Prices (for just about everything) tend to go up every year. Based on recent Consumer Price Index data, a cost of living adjustment of 1.8% is needed in the coming year to preserve a typical employee's purchasing power. (Social Security uses a different version of the CPI for their COLA, so our number doesn't match theirs exactly.) Specific UUA Salary Recommendations aside, preservation of purchasing power is a fundamental compensation principle. Please keep this concept in mind as you budget for staff salaries in the coming year.
Adjusting Minimum Salaries
The midpoints on our salary charts are a reflection of median pay based on market surveys. This is what we consider appropriate pay for a competent employee with 3 to 5 years of experience.
Ranges for some positions in some church size categories are extremely wide (reflecting a lot of scatter in the survey data). This means that an employee hired near the minimum would need to receive very aggressive pay increases in order to approach the midpoint within a reasonable period of time. Let's face it – this rarely happens. In response to this reality, we are adjusting all range minimums so that they are no more than 15% below the midpoint for that position/size.
Range maximums will increase proportionally to midpoints, as usual. But some range
may rise significantly more, to keep the minimum within 15% of the midpoint. In cases where a minimum salary receives this extra adjustment, the "midpoint" will no longer be the mathematical midpoint of that range.
If you are paying some of your employees near the minimum of their salary range, you might discover that they need a boost to stay within our recommended ranges. If this requires an especially large jump, consider achieving it over two years.
Increases Varying by Position and Size
For the past few cycles, we have adjusted our entire salary structure by the same percentage. In other words, every position at every size saw the same increase in a given year.
Every few years, we do a deeper dive into the information provided to us by our outside compensation firm. This fall's review will enable us to fine-tune our recommendations. All midpoints will increase at least 2%, in keeping with recent and projected changes in church and nonprofit wage structures. We anticipate that midpoint salaries for some positions in some size ranges will go up as much as 5% to better reflect the most recent data. (Some minimums will rise more than 5%, as explained above.)
Rounding to Nearest $100
We've been offering our salary recommendations to the nearest $50. For 2020-2021, we'll round to the nearest $100 - a cleaner look without sacrificing usefulness.