PIM 56: Salary Adjustments for Career Banded Employees

Dated: Nov. 1, 2010
Category: Classification and Compensation
Contact: Director of Classification and Compensation – ext. 7-0654

Referenced Links:

Career Banding Policy, Office of State Human Resources
Career Banding information, UNC Charlotte Human Resources website


In career banding, compensation is based on position competency requirements, employee demonstration of competency, and labor market rates for each occupational area. Competencies are knowledge, skills, and abilities that contribute to employees’ success in their jobs. The new career band specifications identify the specific competencies needed to perform the work assigned. There are three competency levels in each band: Contributing (C), Journey (J), or Advanced (A).

Pay Factors

There are four pay factors that must be considered in any career banding salary action request (F.A.I.R.):

  • Financial Resources (Funding Availability)
  • Appropriate Market Rate
  • Internal Pay Alignment
  • Required Competencies

Types of Salary Actions under Career Banding and required documentation:

* All salary requests will require a BREMP and the appropriate signatures. Managers should contact their HR Compensation Consultant to help identify what type of change is appropriate to ensure the action is eligible for review. All salary actions are subject to any published legislative restrictions.

Type of Allowable Salary Change

Career progression – Comp/Skill
Is used when one or more competencies are demonstrated at a higher level and current salary is less than appropriate rate considering Pay Factors. The overall competency level of the position or the person does not change.

Change in one or more competencies that reflects a required demonstrated change based on work assignments given to and completed by the incumbent; not significant permanent job change.

Career development

Documentation Required:

  • Competency Assessment

Not all documented career progressions will result in a salary change. Career progression increases will normally range from 1%-10%, however, most career progressions should not require 10%.

Position Competency Level Change:
Term used when demonstrated, documented competency levels in a majority of functional competencies required for the position have changed. Management recognizes that the changes have permanently affected the level of work expected in the position in terms of complexity, autonomy, or other leveling factors. The supervisor revises the position description and submits a request for position competency level change review to document that required changes have occurred.

Significant job change within the same job role

Documentation Required:

  • Revised position description
  • Competency Assessment

Would normally not exceed market reference rate.

The assignment of a banded position/employee to a different career banded class to recognize change in duties, responsibilities and competencies as documented through job analysis. Reallocations could result in
assignment to a career banded class with a higher or lower journey market rate. Level changes within the same career banded class are not considered reallocations, but are known as Position Competency Level Changes as noted above.
Significant job change to a different role

May be to a career band with a higher, lower or same market range

May be lateral if position duties are better aligned with the new class and employee’s current salary is within range.

Documentation Required:

  • New Position Description
  • New Organizational chart
  • Competency Assessment (due within 6 months)

(Documentation from the supervisor is required to confirm that a reallocated employee is demonstrating the new competencies defined by the approved career band.)

Would normally not exceed market reference rate.
Market / Equity Adjustment:
An increase to address a salary that is low relative to its respective market reference rate. Consideration for market adjustments are usually due to prior funding constraints that have not allowed increases to keep pace with the career progression and/or increased competencies of employees.
Adjustment to Market for an employee who demonstrates the competencies of a position.
Documentation Required:

Would normally not exceed market reference rate.
Retention Adjustment
Retention adjustments may be requested to maintain the employment of a ‘key’ employee who has received a similar job offer for a similar position external to the university or another North Carolina state agency or university. This bona fide written offer must provide evidence of greater compensation without increased responsibility.

Employee receives a competitive offer

Documentation Required:
Would normally not exceed market reference rate.

Other Salary Changes:

Promotion – Movement of employee to another career band with a higher Journey Market Reference Rate than their currently assigned position through a competitive recruitment process administered by Employment and Staffing. No salary increase is required, but should be considered if appropriate based on Pay Factors. Please refer to the Employment and Staffing for additional guidance.

  • Reassignment – Movement of an employee from one banded class to another with a lower Journey Market Reference Rate, occurring through re-organization. If employee’s current salary exceeds appropriate rate based on Pay Factors, and reassignment is not by employee choice, salary may be maintained, except the salary may not exceed the maximum of the class salary range. If the reassignment is by employee choice, the option to maintain salary above rate based on Pay Factors is not applicable. Please contact and HR Consultant for further guidance

General Information

  • Salary adjustment requests of all types must first be approved by a Dean, Director, or Department Head who has committed resources to fund the request. Departmental approval covers funding availability; Human Resources approval determines whether request is consistent with all pay factors.
  • Competency Assessments should be reviewed once every three years and / or they should be revised when competency development or position change occurs.
  • Employees whose appointments are probationary, trainee, or temporary are not eligible for Career Progression salary adjustments based on competency assessment. Employees who have been promoted or re-assigned through recruitment must demonstrate that they meet or exceed the competencies required in the new position prior to eligibility for a salary adjustment.
  • Employees placed in acting or interim positions may be eligible for a temporary salary adjustment. If the change in duties and responsibilities is for a specified period of time, the employee’s salary will revert to the previous salary (plus any legislated increases) when the additional duties and responsibilities are removed.
  • Employees with active disciplinary actions are not eligible for Career Progression salary adjustments based on competency assessment.


Responsibility of Requesting Dean, Director or Department Head

  • Review salaries of all similarly situated employees in the unit for internal equity compliance prior to initiating any salary action request.
  • Ensure that any salary increase request is based on documented and identifiable business need.
  • Contact Compensation and Position Management staff to ensure the correct justification for a salary adjustment under career banding.
  • Deans, Directors, and Departments Heads must review and indicate support for any salary action requests by signing all required documentation.

Responsibility of Supervisor

  • Submit the required documentation to the appropriate Dean, Director, or Department Head for approval. This documentation is then forwarded to the division’s Vice Chancellor/Provost, for authorization; then sent to the Budget Office – Financial Services, for fiscal authorization. After funding is confirmed, the documentation is forwarded to Compensation and Position Management in Human Resources for review.
  • Supervisors must always consider the salary increase process as a request until they are notified of approval from Human Resources. Salary increase proposals should not be discussed with employees prior to contact from an HR Consultant.


* Provision of available funding is not to be interpreted as approval of the salary adjustment request
* Omission of any part of the required documents will delay review of the request.

Responsibility of Human Resources Department

  • Notify the department and acknowledge when documentation is received. Actions cannot be reviewed until all required documentation has been submitted.
  • Conduct career band and competency analysis: Information compiled from the submitted documentation will be compared to career band specifications, competency profiles, and similarly situated employees. Changes in competencies must be based on demonstrated and not projected skills, knowledge or behavioral attributes. Human Resources will consult with supervisors in making compensation decisions.
  • Determine if pay factors have been applied appropriately and consistently in compliance with the career banding plan, found on the Human Resources website.
  • Communicate the career banding action decision to the department director via memorandum. The effective date of the action will be the effective date on the Budget request form (BREMP) or the date of the Budget Office’s signature, whichever is later. Personnel actions will not be made retroactive to a date earlier than the date budget approval is granted.

Questions regarding this Personnel Information Memorandum may be referred to Compensation and Position Management Team.

PIM Number: 56
PIM Category: Compensation and Position Management