VA Comp Reform
Reform of the Classified Compensation Plan
  Introduction - Part 1
  Introduction Part 2
  Career Group Descriptions
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Introduction - Part 1

1. How did the new pay plan come about?

Over the years, state employees have said that the current pay plan is not competitive with the labor market and does not properly compensate employees. In 1998, a special commission was established by the General Assembly and Governor to recommend improvements. Later that year, compensation issues emerged as a major concern among employees who took part in Governor Gilmore’s statewide survey and Town Hall meetings. The new pay plan addresses some of these concerns.

2. What are some of the problems with the current plan?

· New employees coming into state government often earn the same or more salaries as employees who have more state experience.

· Pay practices have not been flexible. Employees generally receive salary increases through promotions and reallocations, and employees who do not want to change jobs have not had opportunities to increase their compensation.

· The current pay structure is not competitive with the labor market for many job occupations.

3. What about the problem of new employees making more than long-term employees in the same job?
The new plan's innovative pay practices will give agencies and managers more flexibility in addressing these long-term salary compression problems. (Watch for future FAQs on pay practices.)
4. Does the new pay plan affect my current employment status?
No, it does not.
5. Will my current position description or title change?
Your position description will not change during the conversion. However, your title will change. The current classification system has 1,650 titles, which are being reduced to approximately 300 broader categories called "Roles." As in the current system, when an employee's duties change, the position description will be revised.
6. How will the new compensation plan affect the pay increase I am supposed to receive this fall?

There will be no impact on the 3.25 percent performance increase scheduled to appear in December 16th paychecks for employees who meet or exceed performance expectations. The only changes that will be noticeable by then will be a change in the way your job is described and the way your work performance is to be measured and rated during the upcoming year.

7. Will there still be a northern Virginia differential?
8. Does the new pay plan have any affect on health benefits, vacation, sick leave, or retirement?
No. This new plan does not affect benefits or leave.
9. Given the open pay ranges, will pay be more negotiable for current employees who are promoted to a new role?
Yes. In the new system, employees can negotiate their salary to fall anywhere between the minimum of the pay band up to 15% above current salary when they compete for positions.
10. When will the new pay plan be implemented?
The first phase of the new plan will be implemented on or about September 25 of this year. It will include the new pay structure (the 9 pay bands), the new classification system (career groups and roles), and the new pay practices. The second phase will include the performance management program, which will be implemented early in 2001, and will affect pay increases authorized by the legislature for November 2001. The amount of these increases will be decided during the 2001 General Assembly session.
Introduction - Part 2
1. Who's covered in the new pay plan?
Employees in the Executive Branch who are subject to the Virginia Personnel Act and are currently referred to as "classified employees" are covered in the new plan.
2. How will it be determined which "band" I fit into?

See the chart titled "Comparison of Current Pay Grades with New Pay Bands." It shows your current pay grade on the left and the new pay band on the right. The new salary minimums and maximums are located to the right of each new pay band.

For example, when the new pay plan begins on September 25, employees in Grade 6 will "cross walk" to Pay Band 3. Employees' salaries will not change during the transition to the new pay plan on September 25, but the current Job Class titles will change to the new job "Roles." Watch for future FAQs on job titles.

Wage (hourly) employees also will move into the new pay bands as described in the chart.


3. Will the new plan provide ways to earn additional compensation?

Yes. Potentially, there are several ways to earn additional compensation:

· Your base salary may change.

  · Added pay may come from a promotion through a competitive  recruitment process.
· If your position responsibilities have increased substantially, a Role Change (formerly "reallocation") may occur resulting in a change to a different Role Title in a higher pay band.
· Even without a promotion or Role Change, new pay practices, such as an in-band adjustment, can reward you for additional duties and responsibilities, or for new skills applied on the job.

 · You also may be eligible for a bonus, a one-time payment that does not affect your base pay.

  · Employees or teams could receive bonuses throughout the year to reward them or to recognize their work.
4. Will I receive a pay increase whenever I learn a new skill?
No. Under the new pay plan, pay increases for the application of newly acquired skills, certifications, or degrees are allowable but not required. The decision to reward employees for new skills will be based upon whether or not those skills have actual value for the agency, were required or recommended by the agency, or are used directly in the workplace to improve the employee's job performance. Decisions must be consistent within an organizational unit and, in all cases, funds for providing such pay increases must be available in the agency's current budget.
5. How will the upper range of my salary potential be determined under the new system?

Under the new compensation system, jobs are grouped into broad career groupings. While employees have the potential to move to the top of the highest Pay Band assigned to their career group, not all employees will move to that highest level. Career advancement and pay increases will be determined by the value that you and your duties bring to the agency's work and your performance of these duties.

Factors that will be considered in determining whether you receive pay increases include current salary; agency business needs; experience and education; performance; knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies; total compensation; training; internal alignment; budget implications; salary reference data; duties and responsibilities; and long-term impact.

While in your current Role, the upper range of your salary potential will be determined by the maximum of the new pay band (formerly pay grade) and the business needs of the organization. See the chart, titled "Comparison of Current Pay Grades with New Pay Bands," under question number 2 above.

6. Are there limitations on how fast I can move through my pay band?
Yes. For example, an increase due to a noncompetitive transfer to another position in the same pay band or other change(s) in your current work resulting in an In-Band Adjustment cannot exceed 10 percent of your annual salary. An increase due to a competitive transfer to another position in the same pay band cannot exceed 15 percent of your annual salary. You will also be eligible for performance increases, which will be determined based on available funding each year.
7. In what way will the employee performance evaluation cycle be affected?
The first year of the new performance program will include a shortened cycle to allow for more training time. Evaluations still will be conducted in the August-through-September 2000 time frame, with performance increases effective on November 25, 2001.
8. As a manager, what will change for me in Pay Reform?

With Pay Reform, you will have more flexibility to make individual salary decisions. For example, with the new pay practices, you will be able to use in-band adjustments to help you solve some internal salary alignment problems.

With flexibility also comes accountability, which means that you also will need to document your pay decision based on an assessment of certain pay factors. Factors that you will need to consider include current salary; agency business needs; experience and education; performance; knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies; total compensation; training; internal alignment; budget implications; salary reference data; duties and responsibilities; and long-term impact. (Watch for future FAQs on pay practices.)

9. Will there be training on the new plan for managers and supervisors?
Yes. The General Assembly and the Governor have provided funding for training. General information sessions began this spring to provide managers and supervisors with basic facts about the changes. In-depth training on new pay practices and policies as well as performance management will begin in late summer and extend into the fall.
10. What is meant by "salary reference" data?
Salary reference data is salary survey data and analysis of other compensation information. In order to broaden the sources for collecting salary data, the Department of Personnel and Training will purchase this information from national sources and will conduct salary surveys. HR staff and agency managers will have access to this information to assist them in making appropriate salary decisions.
Career Group Descriptions
1. What is the new job organization structure?

The new job organization structure is based on Occupational Families. An Occupational Family is a broad grouping of jobs that share similar vocational characteristics (for example, the Trades and Operations Occupational Family). Occupational Families are divided into Career Groups. A Career Group identifies a specific occupational field common to the labor market (for example, the Printing Operations Career Group).

Career Groups are comprised of Roles. A Role describes a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work at progressively more skilled or knowledgeable levels (for example, the Printing Technician II Role). The range of work is because most Roles are comprised of several job classes that perform work in a related field and that were formerly assigned to a number of different salary grades.

2. How were job classifications collapsed into Roles?
A variety of information was used by many work teams to collapse the 1,650 job classifications into fewer, expanded Roles. The fundamental guideline was that classes performing occupationally related work were grouped together. For example, the series such as Housekeeping, Laundry, and Tailoring were included in the Housekeeping and Apparel Services Career Group.
3. What is a work title?
A "work title" is a specific title used by an agency to describe a specific position. For example, a position with the Role title of "Program and Administrative Support Specialist I" functions as a receptionist. Therefore, the agency could use "Receptionist" as the work title.
4. Does my classification changing to a Role have any implications for my daily work?
No. Changing from a classification title to a Role does not have any implications for your daily work. Even in the current system, duties and responsibilities may change.
5. What is my growth potential within my expanded Role?
The current plan typically provides only two ways to advance through the state system: by applying and competing for a new job, or by having your current job assignment reallocated to a higher grade level. In addition to these traditional methods for advancing your career in state government, there are many new ways to advance your career under the new plan. Career advancement may result from newly acquired skills and knowledge applied on the job, or for assuming increased responsibilities within your current position and Role.