CAUT Policy Statement on Salary Structure
Salary structures at most academic institutions bear little relation to the practice in other workplaces, and there is evidence to suggest that this has been a major factor in the steady erosion of academic staff salaries relative to other sectors over a prolonged period. The reform of traditional academic salary structures is integral to strategies for reversing this trend. It is also crucial to ensure that academic staff with equal qualifications and experience are paid equally.
In the interests of transparency and fairness, academic staff salaries should be paid in accordance with a salary grid, with clearly defined floors, ceilings, and criteria for placement on appointment.
Entry level positions at the bottom of the grid must be in accordance with the current job rate of the profession. This job rate and the grid must be adjusted annually by scale increases to maintain adequate levels of compensation.
The number of steps (sometimes referred to as “Progress Through the Ranks” or “Career Development Increments”) within the grid should be strictly limited, so as to ensure that academic staff proceed in a timely fashion to the maximum salary.1
Step increases on the grid provide for orderly salary progression in one’s career. They are an entitlement as compensation for contributions and enhanced competencies that are a result of experience. Since such improvements are more rapid at the beginning of a career, the value of a step should be greater in earlier years when advancements are more rapid. Step increases should not be based on merit assessments.
CAUT is opposed to the payment of market differentials. Where market differentials and merit pay exist they should be phased out in a systematic fashion.
Approved by the CAUT Council, May 2008.
1. Depending on the existence of academic ranks and the policy of the local association, rank differentials may or may not be incorporated in the salary grid.