District moves toward merit-based pay for nonunion employees

June 17, 2015

The District 200 Board has approved a new framework for compensating all nonaffiliated (nonunion) employees, including the superintendent and administrators, that will move them toward a merit-based system, rather than the current same-percent increase for each person.

During the past year, the district has engaged the management consultant Hay Group to perform a market analysis and develop a compensation strategy for nonaffiliated employees. The initial phase of the work has been focused on creating a base-pay framework that is competitive with the market; it does not yet include any performance factors.

Hay Group compared the district’s base salaries to surveys of similar positions in its extensive database. It also compared them to salary surveys of the Northwest Personnel Association (NWPA), a group of 20 local, suburban, high-school districts, of which Oak Park and River Forest High School is a member.
Using this comparative data, Hay Group developed a pay range for each position and determined where each employee’s current compensation falls in the range for his or her position. Overall, the consultant found that salaries are competitive with the market, though slightly less competitive as job size increases to the most senior levels.

The overall goal is for base salaries to fall around the middle of the appropriate range, between the 50th and 60th percentiles of the comparative data. Under the plan approved by the Board, employees falling below the range identified for their position will have their base salary brought up to the minimum of the range over the course of two years. The nonaffiliated staff members whose base salary falls within range will receive percentage increases to their base pay, varying from 3.10% for those at the low end of their ranges to 0.50% for those at the high end.

Employees with salaries that have been identified as being above the maximum for their range will retain their salaries, but they will not receive any base salary increase until their salary falls within the range. They will receive a lump sum equivalent to 0.25%, which will not be added to the base pay.

During 2015-2016, the District will be developing the performance-based structure, with the goal being implementation of merit-based salary increases during the 2016-2017 school year.