The tiered pay system

Staff Report

The tier system proposed for determining pay scales for unclassified employees is similar in nature to the "grade" system that sets pay for classified employees.

The first difference, however, is that the tier system is numbered in reverse. Classified workers all know that they move up in pay as if they get a job with a higher grade number. Grade 31 might be a secretarial position; Grade 40 might be an accounting or other professional position. At the top of that system are such posts as the prison wardens - now Grade 46 - the chief of the highway patrol - currently Grade 48. Those will become unclassified under the plan.

The proposed tier system sets directors of the state's major departments at Tier 1 with a maximum proposed pay scale of $113,500. Tiers 2 and 3 would be the heads of medium-size and smaller departments and large, complex divisions.

Most division and agency administrators along with their deputies are placed from Tier 4 through Tier 6 with bureau chiefs at Tier 7. Where each position is depends largely on the responsibilities attached to that particular position.

Lawyers generally were put in Tier 6 with a maximum pay of $87,000. Those with a legal staff to supervise would be a step up from that.

Tier 5 includes many administrative hearings officers, Tier 10 public information and education officers, among others.

The differences between maximum pay for each tier ranges from just $1,000 to $10,000. There are 11 tiers with Tier 11 occupied by executive assistants - generally personal secretaries working for department directors.

Outside the tier system are all the medical professionals in the state - primarily doctors and psychiatrists in the Human Resources and Corrections departments. They were moved to unclassified but without pay raises since they are already exempt from salary caps and include the highest paid individuals in the state - up to $180,000 a year for the medical directors in those two departments.

The maximum pay proposed for each tier is as follows:

Tier 1: $113,500

Tier 2: $111,000

Tier 3: $110,000

Tier 4: $104,000

Tier 5: $95,500

Tier 6: $87,000

Tier 7: $78,000

Tier 8: $72,500

Tier 9: $63,000

Tier 10: $60,000

Tier 11: $50,000

- Geoff Dornan


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