Reference Civil Service Rules, Ch. 5, Sec. 3., A., 1., b. Personnel Bulletin 5.1A (09/30/80) prescribes the procedure for the implementation of starting salaries above the minimum rate. Civil Service Bulletin 5.14 (12/03/98) provides a procedure to delegate authority for appointment above the minimum rate to individual agencies.

The statewide compensation policy provides that salary step 01 will be paid upon original appointment. There are certain circumstances that justify consideration of appointment above the minimum rate. Among them are a candidate's exceptional qualifications (measured in terms of educational background and/or specific work experience), a lack of qualified candidates for the classification, labor market conditions in certain geographic areas or work locations, or when a position requires special qualifications. A candidate's current salary may be a factor in a salary request, but current salary does not preclude the evaluation of pay equity described below.

Maintaining pay equity between a candidate and incumbent employees in the same classification is fundamental to all salary requests. Maintaining pay equity means that a candidate may not be appointed at a salary rate that is higher than incumbents in the same classification who are similarly qualified or more qualified. If there are incumbent employees who are similarly qualified or more qualified than a candidate, the agency has two choices: the candidate must be appointed at a salary rate [lower] that will not impact those incumbents or the salaries of the incumbents must be raised to match that of the candidate.

Pay equity is evaluated in terms of education, training, and directly-related experience. Training may include the type of educational program completed, professional or technical certifications, or professional licenses. Directly related experience is measured in time and the level of work being performed. For example, in evaluating the directly related experience of a professional nurse (RN), experience as a CNA or LPN would generally not be considered.

Salary comparisons must include all agency incumbents in the classification who are below the requested salary step. In exceptional circumstances, the evaluation may be limited to certain geographic locations or worksites, such as geographically isolated areas with a limited labor market or institutional settings. Salary comparisons are not necessary for Acting Capacity and Project appointments, which are inherently short-term, with limited benefits.

Except as provided in Civil Service Bulletin 5.14, all requests for appointment above the minimum rate must be approved by the Director, Bureau of Human Resources. Agency requests should be forwarded through agency human resource representatives and must include the specific salary being requested, a complete explanation of the exceptional circumstance(s) necessitating the request, and a complete explanation of the impact on current incumbents. Job offers at a salary above the minimum rate may not be tendered without specific salary authorization.

Civil Service Bulletin 5.14 provides the option to delegate salary authorizations to individual agencies. In accepting delegated authority, an agency must agree to conduct salary reviews in accordance with civil service law, rules, and established practice. A specific agency official (generally the agency human resource director) certifies that appointments above the minimum rate will not create an adverse salary impact on incumbent employees.