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These guidelines apply to non-faculty and non-student bargaining unit positions at California State University San Marcos. Where these guidelines and procedures are in conflict with the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA's), the Collective Bargaining Agreements take precedence.

Compensation Options

CSU salary programs fall into two major categories: system-funded and campus-funded.

1. System-Funded Salary Increases

Almost all collective bargaining agreements provide for salary increases that fall under the following general categories for system-funded salary increases. These compensation program components are negotiated and funded at the system-wide level. CSUSM has responsibility for implementing these salary increases based on the specific instructions provided by the Chancellor's Office when new contract provisions are implemented:

  • General Salary Increases (GSI): General Salary Increases are primarily intended to serve as a cost-of-living adjustment and are usually provided to all employees in the bargaining unit. These negotiated increases are typically effective at the beginning of the fiscal year.
  • Merit/Performance Based Salary Increases: A pool of funds may also be negotiated for performance-based salary increases for the bargaining unit. Depending on what is negotiated, this pool of funds may be applied to base salaries and/or be awarded as a lump sum payment.

2. Campus-Funded Salary Adjustments

Most collective bargaining agreements have provisions for increases that may be provided with campus funds. These increases are funded by the employee’s department or unit and are provided at the discretion of the President.

  • In-Range Progression Increase: An in-range progression (IRP) is an increase within the employee's current salary range. It is a permanent increase to the employee's base pay based on considerations such as salary equity, changes in duties that do not warrant a reclassification or skill-level change, or recognition of an employee's specialized skills which have specific value to the University.

Employees in the following groups are eligible for in-range progression increases:

  • California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), Units 2, 5, 7, 9. Requests may be employee or management initiated.
  • Academic Professionals of California (APC), Unit 4. Requests may be employee or management initiated.
  • Teamsters, Unit 6. Requests may be employee or management initiated.
  • Statewide University police Association (SUPA), Unit 8. Requests are management initiated.
  • Employees in confidential classifications. Requests are management initiated.

In-range progression increases are discretionary and are not subject to grievance procedures.

  • Bonuses: A bonus is a lump sum payment that is not added to an employee's base salary. Bonuses and incentives must be based on established criteria which are described in the employees collective bargaining agreement.  
  • Stipends: Several collective bargaining agreements provide criteria for a stipend, or temporary increase in an employee’s pay. A stipend is typically provided on a month-to-month basis for a specified time period. 

Bonuses and stipends are management initiated.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the purpose of a compensation program?
    The compensation program is part of a total rewards strategy that the CSU uses to attract, motivate, and retain employees. In addition to base salary, the CSU provides generous benefits programs, including leave and retirement programs. Individual campuses may provide recognition programs, career and developmental opportunities, or focus on work-life benefits that are of interest to employees.
  • How is my salary determined at CSUSM?

    When a new position is developed at CSUSM, the manager prepares a position description and forwards it to Human Resources (HR). HR conducts a position classification review and the position is assigned to a classification level and corresponding salary range. The salary range specifies the minimum and maximum salary that the position may be paid.

    When a new employee is hired, they receive a salary within the salary range for their position. An employee's salary may increase as a result of a promotion (movement to a higher classification or skill level following a recruitment/selection process), reclassification to a higher classification or skill level, and as a result of CSU system or campus-funded salary adjustments. The main components of the CSU classification and compensation systems are described below.

  • How are salaries determined for new employees?

    Salaries for new employees are determined by management and are made after considering a candidate’s relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities (demonstrated through the possession of job related experience and education) in relation to the minimum qualifications of the position; internal and external market salary equity considerations; and budgetary considerations. For a new appointment, the candidate must be paid at least the minimum of the salary range for their classification level.

    HR, serving as the President's designee for personnel decisions, works with the Hiring Authority (appropriate administrator) to determine the candidate's starting salary.

  • How are salaries determined for current employees when their position is reclassified?

    An employee's salary may change as a result of movement to a lower or higher classification or skill level. The change in salary is determined by the terms in the employee's collective bargaining agreement.

    The California State University Employee's Union (CSUEU), Academic Professionals of California (APC), and Teamsters collective bargaining unit agreements state the minimum percentage increase that must be granted when an employee moves without a break in service into a classification with a higher salary range. In some cases, an increase greater than the minimum stated percentage may be required in order to place a staff member's salary at the minimum salary rate.

    For example, the CSUEU collective bargaining agreement states that when an employee moves without a break in service to a classification or skill level with a higher salary range, an increase of no less than 5 percent may be granted.

  • Can I receive an increase greater than 5% or the minimum of the pay range?
    Yes. An employee may receive a larger increase depending on their qualifications (education and experience) in relation to the required qualifications of the position they are reclassified into, and the department's budget. Internal salary equity is also considered. A department is only required to pay the minimum increase required by the collective bargaining agreement.
  • How do I calculate my total compensation?

    Total compensation includes an employee's salary plus the monetary value of their benefits package. The value of an employee's benefits package varies depending on their employee/collective bargaining group and the type of benefits plan they choose.

    Information on benefits coverage by employee group can be found at CSU Benefits Comparison.

    An employee can determine exactly how much their benefits add to their total compensation by entering their salary and benefit program data into the CSU total compensation calculator. For example, a CSUEU employee who earns $40,000 per year; who is in CalPERS; who has their entire family of four (4) enrolled in Blue Shield HMO and basic Delta Dental, has a total compensation package greater than $63,500 per year.

    CSU Total Compensation Calculator

  • What about work-life benefits?

    CSUSM recently contracted with our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider to provide work-life benefits for employees. These benefits are very broad and can range from help locating a care-giver for a child or elderly parent, to assistance writing a simple will.

    Information about the University's work life benefit program is available on the CSUSM EAP Worklife Link to EAP site.

  • How are compensation and pay levels determined at CSUSM?
    Each collective bargaining agreement contains specific language regarding compensation and pay increases. While there is some consistency in the compensation programs across bargaining units, the components of each compensation program vary by collective bargaining agreement. The variations are often the result of the differing needs within different occupational groups, as well as the dynamics of the collective bargaining process. E.g., in-range progression increases are currently available to employees in CSUEU, APC, Teamsters, SUPA, and confidential employees. Even when two different bargaining units provide for the same type of increase (e.g., bonuses), the criteria for receiving the increase may vary by collective bargaining agreement. It is important for both employees and managers to consult the Salary Article of the collective bargaining unit agreement to become familiar with the contract language regarding salary programs.