Market Study

Overview

Clovis Unified School District is currently undergoing a salary schedule market study. A market study is designed to analyze our existing salary schedules to ensure they remain competitive among similar employers. Unlike a reclassification study, a market study looks at our salary schedules in their entirety to make sure we continue to competitively pay team Clovis Unified, and that job descriptions are placed correctly on our salary schedules.

January 2023 Update

Members of the Employee Compensation Committee (ECC) have completed their work on a comprehensive market study of the District's salary schedules and a recommendation has been presented to the Governing Board. The Board is expected to take action on the ECC’s recommendations at their February 1, 2023, meeting, culminating a more than two-and-a-half year study of our salary schedules to ensure they remain competitive.  

The recommended changes include:
  • Salary schedules that reflect median salaries based on a study of 11 comparable districts and a nationwide private sector salary index.
    • Implementation of the market study changes would be effective to the start of the current fiscal year; and 
    • That the District begin to explore a future reclassification study as another step to ensure classified positions are graded correctly on the new salary schedule.
  • Changes to the classified salary schedulestructure to address California’s recent minimum wage changes and market study findings that the district should have greater differentiation between its salary grades. Given a more recent reclassification process involving CUSD’s Classified Salary Schedule, the market study found greater alignment to the median across classified salaries of the district.  
    • The recommendation also includes moving from a nine-step schedule to an eight-step schedule and adopting a new numbering system for position grades, which currently range from 104/504 – 131/531.
  • A certificated salary schedule that maintains its existing structure based on years of experience and education levels, with multiple changes to pay rates within that salary schedule to reflect median salaries identified in the market study.
  • Certificated management schedules that use the existing salary structure and include some pay rate modifications to reflect market study findings.
This year, ECC has worked toward a recommendation that addresses the needs identified in the market study to ensure salary schedules reflect competitive pay for CUSD employees, even if those solutions exceed the $12.8 million already authorized by the Governing Board.  The ECC recommendation presented to the Governing Board January 18 would require a total investment of $17.3 million. This is an addition to the 2022-23 7% salary schedule increase previously implemented, July 1, 2022. 
 

History

The Employee Compensation Committee (ECC) made up of classified and certificated employees works every year on compensation-related issues like salary increases, substitute pay, etc. The need for a market study of both classified and certificated salary schedules first came from this group, who wants to ensure employees continue to be competitively compensated for their work in Clovis Unified.  After the ECC’s recommendation was presented by the administration to the Governing Board in May of 2021, the Board authorized this third-party study.  Proposals were then received from various human resources firms and vetted through a committee of employees before Koff and Associates was recommended to the Board. Committee members chose Koff & Associates based on their professional qualifications, prior work, and reputation for quality.

Findings from their study were completed in April 2022 and members of ECC spent the fall developing recommendations based on the results of Koff and Associates work. ECC completed their work in January of 2023 and presented their recommendations to the Governing Board that month. 

Aim III of our strategic plan is to ensure that we continue to hire, develop, sustain and value a high-quality, diverse workforce and a market study is one way that we can make sure our classified and certificated salaries remain competitive. With recent changes to California’s minimum wage and on-going changes in other compensation-related things like pensions and benefits, we wanted to make sure that we take an important step back from any one job description or unique position, and look at our salary schedules as a whole. Using an outside third party like Koff and Associates meant the analysis drew from internal and external expertise in competitive employee compensation.

Koff & Associates

Koff & Associates was selected to conduct the Market Study and recommended to the Board by an employee review committee. To learn more about Koff & Associates, please visit their website here:

Timeline

Updated Timeline as of January 2023

  • June 2021: Employee Compensation Committee’s recommendation to conduct a Market Study approved.
  • Fall 2021: A request for proposals, interviews and a committee process to identify the recommended company to conduct the study completed.
  • November 2021: Board approves Koff and Associates to conduct Market Study
  • April - May 2022: Initial draft of findings from the study provided in phases to District and ECC.
  • April - June 2022: Findings discussed, implementation options and study recommendations developed by ECC.
  • June 2022: Board approved $12.8 million be set aside in the District's budget toward future ECC recommendations on market study implementation. This amount was an initial estimate and does not necessarily represent the total cost of future recommendations.
  • Fall 2022: ECC resumed work to analyze Koff and Associates' work and to develop implementation recommendations based on the market study.
  • January-February 2023: ECC to submit a proposal to the Governing Board with its initial recommendations based on the market study. This proposal is now complete, and is presented to the Governing Board for Information on January 18, 2023, and Action on February 1, 2023. The recommendation created by ECC – which would bring certificated, classified/classified management, and certificated management schedules to the study median – has an associated cost of approximately $17.3 million. The recommendation contains no changes for our contracted administrative positions (such as assistant superintendent, associate superintendent, superintendent, etc.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why do the recommendations vary so greatly across salary schedules?
A. Changes vary greatly across the three salary schedules included in the market study because the goal was to reach the study medians.  Because some individual cells of our salary schedules were closer to the study median than others, recommended changes range from 0-15.8% on the Classified Schedule, 5.8% - 10.5% on the Certificated Schedule, and 1.6% - 8.1% on the Certificated Management Schedule.  The contracted administrator salary schedule was not changed in this study, nor were stipend or substitute teacher schedules.

Q. What role did ECC play in this process?
A. The ECC was involved at every level of the market study. Their responsibilities included:
  • Beginning discussions in the fall of 2020 that ultimately resulted in the Governing Board’s authorization of a market study.
  • Identifying Koff and Associates, a third party consultant responsible for conducting the study and reporting findings to the administration and ECC; and then selecting the 11 comparative school districts and 77 positions for benchmarking this important study.
  • Listening to their fellow employees and representing their voices in work to analyze the April 2022 findings from Koff and Associates.
  • Requesting that the Governing Board set aside funds to begin implementation of the study in the current year, resulting in $12.8 million in the current budget.
  • Reaching consensus on recommendations for the Governing Board to now consider. 
 
Q. Does this immediately impact all employees?
A. The study includes only the Classified, Certificated, and Certificated Management Salary Schedules, with some individual steps and columns of those schedules receiving no changes. Any market study outcomes that impact employees represented by CSEA Chapter 250 or ACE Psychologists and Mental Health Support Providers must be separately negotiated and will follow a different implementation pending those negotiations. We do not currently have a timeline for that process.  
 
Q. Who qualifies to receive retroactive implementation of the market study?
A. If approved by the Governing Board, those employees 1) paid by contract on the Classified, Certificated and Certificated Management “Regular” Salary Schedules, and 2) who are not represented by CSEA Chapter 250 or ACE Psychologists and Mental Health Support Providers, 3) who are employed at the time the Governing Board approves market study recommendations will receive retroactive compensation.
 
Q. What employees are not eligible for salary schedule retroactive compensation?
A. The following employees are not eligible for retroactive compensation:
  • Employees reporting work in Smart Find Express (including all *substitutes and long-term substitutes)
  • Employees reporting work on a timesheet (includes additional time, overtime, and miscellaneous pay)
  • Employees that are not on these salary schedules
  • Employees paid solely through stipends
  • CSEA and ACE Psychologist and Mental Health Support Providers represented employees (contracts are still under negotiation)

Q. When would eligible employees receive their retroactive compensation?
A. While salary schedules approved on February 1 would become effective immediately and reflected in February  2023 paychecks for eligible employees, the process to calculate retroactive pay will require more time for our Payroll Department to complete. It is anticipated that retroactive compensation will be paid separately this spring.
 
Q. Why is so much more money being devoted to the Certificated schedule compared to the Classified schedule?
A.  The study found that Clovis Unified’s Classified schedule was comparable to comparative districts and the public sector median. As a result, it did not require as many changes as the Certificated schedule to reach the median. Instead, our Classified schedule needed structural changes to better reflect California’s recent changes in minimum wage, and to provide greater differentiation (more space) between the grades of our salary schedule.  Our classified schedule has undergone more recent changes based on the last reclassification study, and our classified employees can be confident that their salaries over time have been at the median of comparable employers.

To get our certificated schedule to align to the median required more significant changes, and given that it has always represented a larger portion of our overall salary expenses than our classified schedules, it was expected that the market study costs might also be more significant.

Q. What is a market study?
A. A market study is a process by which an outside, third party human resources company analyzes our salary schedules with comparable employers in California and then makes recommendations to the district related to that analysis. It’s purpose is to ensure that Clovis Unified’s salary schedules remain fair and competitive to similar employers.

Q. What does a Market Study include?
A. A market study includes an analysis of the certificated and classified salary schedules with those of similarly sized companies and employers in the private and public sector around California. Koff and Associates identified approximately 75 “benchmark” positions and completed comparative studies of pay ranges and relationships with other positions within the organization to ensure competitive pay structures exist in Clovis Unified. At a meeting of the Employee Compensation Committee in 2021, members identified two ranges of the teacher salary schedule, and the process they wanted used to identify a variety of classified (operations and non-operations) and certificated management job descriptions that will provide the benchmarks for the study. An analysis of the benchmark positions was then used to evaluate the teacher, certificated management, classified and operations salary schedules.

Q. Is this a reclassification study?
A. No. A market study looks at salary schedules in their entirety to make sure that our basic salary infrastructure is consistent with similar employers. It does not include a process for individual employees to seek a reclassification of their current jobs to a different pay grade on the salary schedule. Instead, the market study allows us to ensure our salary schedules themselves are competitive and well-structured for our employees.

Q. Why did it take so long?
A. While it was expected that results of the study would be in-hand by the end of March 2022, and potential salary schedules under discussion by ECC in April, the study by Koff & Associates was not completed until June. This delay was caused by a combination of factors including response time from districts used for comparison, and the number of questions and additional information sought by ECC, the District and Koff to ensure the final analysis and market study was thorough and complete.
 
In April, the District and ECC received an initial summary of Koff’s work. This summary showed that Koff’s analysis of the 77 benchmark positions found them to be 3% over the study median. Koff & Associates then sought direction from ECC to affirm their recommendation that draft salary schedules be created based on the study median. ECC members voted to have Koff and Associates build salary schedule drafts that reflected the study median as a starting point for their discussions before reaching a final recommendation to the Governing Board and Administration, and then resumed their work in the Fall of 2022. They met almost weekly until a recommendation was completed and presented to the Board in January 2023.

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