Step-in-Grade Classification and Salary Program Announced

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson has announced the implementation of a Step-in-Grade Job Classification and Salary Program for identified job classifications and titles among EKU employees.

In a campus-wide e-mail on Jan. 16, Benson said approximately $500,000 will be utilized to fund the program, a part of Phase 2 of the University’s Comprehensive Compensation Program. More details regarding other aspects of Phase 2, consisting of the Faculty Internal Pay Equity Program (IPEP) and Staff IPEP will be announced soon.

Recommended by the Staff Compensation Advisory Group, the Step-in-Grade Program will be funded by monies freed by strategic budget reallocations initiated by the University in 2013.

“Implementing this initiative does not decrease the funding set aside to address the Faculty Internal Pay Equity Program and Staff IPEP,” Benson said. “Rather, this funding is in addition to the funding set aside to address faculty and staff internal equity.”

According to Benson, the Step-in-Grade Program seeks to:

·         raise pay levels for many of the lowest-paid entry-level positions to provide a better standard of living for employees and to recognize the contributions the employees make to the University.

·         attract quality applicants for open positions by raising the starting pay levels for many of the lowest-paid positions.

·         retain quality employees by providing a means for regular pay increases to employees in applicable positions as long as they are performing at or above expected levels.

Job classifications and titles moving to the Step-in-Grade Program are custodians, head custodians, laborers, relocation specialists, lead relocation specialists, groundskeepers, motor vehicle operators, repair technicians, maintenance mechanics, and power plant equipment operators.

Of the 232 currently employed with those classifications and titles, 155 will receive a salary increase through the program. Salary ranges and pay steps have been defined for each of the affected job classifications and titles.

Current employees in the affected job classifications and titles will receive pay adjustments to place them in the appropriate step at the appropriate pay rate, based on their length of service/seniority in the classification or title. The increases will be reflected on their final paycheck of February.

All new employees accepting positions in the affected classifications and titles will start at the defined entry rate regardless of prior work experience or education and will receive automatic pay increases at pre-defined increments as long as the employee continues to meet minimum performance applications.

Affected employees will be notified this month, with pay adjustments retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014. Staff from the University’s Human Resources office will conduct meetings for affected employees prior to the implementation date to further explain the program.

Benson thanked the Staff Compensation Advisory Group and the Human Resources office for their “hard work developing and implementing” the program.

For more information about the program, visit  

Published on January 17, 2014

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