Staff Classification and Compensation Policy




Saint Louis University is committed to a compensation administration philosophy, which consistent with its mission as a Catholic Jesuit institution, will strive to provide fairness, internal equity, and competitive pay rates for the purposes of attracting, retaining, and motivating employees.

These procedures and guidelines are designed to promote:

  • The highest possible level of staff performance and morale,
  • Pay levels competitive with other employers, and fair and consistent pay rates within and between departments,
  • Effective control of salary and wage expense,
  • recognition of and reward for individual abilities and performance,
  • standard methods for setting and applying pay rates, classifying positions, hiring employees, and changing an employee's status with such actions as raises, transfers, and promotions,
  • fulfillment of the University's responsibility in equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, and fulfillment of the University's responsibility to federal granting and contracting agencies that standards used for general university management are also applied to grant and contract activity.


All Saint Louis University staff positions not covered by a collective bargaining agreement are covered by these procedures and guidelines. Faculty, student worker, and major administrator positions are not covered by this policy.


1. Rate Control on Budgeted Salaries
The rate of pay for any employee may not exceed the rate for that position as contained in the approved operating budget. Budget amendments to change pay level must be made in accordance with University policy.

2. Position Control
A position does not exist unless it is included in the approved budget or until it is established through a budget revision. All budgeted staff positions must be listed with the Compensation Office of Human Resources. It is the responsibility of the departments to file a position description with the Compensation Office for each new or revised position.

The authority to fill any new or vacant staff position lies only with the administrator of each major division and the academic deans. The approved budget does not constitute authority to hire.

3. Hiring, Assigning Titles and Pay Levels, Exempting, Transferring, and Promoting
No commitment to hire, assign or change a title or pay level, exempt a position, or change to another position is to be made without prior review and authorization of Human Resources.

4. Pay Structure and Pay Schedules
The pay structure for staff positions is reviewed annually and the Compensation Office of Human Resources makes comprehensive recommendations to the President and the Vice President for Human Resources. These recommendations are considered in establishing pay schedules and grades for the next fiscal year.

Each position is assigned to a pay range that has a base rate and a maximum rate.

a. The base rate is the minimum rate paid, upon hiring or promoting a qualified person for a position within a given classification

b. The maximum rate is the highest rate one may be paid for a position within a given classification

The range between base and maximum rates is available for recommending individual pay increases. Each adjustment in pay is based on improved knowledge, skills and productivity. An employee whose salary has reached the range maximum and who is determined eligible for a merit increase will be granted that increase as a lump sum payment at the beginning of the fiscal year. This amount will not be added to the employee's base salary, nor will it be paid if the person terminates before the paycheck is issued

If a position is new or in need of revision, it must be described and submitted to the Compensation Office of Human Resources for evaluation and review. Established positions are reviewed on request or on the initiative of the Compensation Manager.

5. Individual Hiring Rates
The hiring rate for an individual is normally the minimum rate for the pay grade to which the position is assigned. Hiring rates above the minimum are determined in consultation with the Employment Office and the Compensation Office. Such variations may be agreed upon if they do not create pay equity problems in relation to other employees in the same or similar jobs. Salary increases will not occur at the conclusion of the probationary period.

A new employee may be allowed to start at a level above the base rate if:

a. the candidate has job related qualifications in excess of stated minimum requirements,

b. the person is advised that such action narrows the range between base and maximum, and

c. justification for the higher rate is documented in the personnel file of the employee.

No employee will be paid less than any federal or state mandated minimum wage.

6. Work Weeks and Hourly Rates for Non-exempt Employees
Workweeks vary because departments have different staffing needs, such as 24-hour, seven days per week coverage. In view of this, hourly rates are quoted on non-exempt positions to make accurate comparisons possible. The scheduled hours and the workweek must be specified on the Online Employment Requisition.

7. Overlap by Replacements
In some positions it is necessary or desirable to have some overlap between the new employee and the employee leaving a position. The maximum overlap is one week for non-exempt, and two weeks for exempt employees. Necessary funds must be available to pay both employees.

8. Position Classification Titles
Position titles are assigned in consultation with the Compensation Office of Human Resources. Position titles are to be used on the Online Employment Requisition, Electronic Personnel Action Form, Telephone Directory, and all other official documents of the University. If a title presently assigned to a position is not appropriate, it should be changed with consultation between the department and the Compensation Office.

9. Progression Within Pay Grades
Annual salary increases may be granted at the beginning of each fiscal year. Any pay increases outside of this timetable to address pay equity issues or to recognize substantive changes in a position's responsibilities that have not resulted in the reclassification of the position must have justification in writing, must be within budgetary limitations, and have approval of the appropriate vice president or the Provost.

10. Performance Evaluation
Performance management courses are offered through the Office of Training and Human Resource Planning. Evaluation forms are available from the Human Resources Offices located on the Health Sciences Center campus and the Frost Campus. Employees should be evaluated at the conclusion of the probationary period and annually thereafter in preparation for the annual salary adjustment. These evaluations should be used as a basis for raises, promotions, and for remedial action where indicated.

11. Promotion
A promotion is the reassignment of an employee to a position which is assigned to a pay grade one or more grades higher than that which is currently occupied. If an employee is promoted, a salary increase should be recommended to take effect at the beginning of the earliest possible pay period. The salary of a person who is promoted must be raised to at least the minimum rate of the new grade. If the current salary of the promoted employee falls within the pay grade of the new position, a salary increase is encouraged, but not required. Any salary increase for a promoted employee which exceeds the midpoint of the new pay grade must have written justification and must be reviewed in advance by the Compensation Manager. Promoted employees are not eligible for a salary increase at the conclusion of the probationary period.

Hourly-paid employees selected for promotion from another department within the University, will be required to provide two (2) weeks' notice to the current supervisor before moving to the new position. Salaried employees must give one (1) month's notice. The supervisors involved may wish to negotiate a shorter notice period or in rare cases, a longer notice period, agreeable to all parties, to accommodate special operational requirements.

12. Lateral Transfers
A lateral transfer is a move from one position to another assigned to the same pay grade. Salaries will neither increase nor decrease for lateral transfers unless the duties and responsibilities of the position into which the employee is transferring are significantly different from the position being vacated. If substantial differences are identified between the two positions, as a result of consultation between the department(s) and the Compensation Office, a salary increase or decrease may be warranted. In the absence of substantive differences, performance will be evaluated and any salary adjustment will be granted in conjunction with the new fiscal year budget.

An employee may transfer or be asked to transfer for a variety of reasons, including:

a. being better suited to another position,

b. lack of funding for current position,

c. having a chance to gain broader experience, or

d. preparing for possible promotion at a later date.

13. Reclassification of a Position
If the duties of a position have substantially changed since it was established or last reviewed for classification, the supervisor should request a classification review. A position may be reclassified upward or downward, depending on the duties as they are described. If a position is reclassified to a pay grade higher than that to which it is currently assigned, an employee occupying the position may be eligible for a salary increase. The salary of the employee must be raised to at least the minimum of the new range. Similarly, a salary decrease may accompany the reclassification of a position to a pay grade lower than that to which the position is currently assigned. Salary adjustments, based upon the upward reclassification of a position, are subject to the restrictions of the approved departmental budget. If funds are not available within the departmental budget to adjust the salary to the minimum of the new pay grade, and cannot be made available by the Dean or Vice President, a decision must be made to revise the position (remove those duties or requirements that necessitated the upgrade). In extreme cases when the new duties are essential, a department or school may be required to eliminate another position to accommodate salary needs of the upgraded position. Decisions to increase or decrease salaries for a position reclassification are made in conjunction with the Compensation Office of Human Resources and the appropriate Vice President or Dean.

14. Effective Dates of Annual Salary Increases and Other Raises
Annual salary adjustments are considered in preparation of budgets each fiscal year. Approved annual increases for most employees are effective on July 1. Salary increases requiring retroactive pay must be signed by the appropriate Vice President or the Provost and must be accompanied by correspondence which documents the reason for the delay.

Salary increases for promotions are effective the day the promotion takes place. Salary adjustments resulting from reclassifications will be effective no earlier than the date of approval of the classification recommendation by the appropriate Vice President, the Provost, or authorized designee.

15. Changes to Lower Rated Positions or Reclassification Downward
An employee may occasionally transfer or be reassigned to a lower rated position, or the position he or she occupies may be reclassified downward. The pay rate for the employee is based on the pay range of the new position. Any change to the employee's rate of pay will be determined in conjunction with the Compensation Office.

16. Acquiring New Skills and Knowledge
An employee may acquire new skills and knowledge, both on and off the job. This does not however, call for an immediate pay increase. Such accomplishments are generally recognized at the time of performance evaluation and annual salary increase recommendations.

17. FLSA - Exempt/Non-Exempt Status
The compensation Office of Human Resources will have sole responsibility to determine the exempt or non-exempt status of staff positions. The office will assign FLSA status to each new and reclassified position and will conduct periodic reviews of existing positions. FLSA regulations do not permit employees to have an exempt and non-exempt position concurrently.

18. Special Circumstances
Cases not covered by these procedures and guidelines are to be referred to the Compensation Office of Human Resources. Any exception to this policy must have the approval of the Vice President for Human Resources.