Compensation Changes and Adjustments

All compensation changes including promotions, reclassifications, transfers, and off cycle adjustments must be reviewed by your Senior Human Resources Business Partner before being communicated and implemented. 

Please review the HR Manager Toolkit to reference related policies and/or content.

Columbia has a common merit increase date when all employees (Officers and Non Union Support Staff) typically receive a yearly performance review and may be eligible for a merit increase effective July 1. New employees hired before April 1 are eligible for an increase on July 1 of the same year.  

A promotion is an advancement to a different position in a higher salary grade with a higher level of accountability and increased responsibility. Promotional salary increases may be granted concurrently with the advancement of an employee from his or her present position to a position in a higher salary grade.

A reclassification is a position which is reevaluated, the employee is taking on additional responsibility and is remaining in the same grade. The salary will be reviewed for an increase based on the additional responsibility.

A transfer is a when an employee accepts a position in a different business unit, school or department. Transfers typically can fall within two categories:

  1. Lateral Transfer – Employee accepts a position within the same salary grade as his/her current position.
  2. Promotional Transfer – Employee accepts a position in a higher grade and requires additional responsibilities and knowledge.

Salary Adjustments may be warranted in rare cases for circumstances such as:

  1. Equity Adjustment: There are internal inequities in pay that cannot be corrected over time through scheduled reviews. 
  2. Market Adjustment: The employee has demonstrated consistently outstanding performance that warrants special consideration to be competitive with market pay practices. 

To recognize completion of a special assignment of work performed above and beyond the regular job duties, additional compensation may be paid. Such adjustments are not normally added to base pay, but are processed as additional compensation via Labor Accounting in People@Columbia (PAC).

Refer to the Additional Compensation Policy for more information.

Supplemental compensation that exceeds 10 percent of base salary or $10,000 (whichever is less) during the course of the year requires submission of a written justification and approval of the Vice President for Human Resources. At Columbia University Irving Medical Center, the guidelines will be administered through the Chief Human Resources Officer, CUIMC.

An appointment for an "acting position" is made in order to compensate an employee who is formally assigned to a higher level position on a temporary basis.

Among the variables to be considered in determining the appropriate salary in an "acting" capacity are:

  • The difference between acting designee's actual classification grade and the vacant position's grade.
  • The scope of the higher level job which will be performed.

The recommended salary adjustment for an "acting" appointment should not be less than the minimum of the higher grade job which will be performed, and not to exceed the salary increase the employee would receive if promoted to that position.

The acting appointment must be for a minimum of 30 consecutive days and may not normally exceed six months. The acting appointment should be implemented by processing a Personnel Action Form (PAF), including a temporary increase to the person’s base salary.