Cost of Living Adjustment
Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) are set by Maryland State Law and USM budget action and salary directives. All regular employees receive COLA if and when it is allocated by the State.
In cases where an employee’s salary is at, or above, the maximum of salary range, the employee will still receive a COLA increase. COLA for a Contingent 2 employee is at the discretion of the hiring department. The hiring department determines whether or not COLA is part of contract at the time of hire.
- Provided funds are available, it is the policy of the USM that employees who consistently meet the standards of performance for their positions shall receive performance based salary increases. Increases are generally effective on July 1, the new fiscal year.
- The Exempt merit budget is determined by the University System of Maryland (USM) and administered by each USM institution. UMD’s Performance Review and Development (PRD) process is used as a baseline determinant for merit allocation and salary action for Exempt employees. All merit pay and salary action decisions are subject to, and defined by, current pay policies and salary guidelines, as distributed to departments through the annual budget process. Major Unit Heads are responsible for complying with the budgetary, or other guidelines, established in their individual school or administrative divisions.
- Exempt employees who receive an overall rating of “Below Expectations” or “Unsatisfactory” are not eligible for merit pay or salary action for the upcoming fiscal year.
- When an employee’s salary is at, or above ,the maximum of salary range, the employee is still eligible for a merit increase to base pay.
Equity and Retention Adjustments
- An equity increase may be permitted for a staff employee in a department or unit where the salaries of newly hired individuals, or prior retention increases to others, have created serious compensation disparities among similarly situated employees. If the institution wishes to provide such an increase to operationally critical staff members who are part of a collective bargaining unit, the appropriate bargaining unit representative will be notified in advance.
- All proposed equity adjustments must be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the office of Compensation and Classification. All proposed equity increases must be approved by the appropriate Dean/Vice President, and the Assistant Vice President of UHR. There are certain salary requests that require approval of the President and/or the USM Chancellor.
- A counter-offer may be considered if a key staff employee, in a position that has been deemed both critical to business needs and difficult to refill, can produce a written employment offer from a hiring agency that is external to the University of Maryland College Park or or the department head must attest to having reasonable certainty that the staff person is being actively recruited and a preemptive action is necessary to avert the employee’s imminent departure.
- All proposed retention offers must be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the office of Compensation and Classification. Prior to making a counter-offer, all proposed retention increases must be approved by the appropriate Dean/Vice President, and the Assistant Vice President of UHR.
- A counter-offer will not be approved if the new employment offer comes from another department within the University of Maryland College Park.
- The staff person must have a written employment offer from an external employer. Written evidence, including email or other correspondence from another employer,or search firm for an employer, with a compensation level that is likely to exceed the employee’s current compensation; or other strong evidence that the institution is at imminent risk of losing an operationally critical staff member in the absence of a retention adjustment, may be necessary.
The staff person and/or position must be deemed “operationally critical,” defined as:
- Having specialized and/or unique skills or experience that cannot be replicated without hiring a replacement at a higher salary (i.e., greater than the target hiring range); or
- The vacating of the position would cause significant disruption to the critical operations of the unit, or cause a loss of federal or other external funds, or compromise the institution’s ability to compete for sponsored research grants or contracts; or
- The position has experienced demonstrable retention challenges in recent years.
The retention offer may be an amount up to the external job offer, or, if preemptive, the retention is limited to 12% of the employee’s base salary.
Process and Approvals
- To request approval for a staff retention increase, the chair or director must complete the Salary Increase Form and route it through the college and on to the Assistant Vice President of University Human Resources. If approved, the Assistant Vice President of UHR will forward the request on to the appropriate Vice President for final approval.
- All proposed retention and equity increases, as well as total salary increases of greater than 15%, must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate by the President.
Adjustments to Salary Range Structures
Salary range structures are reviewed biennially for market competitiveness. The pay bands may be adjusted as a result of the review. Employees do not receive individual pay increases with the salary range adjustments unless current salaries fall below the new range minimum for the respective pay grade.
Temporary Pay Additions
An acting appointment is a temporary status whereby an employee is placed in a higher-level regular position in the same department for a period of up to 6 months. This typically happens when time or circumstances do not permit the immediate selection of a permanent appointment to a higher-level regular position under established search and selection procedures and is anticipated to exceed thirty (30) consecutive calendar days.
Nonexempt and Exempt regular employees are eligible to serve in an acting capacity.
- Contingent Category II employees may be appointed to a regular position in an acting capacity if unusual or extenuating circumstances exist.
- An employee performing in an acting capacity must meet the minimum qualifications of the vacant high-level position.
- The period of the acting capacity may be extended beyond six months and up to twelve (12) month with the approval of the appropriate Vice President, in conjunction with the Assistant Vice President of University Human Resources. Additional extensions may be considered based on the operational needs of the institution.
- At the end of an acting appointment employees shall be returned to their former position with the same salary and status as they would have had if they had not been temporarily reassigned.
- All base salary adjustments, such as COLA and merit, are applied to the regular base salary of the employee and do NOT include the acting stipend.
- An acting capacity salary increase for an Exempt position may be up to an additional 12% of the employee’s current base salary.
- An acting capacity for a Nonexempt position is an additional 6% if the acting appointment is a 1 grade increase. It is 12%, or the minimum of the new pay range, if the appointment is 2 or more grade levels.
Process and Approvals
- An acting appointment request form is to be submitted via hard copy. Detailed instructions and approvals required are found on the form.
- All Exempt and Nonexempt temporary salary additions require UHR approval in the PHR system following the standard unit/department approval. Prior to final approval in PHR, the actual request must have pre-approval from the office Compensation and Classification. This means electronic forms or e-mail messages must be routed through the appropriate approval levels, outside of PHR prior to the transaction receiving a final UHR approval in PHR.
- All requests must have approval from the appropriate Vice President or Dean.
An administrative increment, only available to Exempt staff, is payment for temporarily assigned duties that are outside of the scope of an employee’s regular position. The additional duties are performed during normal work hours. The duration of an administrative increment is typically less than 6 months. Justifications to extend this may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Contact the office of Compensation and Classification Office for more information.
- An Administrative Increment increase for an Exempt position may be up to an additional 12% of the employee’s current base salary.
Process and Approvals
- Administrative increment requests are submitted via hard copy forms. Detailed instructions and approvals required may be found on the salary increase approval form.
- Prior to final approval in PHR, the actual request must have pre-approval from the office of Compensation and Classification. This means electronic forms or e-mail messages must be routed through the appropriate approval levels, outside of PHR prior to the transaction receiving a final UHR approval in PHR.
- All request for pay additions must have approval from the appropriate Vice President or Dean.
- Questions concerning salary additions in the PHR system should be directed to the PHR Service Center at 301-405-7575.
An Overload is additional pay earned by an employee for work performed that is substantially different and in addition to the essential duties and responsibilities of the employee’s regular position to operating units other than their own. There are two types of overloads available to Exempt Staff employees: teaching and administrative.
Staff employees may receive a stipend for teaching a catalog course. The rate of pay is determined by the Dean’s office in the applicable college. Teaching the class is done outside of the employees typical work day and should not interfere with their regular job duties. Teaching overloads are awarded on a semester by semester basis.
Exempt full time staff may receive additional pay for performing duties that are unrelated to the employee’s regularly assigned position. The duties may be performed in a different, unit, college, or division, and the additional work must be performed outside of the employee’s regularly scheduled work hours. The Overload work cannot conflict with the employee’s regular duties. Overloads should not be used to perform work that would be considered a higher level job. An Administrative Overload may be granted for up to 6 months with extensions may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- Teaching Overloads: The determination on the appropriate amount to pay for teaching a specific class is at the discretion of each College.
- Administrative Overloads: The determination on the amount of pay for an administrative overload should be in line with the type of work that is required and the number of hours that it will take to complete the assignment. Each request is reviewed in detail on a case-by-case basis by the office of Compensation and Classification.
Process and Approval
- The Overload arrangement must receive the advance approval of the respective Vice President and the Assistant Vice President of University Human Resources. The request should be submitted prior to starting the assignment.
- Once the overload authorization form (Teaching | Administrative) is completed, including all required endorsements, the form(s) should be routed through the Compensation and Classification Office, and then to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources. All correspondence concerning Overloads should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All overloads require UHR approval in the PHR system following the standard unit/department approval. The PHR transaction must continue to have UHR “pre-approval” prior to the final approval in PHR. This means electronic forms or e-mail messages must be routed through the appropriate approval levels, outside of PHR prior to the transaction receiving a final UHR approval in PHR. These types of transactions may not be released in PHR prior to the required Division/UHR “pre-approval”.
- Questions concerning overloads or salary additions in the PHR system should be directed to the UHR Support Center at 301-405-7575.
Last updated: January 22, 2018