Your Union at Work: Equity Reviews

A Gavel
March 13, 2019

By Iris Jenkins, PSU member

The Salary Administration Program (SAP) provides the guidelines for determining job classification levels and salary ranges for PSU members. The SAP has several objectives, one of which is to provide for internal equity in salaries. Equity reviews are one way to address significant differences in salaries between individuals doing comparable work with similar seniority and qualifications.

Why might I request an equity review?

If you are aware of another staff member of the same position level as you, who performs similar duties, and earns a substantially higher salary, you may have a case for an equity review. The equity review process involves comparing your salary with that other staff member’s salary, considering merit award history as well as qualifications and experience that affect starting
salary. You can review salaries at!/year/2019/.

These comparisons are not limited to an individual department or unit. Comparisons can be made between PSU members campus-wide. In the event that all things are similar with the exception of salary, you may be granted an equity increase.

The PSU contract indicates that adjustments will only be made when a substantial inequity exists. Although the contract does not define “substantial inequity,” it does indicate that an equity increase will not be granted in the event that there is only a “slight variance” in salary.

How do I request an equity review?

Whether you pursue an equity review on your own or with the help of your supervisor or PSU, you must complete the “Request for Equity Review” form, which can be found on the PSU website or UMass Human Resources page. You must also provide a copy of your job description, and a written justification for the salary increase being requested. The justification should explain why you think you are inequitably paid and provide the amount you feel is equitable. It is strongly advised that you work with a PSU specialist on your equity review request rather than pursuing it on your own. The process always goes better with union advice and research.

What happens after my request is submitted?

Your request will ultimately be reviewed by the manager of total compensation at UMass Amherst or the compensation manager at UMass Boston. The equity review process does not guarantee a pay increase, but it does provide an option worth pursuing, particularly since you have nothing to lose. There is an appeal process that can be pursued in conjunction with PSU in the event that an equity increase request is denied.

If you have questions about the equity review process, contact

Jack Hirsch

Tom Goodkind