Compensation and Staffing News
November 2018
Open Enrollment Month
Salary Recommendations for 2019-2020 Program Year
For the 2019-2020 year, UUA Salary Recommendations will be increasing 1.8% for all positions, in keeping with projected wage increases in the nonprofit world. Updated salary charts will be posted in December. The adjustment of our salary structure is not the end of the story. Please note the following:

1) The cost of living is expected to rise about 3% in 2019. (The Social Security COLA has been set at 2.8%.)

When it comes to raises for continuing staff, here's what the numbers mean:
  • A 1.8% raise will keep an employee in the same place, relative to our salary ranges. Example: if you hired someone in July 2018 at a salary halfway between the minimum and the midpoint, a 1.8% raise in July 2019 will keep them halfway between the minimum and the midpoint.
  • A 3% raise will move an employee up slightly within the posted range, but their purchasing power will not increase, i.e., 3% will roughly cover increases in cost of living (housing, food, etc.).

2) Smaller congregations may need to place employees higher in the ranges to be competitive. Our salary recommendations are based on wage survey data from the church and nonprofit world. Just as with for-profits, larger organizations tend to pay more than smaller ones, and our salary charts reflect this.

For someone considering a position in, say, the Boston area, it will cost them as much to live there working at a smaller congregation as at a larger one. This can put smaller congregations at a disadvantage for attracting ministers and other staff, especially if a relocation is involved. If you are setting salaries in a smaller congregation, you may need to pay higher within the recommended ranges to recruit and retain quality staff.

3) We're adding a position in the Administrative and Operations category for Midsize III congregations and larger: Director of Finance and Operations. (Alternative titles: Director of Administration, Executive Director.) We've been hearing for a while now that the lead administrative role in many of our larger congregations is a step up from the "Business Administrator" as we define it in our Capsule Job Descriptions. The salary ranges for this position will be 10% higher than Business Administrator. We are working on a capsule job description for this role to help you discern the best match for your administrative position. Remember that our Salary Recommendations are based on the Capsule Job Descriptions, not on the job titles in your congregation.

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Determining compensation for prospective, new, and continuing staff is both a science and an art. Our recommendations are provided as a decision-making tool. We hope that they aid you in setting salaries that are competitive (with pay for similar jobs "in the world"), consistent (with comparable roles in other UU congregations), and equitable (sensibly aligned across your staff team).

In December, look for updated charts and related resources on our Salary Recommendations for Congregational Staff page.
UUA Insurance Plans Changes Effective January 1
Your congregation may plan and budget on a July-June program year, but our Insurance Plans operate by calendar year. Everything mentioned below goes into effect on January 1, 2019.

The Bottom Line: Plan Rates Remain Unchanged!
The premiums for all UUA insurance plans - Health, Dental, Life, and Long-Term Disability - are staying the same in 2019.

UUA Health Plan rates are based on age. Members currently in the Plan will see a small age adjustment (because we've all gotten a year older) of about 2½% - a little lower for younger members; a little higher for older members. A modest adjustment to out-of-pocket amounts has aided us in holding rates steady.
Photo credit Keddy Ann Outlaw
Health Plan Benefit Enhancements
  • We're beginning a transition to offering IVF coverage. For 2019, we are expanding coverage to include intrauterine insemination (IUI) and related procedures. Beginning January 1, 2020, we will begin covering IVF procedures for all members who have been in the Plan for a least a year as of Dec 31, 2019, and for those who reach the twelve month participation mark in 2020.
  • Naturopaths will be covered as primary care providers in all states where they are licensed to practice medicine.
  • Nurse Practitioners will be covered as primary care providers, rather than as specialists.

Dental, Life, and Long-Term Disability Plans
Guardian will continue to be our insurance company in 2019. Rates will stay the same. Minor adjustments have been made to keep our plans in line with the market.

Open Enrollment for Health and Dental Plans
Open Enrollment is a once-a-year opportunity for current employees to enroll in UUA Health and/or Dental Plans, or add dependents, without a qualifying event. For the Health Plan, you can also upgrade your plan choice. Open Enrollment runs from November 1 through December 3. Elections are effective January 1. There is no open enrollment for Life or Long-Term Disability.

See our Health Plan Open Enrollment and Group Insurance Plans pages for further details.
Ministerial Agreement for Lead/Senior/Solo Ministers
The UUA, in collaboration with the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, provides a model Ministerial Agreement that congregations can customize. We recently posted a Recommended Agreement for Full-time Lead/Senior/Solo Ministries for ministries beginning in July 2019 or later. It's the first update of this resource since 2012. This template will be a starting point for other agreements, including part-time ministers, second ministers, interim/developmental ministers, and non-clergy professionals).
Who's Who in the Office of Church Staff Finances
Here's an up-to-date list of Office of Church Staff Finances team members:

General Inquiries, Compensation and Staffing
  • Rev. Richard Nugent, Director, Church Staff Finances,, (on sabbatical until mid-December)
  • Jan Gartner, Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager,

Insurance Plans

Retirement Plan
  • Linda Rose, Retirement Plan Manager,
  • Charissa Benak, Retirement Plan Specialist (and Aid Funds contact),
UUA Office of Church Staff Finances
24 Farnsworth Street | Boston, MA 02210