Monday, September 26, 2016

Compensation Questions and Answers

Below is the email and list of questions regarding compensation that the District Faculty Council sent to Susan Hall on Sept. 21, 2016. Her reply and responses to the questions, received on Sept. 23, 2016, are inserted below, highlighted in blue and italicized.

Hi Susan,

Thank you to you and your Talent Central staff for all the work you are doing on behalf of our employees. As I’m sure you expect, compensation adjustments bring many questions. I’m also sure you have been getting many questions from individual employees, from college HR offices, and from supervisors. As a faculty association, we have tried to funnel questions (many of which are duplicated across the District) into one source, so as to reduce – at least in some small way – the number of emails you have to address. Nevertheless, there are many questions. Would you kindly review these questions, and to whatever extent possible, share your answers with me? Then, I can disseminate your answers to my Council colleagues, who in turn can share the answers with their faculty.

Thank you for the questions, Matt. As you note, here in Talent Central, we are working on behalf of more than 3500 employees with September payroll on their minds!  Lots of fun!

I realize that your faculty presidents are much more interested in a collective answer on which you may pursue other answers and promote other discussion along the way, so I’ll just ensure that those location HR administrators and the Presidents are copied on my answers along the way as well.  I’ll try to ensure that my written answers are built in a way that the most general of audiences can understand – and look forward to you keeping me on the “straight and narrow” if I stray from the path!

1.      Do faculty, who were visiting scholars during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years, and re-hired as FT faculty for 2016-2017, get the $1,600 increase to base? If not, why not, and where are the relevant policy documents and/or HROGs that mandate denying these faculty the $1,600 increase to base?
The key to qualifying for the $1600 to base is that the individual was a full-time DCCCD faculty employee as of June 1, 2016 and they have received a faculty contract renewal for 2016-2017.  I would take a moment to point out that the increase is a recognition of prior service, and not to be given to a new-to-the District faculty hire.  This increase is intended for a temporary faculty, a continuing visiting scholar regardless of whether they were competitively hired, or a regular faculty. It is, for all practical purposes, and “across the board” increase to faculty for this year.
To answer your “ticking clock” question, the timing began for newly contracted faculty hired with a reporting date after September 1, 2015.  As an example, we hired a number of new faculty with January reporting dates – and that’s when their “clock” started on the 10 year advancement requirement. 
If you were addressing the situation for a competitively hired visiting scholar who was already on full-time status prior to September 1, 2015, then the answer is that they were “grandfathered” with others who were full-time faculty prior to September 1, 2015, and there is no requirement for them to progress beyond their initial placement by policy.
Are these individuals also expected to move from Range 1 to Range 2, or Range 2 to Range 3, in the first ten years of their employment, even though their initial hire into the District was before this policy was implemented? If so, when did the clock start on 10 years? Fall 2014? Or Fall 2016? (questions from EFC and RLC)
I’m not sure who “these individuals” are in this question – so I’ll answer the question this way:
DEA (Local) specifically states: “Individuals [faculty] hired at Range 1 or Range 2 after September 1, 2015, must satisfy requirements to progress at least one range through education or an approved discipline-specific development plan (where one credit hour would be equivalent to 16 clock hours) within ten years of initial hired in order to continue employment.”
2.      The 3-year milestone increase only applies to those hired in 2013, correct? And the 10-year to those hired in 2006, correct? Does service as a FT Temporary Faculty count toward milestone increases? Specifically, if they served as temporary FT in 2013-2014, are they eligible for the 5% milestone increase this year? Or does the three-year clock start ticking as of their FT permanent faculty hire date?
As noted in the faculty compensation guidelines last year, [milestone] adjustments to base are effective with contracts issued for 2016-2017, so yes, individuals hired in 2013 and satisfying the other necessary criteria would be the first eligible for a 3-year milestone adjustment.  Yes, the 10-year milestone would go to individuals hired in 2006.  Temporary full-time service does not count as regular faculty service, and their clock would only begin toward earning a milestone increase at the point that they were competitively hired into a regular faculty role.
Would a full-time faculty member hired as a Visiting Scholar in 2006, and then re-hired as FT faculty in 2008, be eligible for the 10-year milestone increase in 2016, or 2018? (questions from MVC and RLC)
As more fully developed in other answers, only continuous and consecutive successful service as a DCCCD faculty member is used in calculation of milestones.  In the example you provide, it isn’t clear whether the individual experience a break-in-service or not. However, without a confirmation that the Visiting Scholar in question was competitively hired, their clock would start in 2008.  
3.      Must a faculty member who is retiring this academic year be evaluated this year? December 2016 retirement? May 2017 retirement? August 2017 retirement? (questions from MVC)
While I don’t find formal written guidance specific to retirement declarations in the Faculty Evaluation System (adopted on May 6, 2002, with amendments in 2005, 2008 and 2010), I would propose that the calendar for formal evaluation be maintained.  Many times, an oral and informal declaration of retirement will not be followed with a formal declaration for many months, and in some cases, it is delayed farther beyond the current academic year altogether.  While rare, even with a formal action of the Board to accept a retirement, it could be changed up until the actual date declared.  So, yes, using the normal evaluation calendar, faculty members should be evaluated according to the guidelines up to their retirement date. 
4.      What is the order of operations to calculate the new salary for a faculty member who advances to a new range, given the compensation increases for this year? For a specific example, how will the new salary be calculated for a FT faculty hired as visiting scholar in 2010, hired as FT faculty in 2012, who earned 24 graduate hours to move into Range 2? Will the faculty member first be moved to Range 2 (increase from $50K to $53K), and then 3% for degree attainment added? How will the calculations differ for 10, 10.5, and 11 month contracts?) Is there a document that can explain all of the orders of operations for salary calculations? (questions from RLC)
See the attached document that the HR Offices are using as a guide for the order in which calculations are to be performed.  While this document is inclusive of all employee groups, you will be looking for the topical areas in the first column, “Calculation Area,” and then the “Faculty” column which appears in the 2nd column.
For the example you provided, the individual would receive the educational advancement percentage and then the milestone adjustment (if applicable).  I don’t believe that we would find the necessity to move anyone to the new range minimum before applying the educational advancement percentage.  I would expect that any individual in this circumstance would already have a salary that exceeded the minimum of the next salary range.
I can’t think of any reason why calculations on alternative length contracted faculty would be different.
5.      What is the order of operations to calculate the new salary for a faculty member who advances to a Range 2 with attainment of a second masters degree (not a doctorate)? (questions from EFC)
Same as the order of operations described earlier and using the attached guide.
6.      Will Talent Central devise an HROG for faculty (particularly CTE faculty who will choose industry-specific professional development over graduate coursework, or a blend of graduate coursework and industry-specific professional development) to move from Range 1 to Range 2, and Range 2 to Range 3, to comply with the mandate to do so for all faculty hired after Sept. 1, 2015? To what extent would unique industry certifications, such as Certified Nursing Educator, make one eligible for a move from Range 1 to Range 2, or from 2 to 3? (questions from CVC, MVC and RLC)
The HROG is still used as a reference document, but we are moving to a model driven by Board Policy, supplemented by general procedures presented in a CAOP (Chancellor Approved Operating Procedure), and specific details in the EDGE (Employee Desktop Guide to Employment). 
Related to your question, I would start with Board Policy DEA (Local), and then draft the CAOP and EDGE.  Happy to move forward in this manner and will share details as available.  Not sure that these items can be fully developed and released in time to be used in the initial conversation between faculty and dean with a filing of a plan by October 1 – but I don’t think it should take too much longer than that.  Stay tuned!
7.      For milestone increases, are the years counted based on original District hiring date in Colleague? Or the hire date as FT faculty? What about faculty who have left but returned to DCCCD? What about those with hire dates other than Sept. 1/start of Fall semester? Why was original hire date (inclusive of PSS and admin service) used to determine longevity for 3% or 5% raise in September 2015, but (presumably) not for milestone increases this year, or for eligibility for the $795 compression adjustment (9/1/91-9/1/2006 hire dates)?
Specific to milestones, and using the language from the 2015-2016 compensation guidelines for faculty, “upon completion of X years of consecutive successful service as a faculty member in the DCCCD,” we are using the FT regular faculty hire date.  The one exception is that competitively hired Visiting Scholars moving to a regular faculty role without a break in service can count their Visiting Scholar service years as well. 
Years of service are calculated off the actual hire date as a full-time regular faculty.  For this year’s compensation package, that means that an individual hired in January of 2000 would be calculated as having 16 years and 8 months of service as of 08/31/16.
When the faculty compensation package was implemented last year, the goal was to get as many dollars as possible loaded into the faculty salary schedule and individuals assigned to it as possible.  We wanted to up our averages for individuals, as well as implement a more marketable salary structure.  That goal was achieved.  As we begin the 2nd year with the strategy, there are other ways that dollars are being earned by individuals within the faculty structure (i.e. educational advancement, pay-for-performance, and the career milestones), and that extra effort to impact average salary was not an over-riding priority for 2016-2017.  In fact, that is the very reason why the consideration of an alternative faculty proposal directed at compression could be considered.
If a faculty member took an administrative position with the District, and then returned to faculty status at a later date, would the clock reset to the date on which they returned to faculty? Or would years of service toward milestone increases include their time as an administrator? What about the $795 compression adjustment for those hired between 9/1/81 and 9/1/2006? (BHC, MVC, RLC & EFC questions)
There are two different answers to this question as follows:
A ) If the full-time regular faculty member was serving in an interim appointment as an administrator, and then returned to the full-time faculty role, the clock would not be reset. The years of work would be considered to be continuous – because the interim role is considered an organizational request and not designed to impact the individual employee negatively in their official role.   In the example you proposed, the faculty member would be able to count their interim year(s) as faculty service, and they would be able to receive appropriate milestones as a result. 

B ) If the full-time regular faculty member competed for an administrative appointment, won the position, and served in the role, the clock would be reset if they were to return to a faculty role (which again would occur with a competitive search in all but the most exceptional situations).  In the example you proposed, it would depend on the faculty member’s most recently accrued continuous service.  We were careful in the introduction of milestones as included in the 2015-2016 compensation guide for faculty to style eligibility with this phrase “Upon completion of X years of consecutive successful service as a faculty member in the DCCCD…”

8.      We have Range 1 faculty reaching the 10-year milestone who have not moved into Range 2. Because the program was only announced in September 2015, they had no way previously to start a graduate program, or 384 hours of industry-specific professional development. Can they be grandfathered into the 10-year milestone increase? (questions from NLC)
I think that this one was previously answered in your question #2 earlier but it is recapped here:
DEA(Local) specifically states: “ Individuals [faculty] hired at Range 1 or Range 2 after September 1, 2015, must satisfy requirements to progress at least one range through education or an approved discipline-specific development plan (where one credit hour would be equivalent to 16 clock hours) within ten years of initial hired in order to continue employment.”
Specific to your example, if the individual is reaching the ten-year milestone this year, they were obviously already on-board prior to the effective date of this requirement, and have no policy requirement to progress.
9.      Where is the web site that easily and clearly explains the definitions of the Full-Time faculty ranges, F01, F02, F03, F04? How does one find one’s Range? (questions from MVC)
That page includes the definition of ranges, as a part of the schedule.
Additional detail in policy can be found in DEA(Local) at:
Initial salary placement is confirmed by the location HR Director, and is contained in each faculty member’s Colleague record. That range assignment is updated as additional educational credit is earned and Board approval is given for a range adjustment.  Generally, those changes for faculty appear in the August thru October Board agendas, and occur when updated official transcripts are presented.
10.  What is the point of recording and promoting midpoints for Ranges, if we have many faculty with 15-25 years of experience, who are $20K or more below the midpoint for their Range? (questions from MVC, RLC, and EFC)
There is no point in publishing a mid-point for faculty salary ranges, and I think that I can be sure that they don’t appear anywhere in print in the future.  Obviously, anytime the range minimums or maximums change, so does the mid-point.   In some organizations, the mid-point of a salary range is considered the “point of mastery” for positions assigned to the range.  That is not, and cannot, be the measure applied to our faculty salary schedule ranges when you consider we use a large graduated percentage for ranges:
a.      Range F01 is 80% - from minimum of $50,000 to maximum of $90,000 – the smallest range because the individuals brought in at that range have the minimum amount of formal education required, and we plan for them to move forward.  That was part of the strategy adopted in 2015-2016 when we put the requirement for advancement to a higher range for faculty hired 09/01/15 and after. By contractual terms, this educational advancement requirement includes regular full-time faculty and individuals hired as Chancellor’s Fellows.
b.      Ranges F02 and F03 are 90% from minimum to maximum – with the understanding that many faculty can and should easily navigate through additional credit hours or other technical field work to satisfy advancement, but they may not progress so easily to that doctorate level in F04.  We would expect that the accumulation of faculty over time would be in Ranges F02 and F03.  Given our track record for years of service, we have chosen to make those ranges broad, and with the range maximum capping salaries, it will still support salary growth for a significant number of years, even when you consider our adoption of career milestone adjustments to supplement other annual increases along the way.
c.       Finally, Range F04 requires an earned doctorate or equivalent, and allows a faculty member to double their salary before hitting the range maximum.  Again, recognizing the importance of this academic achievement, as well as the interest in promoting longevity.

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