Compensation Process Guidance

Compensation is about more than numbers. Your compensation policies and practices are a way of living your values. Use these checklists, with links to relevant resources, to help you ground your compensation decisions in equity and transparency.

Process Guidance for Salaries

Equity spelled on Scrabble tiles


_____ We have completed the UUA's Payroll Administration Checklist (PDF) (or in Word) within the past year.

_____ We pay all staff at least the living wage for our locality. (See MIT Living Wage Calculator. Use 1 adult, 0 children.)

_____ We are aware of UUA Salary Recommendations and also keep abreast of local wage norms for positions typically hired locally.

_____If UUA salary charts are used, we do our best to make appropriate use of the ranges, moving well-performing staff to midpoint and beyond over time. (See Guide to Salary Recommendations.)

_____ We have a unified process for determining salary increases for all employees (i.e., not a separate process for the minister) and are clear and transparent with staff about that process.

_____ We strive to ensure that, at a minimum, across-the-board staff raises keep up with cost of living increases. (The UUA publicizes the year-over-year 3rd quarter CPI-U change in the late fall. From 2019 to 2020, the increase was 1.2%.)

_____ We have a process in place to check for salary alignment across the staff team. (This means comparing salaries with each other, taking into account relevant differences such as role and experience.)

_____ We have a process for reviewing salaries to avoid potential bias (e.g., gender, race) and are aware of state laws relating to pay equity. (See Wage Gaps are Real and They Cost Us All, from DiversityJobs, and our Staffing for Diversity page in LeaderLab.)

New Hires

_____ We post a salary minimum or a range in all position advertisements.

_____ We do not ask job candidates for salary history. (Doing so is illegal in some states.) See Stop Asking Job Candidates for Their Salary History.

_____ In discussing salary with applicants, we are transparent about how salaries are determined and how the salary for their position lines up with any used for reference (UUA Salary Recommendations or other).

_____ We are transparent with each new hire about our process for determining annual salary increases.

Process Guidance for Benefits

In the future, we will post a of considerations similar to the one above for salaries. In the meantime, we encourage you to review our Benefits Recommendations page.

Eligibility criteria for UUA benefit plans are set by plan rules, not by congregational policy. We trust congregations to offer benefits equitably to eligible staff.

About the Author

Jan Gartner

Jan is passionate about helping congregations live out their values within their walls!...

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