State Universities Civil Service System
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2.1 Setting and Adjusting Open Range Salary Schedule

Manual: Pay Administration

Subsection: Open Ranges and Established Rates

Employers shall establish a schedule of salary ranges for all Open Range classes. A salary range for each class shall be submitted to the University System Office for approval. The schedule of salary ranges may be organized and incorporated into a table of salary grades and may be submitted as verification of university/agency rate/range. Following are general guidelines when submitting salary ranges through the University System Office Salary Data System:

  • Range minimums and maximums which exceed 80% difference may require additional justification prior to approval by the University System;
  • Employers are required to submit range updates in the Salary Data System at the time where there is a change to the previously approved rate/range or at least once every four (4) years;
  • To avoid rounding issues within the Salary Data System, the actual dollar amount of the range should be submitted;
  • Current salary ranges are subject to review during the biennial audit;
  • When an employer has two ranges for the same classification, i.e., negotiated and open range, the widest range will be submitted in order to capture what is actually compensated for the applicable classification;
  • When an employer has two ranges for the same classification, i.e., negotiated and open range, select the Rate Type based on the predominate number of employees;
  • Across-the-board adjustments for all classes shall not require substantiation of individual range changes, other than a statement such as “3% across-the-board adjustment” or “2.5% fiscal year adjustment”.

In accordance with Section 36(d)(3) of the State Universities Civil Service Act, the employer shall identify and analyze valid salary data of wages paid for similar work by other employers within the appropriate recruitment area. Employers are encouraged to utilize one of the following methods to collect valid salary data.

  1. Statistically valid wage data may be obtained through surveys conducted by the employer or through independent sources, such as agencies, consulting firms, professional associations, and local employer groups. A valid survey is one that is current and geographically applicable, contains data on a sufficient number of employees and employers to be a representative sampling of the appropriate market, provides sufficient definition of each job category to assure equitable comparison, and provides median and/or weighted average salaries for each job class.
  2. In the absence of any available valid salary survey data, the University System Office shall consider proposals based on one of the following mathematical calculations:
    1. averaging the minimums of current ranges for the class of all University System employers, and assigning the class to the salary range with the minimum closest to the average; or
    2. averaging the midpoints of current ranges for the class of all University System employers, and assigning the class to the salary range with the midpoint closest to the average.

      NOTE: Ranges used in the above calculation shall have been approved within the preceding 12 months, and the class shall have one or more persons employed at the time of the survey. If method 1 or 2 above is used in developing salary ranges, it shall be the exclusive calculation method used by the employer; i.e., only one method may be used by an employer to determine pay ranges when utilizing this option.

Significant variations in ranges by employers may indicate differences in application of classes, and shall be discussed with the appropriate employer(s) to verify accuracy of comparisons. When range proposals are submitted, the University System Office may take the following into account.

  • Directly related classes which require substantially similar skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.
  • Comparisons may be made with lower and/or higher level classifications in the same series or with those to/from which employees in the proposed class would normally progress.

Note: Whenever possible, the above attachments can be submitted in the Wage Addendum section which allows you to either attach a document, or specify a URL.

Salary proposals returned to the employer without approval will include the reason(s) for non-approval as well as directive action if appropriate.


Reference Statute Section 110 ILCS 70/36d(3)
Revised 5/11/2016