Useful terms to understand salary schedules

Bottom step: Step with the lowest salary on a column.

Bump Steps: Increments that are larger than the other increments on a column. These typically appear between the bottom or top steps on a salary schedule.

Career Rate: The top step.

Column: Columns reflect the different salaries that are attainable for different levels of educational development of employees. Every school district that has a salary schedule has additional compensation for teachers with a Master's degree, for example. Other columns reflect additional credits beyond the Bachelor's or the Master's, up to and including the PhD. The number of columns vary, with some locals having as many as 18 columns

Column Differential: The difference between the salaries on the various columns.

Devaluing a step: Lowering a step's value relative to the maximum salary.

Increment: An increment is the difference between one step and the next step closer to the top step. The increment can be measured in dollar or percentage terms, depending on the purpose for which you need to understand its size.

Incremental Raise: The incremental raise is the raise that brings employees from wherever they are on the salary schedule to the career rate as employees master their crafts through practice and experience. The size of the incremental raise is equal to the difference between an employee's current step and the next highest step in the same year. Employees earn this raise as they become masters at their job. Once they have mastered the job rate, they should be paid the career rate, and thus would no longer need to receive the incremental raise.

On-Scale Raise: An on-scale raise is the raise applied equally to all of the salaries on a salary schedule itself. For example, a 5 percent on-scale raise would increase the starting salary by 5 percent and the career rate by 5 percent. This raise has nothing to do with individual employees. Rather, this raise is the amount that the value of the job is increased each year.

Starting salary: (Professionals only) bottom step salary.

Step index: The percentage value of the salary on any step relative to the value of the top step. This figure is found by dividing the salaries on a salary schedule by the top step.

Total Raise: A total raise an employee earns is the sum of the on-scale raise and the incremental raise.

Top Step: This is the step with the highest salary on a column.

Uniform Column Differential: All of the salaries on a column are uniformly greater than the salaries on the same steps of a previous column (column to the left).




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