP 2014 involved a review of current job descriptions and classifications and the development of a new pay plan. The COMP 2014 team partnered with Mercer Consulting to complete the project, and OHIO Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Vice President of Finance & Administration Stephen Golding served as University executive sponsors. A steering committee provided input on project objectives, communication strategy, deliverables, and timelines.

The outcome of COMP 2014 is the creation of a clear job framework that provides progression paths for classified non-bargaining and administrative employees. The job framework includes 28 job families and 124 sub-families within three career tracks. Each position within the scope of the project was assigned to a career track, job family and sub-family based upon the job documentation on file for the position.

Positions were market-priced based upon the assignment of their sub-family and job level. Pay grades were assigned based upon the market analysis conducted by Mercer. In addition to the framework, the classification specifications and job titles for classified non-bargaining unit staff were updated. Post implementation of the project, the title of the administrative services specialist TAS 3 classification was revised to administrative specialist.

The University now has one pay structure for all non-bargaining classified and administrative jobs. The OHIO Board of Trustees approved the pay structure at their Oct. 17, 2014, meeting and the pay structure went into effect with the start of the first pay period in November 2014.

The project identified 270 employees who were being compensated below the minimum of their newly assigned pay grade. The University performed statistical comparisons and determined that there was no evidence of discrimination in regard to pay. The 270 employees were brought to the minimum of their respective pay grades effective with the implementation of COMP 2014.

Post implementation of COMP 2014

Moving forward, the University intends to contract with a third party expert to conduct a biennial equity review, and anticipates an analysis in 2016 to ensure that the job framework, pay structure and pay administration guidelines have not caused any unintended equity concerns. While it is not anticipated that any inequities will be found, to the extent that they exist, they will be remedied at that time.

In addition to conducting the biennial equity analysis, the University intends to maintain compensation within the established pay ranges. No employee will be compensated below the minimum of the assigned range. Pay ranges will be pro-rated for employees who work less than a 1.0 full-time equivalent.

The University made a commitment not to reduce the compensation of any employee as result of the project. However, post implementation, employee compensation that is above the pay range maximum will not be permitted to increase. The University will consistently apply the pay administration guidelines to both classified and administrative employee groups.

In conjunction with the annual increase process for the 2016 Fiscal Year, UHR Compensation has requested an additional pool of funding to be utilized to begin to address salary compression issues that occurred as a result of implementing COMP 2014. The compensation team will work with planning units to identify candidates for consideration of this equity funding based on best practice metrics and assist in developing a plan to address these concerns.

For more detail regarding COMP 2014, please visit the project website here.

The information in this message was submitted by the Office of Finance & Administration.