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Resolution 18-02. Concerning Employee Compensation





May 2, 2018


WHEREAS the Mission of the Employee Forum is to address constructively the concerns of Employees of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including the representation of staff concerns to Chancellor Carol L. Folt and University officials, the University community, the General Administration, and the North Carolina General Assembly; and


WHEREAS, according to a February 2015 report by Economic Modeling Specialists International, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and UNC Health Care Medical System contributed $7.1 billion to North Carolina’s economy in 2013[1]; and


WHEREAS, legislature-approved salary increases have failed to keep up with increases in the cost of living[2]; and


WHEREAS, the University of North Carolina System Office (SO) has undertaken several commendable initiatives, including the report “SHRA Career Banding Market Index Trends” by SO Human Resources (October 2017) and the UNC System Employee Workplace Engagement Survey; and


WHEREAS, the abovementioned report also reveals that at least 39% and as many as 50% of UNC-CH’s SHRA employees are compensated below market rate[3]; and


WHEREAS, UNC System Office Vice President for Human Resources Matt Brody presented this information to the staff governance bodies on individual campuses for  review; and


WHEREAS, UNC-CH’s Career Banding (CB) for SHRA employees has not been systematically updated since 2008 nor have salary rates for EHRA Non-Faculty since 2014. Neither have been benchmarked to UNC-CH’s peer institutions[4] since those times; and


WHEREAS, the new CB rates effective July 1, 2017 for SHRA employees have not been systematically implemented to bring current SHRA employees’ income up to the new CB market rates; and


WHEREAS, UNC-CH employees perceive that there is a high rate of staff turnover as colleagues leave in search of competitive salary/wages, benefits, and other workplace incentives (e.g., flexible workplace policies), and the current low rate of unemployment[5] creates a very competitive recruitment environment; and


WHEREAS, turnover is costly to the University, detrimental to its ability to fulfill its mission and to function efficiently and effectively, and negatively impacts faculty and students who rely upon staff support; and


WHEREAS, “The Blueprint for Next,” UNC-CH’s Strategic Framework, commits to the supporting theme that we “care how we treat one another, [and] provide for each other’s well-being”[6]; and


WHEREAS, individual units across the University are instituting pay philosophies to ensure that they offer fair and competitive compensation with the goal to attract, engage, and retain the best employees, including post-hire salary adjustments to bring employees’ salaries into alignment with external market rates[7];


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Employee Forum, in its capacity as advisory to the Chancellor, respectfully recommends and requests that Chancellor Carol L. Folt or her designees direct UNC-CH’s Office of Human Resources to undertake a three phase project to bring UNC-CH into alignment with Systems Office efforts:


I.   Phase One: On the basis of the “SHRA Career Banding Market Index Trends,” units across the University will bring any SHRA employees who are below market rate up to the CB market rate by June 30, 2019 where financially feasible and in accordance with university and state policies.


II.  Phase Two: a task force charged by the Chancellor and comprised of HR representatives, Employee Forum delegates, and other staff to conduct its own longitudinal analysis of employees’ compensation, concluding no later than June 30, 2020. We request that the analysis include the following:


  1. Market analysis of salary rates for EHRA Non-Faculty employees;


  1. Benchmarking of UNC-CH’s SHRA and EHRA Non-Faculty total compensation, including non-financial benefits such as flexible work policies, to UNC-CH’s peer institutions and relevant industries, with adjustments for regional cost of living;


  1. Longitudinal comparison of total compensation packages of 2017 SHRA employee salaries with 2008 salaries and 2017 EHRA Non-Faculty total compensation packages with 2014 salaries, adjusted for inflation and change in the value of the dollar;


  1. Assessment of UNC-CH’s rates of staff turn over (to both internal and external positions), where possible the reasons for that turn over, and the cost associated with turnover (e.g., cost of the unfilled position, cost of search in staff time and expenses, cost of onboarding and training);


  1. Assessment of number of positions lost since 2007 (through attrition, lay-offs, or other means) and number of positions that have remained unfilled for 12 or more months; and


  1. Evaluation of pay equity by gender and race within and across units.


III.  Phase Three: On the basis of the updated EHRA Non-Faculty salary rates, (II.2), units across the University will bring any EHRA Non-Faculty employees who are below reference rate up to the new salary rate compensation guidelines by June 30, 2021 where financially feasible and in accordance with university and state policies.




[2] See also Employee Forum Resolution 14-04 (, which includes data about salary increases until 2013 and, from the State Office of Human Resources, the rate and cost of staff turnover, and Employee Forum Resolution 17-04 ( ).


[4] UC-Berkeley, UCLA, UMd, UM, U of Minnesota-Twin Cities, U of Pittsburgh, UT-Austin, UVa, UW-Seattle, UW-Madison, Duke U, Johns Hopkins U, Northwestern U, U of Pennsylvania, U of Southern California.

[5] According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate for January 2018 was 4.1% (; North Carolina’s rate of unemployment, as of December 2017, was 4.5% (


[7] See, for example, the Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s pay philosophy:

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