Step M and Step U Q&A for HR and payroll staff

  1. Do nonrepresented nurses paid on the “N” special pay ranges get a longevity step?
  • Because the N ranges already have a Step M, Step U is being added to the N ranges for nurses. Steps L through U are steps within these ranges that are based on years of experience.  An employee will be eligible to advance to Step U as follows:
    • When they have 26 years of experience; or
    • If allowed by the employer’s salary determination policy, after six years at Step T, regardless of the number of years of experience.  
  1. Can an employee be appointed upon initial hire to Step U of a “N” special pay range?
  • As stated in WAC 357-28-082 an employee cannot be appointed to Step M upon initial hire but because Step U is based on years of experience an employer could hire a nurse with 26 years of experience and appoint them to Step U. If allowed by the employer’s salary determination policy, an employee may be appointed upon initial hire to Step U regardless of the number of years of experience.
  1. What Basic Pay reason code should be used for progression through “N” special pay range?
  • 01 – Periodic Increment       
  1. When an assignment pay reference refers to “employee’s basic pay” does that include Step M?
  • Yes, if an employee is at Step M of a salary range, step M is considered their basic pay salary.
  1. How is Step M entered for employees receiving Group A or B Assignment Pay?  (Rep & Non Rep)
  • The On-Line Quick Reference (OLQR) under “User Procedures – Assignment Pay” provides step by step instructions on how to correctly enter Assignment Pay for employees eligible to receive Assignment Pay A and B.  (Wage Type 1007)
  1. How is Step M entered for employees receiving Group C Assignment Pay? (Rep & Non Rep)
  • The OLQR under “User Procedures – Assignment Pay” includes step by step instructions on how to correctly enter Assignment Pay for employees eligible to receive Group C Assignment Pay.  (Wage Type 1008)
  1. How does Step M impact specific Assignment Pay References? (Rep & Non Rep)
  • Step M applies to the following Assignment Pay References: 
  • #5 and #16 “…Basic salary range plus the hourly difference between the top step of the Maintenance Technician 3 class and the top step of the salary range representing a four-range increase over the Maintenance Technician 3 class….”  Use Step M as the top step in the range as this allows for the same rate.  Apply regardless of which step the employee is at in the range.
    In this example, the employee’s basic pay rate is Salary Range 39 Step G.  Before applying Assignment Pay, use Step M as the top step of the salary range.  Then, determine the salary range that is a four-range increase over Maintenance Technician 3.  Since Maintenance Technician 3 is at salary range 44E, the salary range to apply for Assignment Pay is 48M.
  • #8 “….basic salary plus four ranges, on a step-for-step basis, up to but not exceeding the Truck Driver 2 pay range….”  If eligible for Step M at the basic pay rate, then use Step M.
  • #19 “….not to exceed the top of the range for the appropriate class….”  If eligible for Step M at the basic pay rate, then use Step M.
  • #26 “….shall advance to the same letter step in the range….”  If eligible for Step M at the basic pay rate, then use Step M.
  1. How will paying above the maximum of the salary range (y-rate) work? 
  • If the employee’s salary is between Step L and Step M the employee’s pay is set at Step L and the employee is y-rated. Time at the y-rate salary counts towards the six years to move to Step M.  Agencies will need to monitor the time.  
  • If the employee’s salary is equal to Step M the employee’s pay is set at Step M.
  • If the employee’s salary is higher than Step M the employee’s pay is set at Step L and the employee is y-rated. The employee will be moved to Step M when Step M catches up to the y-rated salary.  
  1. If a position was converted from exempt to classified prior to July 1, 2013 will time spent in the exempt appointment count towards the six year requirement to advance to Step M?
  • If the exempt salary was equal to Step L of the classified position and the employee was at that salary level for six or more years the employee will advance to Step M effective July 1, 2013. If the employee was at that salary level for less than six years the employee will advance to Step M when the time at that exempt salary and time at Step L of the classified position equal six years.
  • If the exempt salary was between Step L and Step M of the classified position and the employee was at that salary level for six or more years the employee will advance to Step M effective July 1, 2013. If the employee was at that salary level for less than six years the employee will advance to Step M when the time at the exempt salary and the time at the y-rated salary in the classified position equal six years.
  • If the exempt salary and the y-rated salary in the classified position is equal to Step M the employee should be placed at Step M effective July 1, 2013.