Section 3 - Classification/Salary


SCOPE: STAFF Issued: 4/01/00

Revised: 5/01/02; 1/01/07;

11/01/08; 1/01/10

Policy: It shall be the policy to maintain a salary plan that is fair and equitable to all employees, provide the University with qualified incumbents and be within the University's fiscal means or constraints.

1. New Employee Salaries: New employees shall be hired at the minimum of the position salary range; the hiring department may recognize the exceptional experience of some new hires while maintaining an equitable relationship to the incumbent employees in the same position classification.

1.1 New hire is defined as new to University employment.

1.1.1 New hires with exceptional experience (experience that greatly exceeds the minimum requirements) and promoted employees, whose present salary is higher than the entry level of the new position, will be eligible to receive additional compensation up to a maximum of 5% above the entry level for that position.

1.1.2 An amount equal to 1% for every year of applicable experience beyond minimum, up to a maximum of 5% above the minimum by the hiring manager.

1.1.3 The hiring department will prepare a memo of justification and request. The memo shall outline specific experience of the applicant/new hire and compare this to the job standard. The memo shall have places for approval or disapproval by the Dean/Director and the appropriate Vice President. The memo shall be accompanied by the job description and a copy of the applicant’s resume and application.

1.1.4 Approval of the request for entry above the minimum must be given by the appropriate Vice President

1.1.5 Before final approval, the Human Resources Office will review the hiring rate to determine the relationship to rates paid to similarly qualified or more experienced employees in the same job classification.

2. Salary Limit: The salary or wage rate of a classified employee will not exceed the maximum of the salary grade applicable to the employee's position except when a salary increase mandated by the State Legislature results in a salary or wage rate in excess of the maximum.

3. Promotions: For compensation purposes, a promotion occurs when a classified employee is selected to fill a job in a new grade with a salary range minimum at a higher level than the employee's current salary range minimum in job classes.

3.1 To be considered for a promotion, the employee must meet the minimum qualifications or have clearly demonstrated the ability to perform the duties of that position.

3.2 When a staff member is promoted to a position having a higher salary range, he/she will be eligible to receive a salary adjustment either to the minimum level of the salary range of the new position as defined in Policy 3.5, Section 1.1 or to a salary level which is no more than 5% above their current salary.

3.3 Any exception to the policy should be in the form of a memo delineating the employee’s exceptional experience. The request must have the approval of the Dean/Director and the area Vice President.

4. Demotions: When a classified employee is demoted to a position of decreased responsibility or less complexity of duties requiring a title change and having a lower salary range, the employee's salary must be adjusted to an appropriate level within the new salary range as agreed upon between the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and the department head concerned provided, however, that the employee's salary is not increased thereby.

5. Transfers: When a classified employee is transferred laterally to another position having the same or different title but the same salary range, the employee will continue with the current salary. An employee will not receive a salary increase as a result of a lateral transfer. Compensation for an employee who applies for and is hired in a position of a lesser salary grade will be adjusted to an appropriate level within the new salary range as agreed upon by the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and the department head.

6. Hazardous Duty Pay: All commissioned police officers of Lamar University are eligible for hazardous duty pay for $10.00 per month for each year of service. See Policy 3.11 for details.

7. Longevity Pay: Each regular full-time, non-academic employee is entitled to longevity pay of $20.00 per month for each two (2) years of service as a state employee, up to and including forty-two (42) years of service. An employee will receive longevity pay after two (2) years of service and will receive longevity increases after each additional two (2) years of service. Length of service for longevity pay is determined in the same manner as length of service for vacation. However, legislative service is included in determining an employee’s lifetime service credit for longevity pay. An employee’s status at the beginning of the month determines longevity pay. See Policy 3.10 for details.

8. Salary Reduction for Disciplinary Reasons: If a classified employee's performance so warrants, the President may approve reduction of the employee's salary for disciplinary reasons to a rate in the designated salary group no lower than the minimum salary rate. The employee's salary may be restored to any level in the range up to and including his prior rate as such employee's performance improves.

9. Salary Limitations for Retirees Resuming State Service: The 77th Legislature repealed the salary limitations for retirees resuming state service.

10. On-Call Salary: Employees who are on-call must be compensated according to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s definition of on-call with pay or on-call without pay. University practice gives called-in employees a minimum of 2 hours pay. On-call with pay or called-in hours will be added to the worker’s total workweek. All hours in excess of 40 will be calculated at the FLSA overtime rate.

11. Pay Schedule: The pay schedule for classified positions at Lamar University will be developed and maintained by the Office of Human Resources. It shall be the goal of Lamar University to maintain a competitive stand in the labor market by reviewing the classified and unclassified salaries against the changing markets.

12. Retention Bonuses: To enhance the retention of staff employees necessary for operations, a bonus of up to $5,000 may be paid to an individual employed in a staff position deemed essential to the operation of the University.

12.1 The President of the University must approve the payment and affirm the necessity.

12.2 The employee must remain with the University in a staff position for 12 months after the date of execution of a bonus contract.

12.3 The contract may be executed only after 12 months of employment in a staff position.

12.4 The lump-sum bonus amount may be included in the staff employee’s paycheck the month after the end of the 12-month bonus period.

12.5 Before a bonus contract may be executed, the need to retain the necessary staff employee must be adequately documented by letter from the President to the Chair of the Board of Regents and the Comptroller of Public Accounts.

12.6 Retention Bonuses do not constitute compensation or salary and wages for purposes of determining the amount of the State’s contribution for retirement.

13. Merit Salary Increases: The performance of staff employees shall be reviewed annually, and those who have rendered meritorious service shall be recognized. This program will be administered in a manner to insure appropriate consideration of individuals throughout all sectors of the institution.

13.1 The number and amount of merit salary adjustments will be dependent upon the institution’s ability to provide continuing budgetary support. Specific guidelines regarding the awarding of merit will be announced by the President and the Executive Council.

13.2 Recommendations for merit increases will be submitted by the department chairperson or administrative head to the appropriate Vice President for approval and inclusion in the budget development process. The department chair/director, dean, and Vice President will require adequate documentation to substantiate the merit pay action.

13.3 Performance Evaluation:

13.3.1 Classified and Professional/Non Classified Employees: Merit increase recommendations must include a copy of a performance review completed between January 1 and March 31. Evaluations must have justifications for outstanding ratings and indicate meritorious service during the past year.

13.3.2 Administrative Employees: Merit increase recommendations must include a copy of a performance evaluation completed between January 1 and March 31 and that evaluation must indicate meritorious service during the past year.

13.3.3 Faculty: Procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook will apply.

13.4 To be eligible for a merit salary increase or one time merit payment, a candidate must:

13.4.1 Have been an employee of the University for at least twelve (12) continuous months prior to the award, excluding any calendar month of leave without pay;

13.4.2 Have at least twelve (12) months elapsed since the last promotion, disciplinary action or merit increase or one time merit payment; and

13.4.3 Have a performance evaluation completed for the prior year. Evaluations must be completed between January 1 and March 31.

13.4.4 Have an overall rating which exceeds 3.0 on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0.

13.4.5 An employee may receive only one (1) merit increase or one time merit payment in a fiscal year.

13.4.6 Be a regular benefits eligible full-time or part-time (50% FTE or greater) employee. Student, hourly, and temporary employees are excluded.

13.5 Only employees at the maximum of their salary groups are eligible to receive one-time merit payments. These payments will not become part of the base salary in subsequent years.

13.6 Process for Awarding Merit Salary Increases:

13.6.1 Recommendations will be submitted by supervisors during the budget development process. All increases awarded will be effective September 1, and will be included in the institution’s operating budget. No increase will be retroactive.

13.6.2 Each merit increase will be calculated only on base pay (i.e. without regard for longevity, hazardous duty pay). Merit is awarded without regard to any equity adjustment or other equity issues.

13.6.3 Any merit pay increase award will be in addition to State of Texas or institutional across the board raises, and will be applied before the across the board increase. A merit pay increase will become part of the employee’s base pay.

13.7 In the event that due to budgetary constraints, a choice must be made between two or more comparable employees in the awarding of merit pay, the supervisor shall consider: special contributions; the attendance records; the length of service with the institution; and, the length of time in his/her position.

13.8 The appropriate Vice Presidents will review the recommendations and give final approval of merit salary adjustments.

13.9 If funds are not available for merit pay increases, the President and the Executive Council may choose to award Administrative Leave with pay. Such leave should not exceed the 32 hours Outstanding Performance established in the Texas Government Code Ann., Section 661.911;

13.9.1 Outstanding performance leave must be used within the 12 (twelve) months following the award.

13.9.2 An employee who leaves the University prior to the exhaustion of the leave, the remaining balance will be forfeited.

13.10 Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors should review the assignment of merit on an annual basis to insure that deserving employees are given consideration by their supervisors. Each Vice President may form a Merit Review Committee to hear staff member appeals.



Texas Government Code, §659.042, .043, .044, .046, .047.

Office of the Comptroller, Payroll Policies and Procedures Guide, August 2000, page 2.20

Texas Government Code, §659.255 (e) – Merit Salary Increases/One Time Merit

77th Legislative General Appropriations Act, Article III, Special Provisions Relating only to State Agencies of Higher Education, §5.5

Texas Government Code, §661.911 and State Auditor’s Leave Interpretation

Letter, 98-02 (1977)

Texas Government Code, §659.262