Step M Q&A for represented employees

The Step M language for all general government agreements and the higher education community college coalition agreements is as follows:

All employees will progress to Step M six (6) years after being assigned to Step L in their permanent salary range.

 

  1. Is Step M only a longevity Step?  Can you get to Step M upon initial hire?
    • Step M is a longevity Step. Employees cannot get to Step M upon initial hire.
  2. Can you get to Step M through demotion?
    • Step M is a longevity Step.  Employees cannot get to Step M through demotion unless the “demotion” is a reasonable accommodation option.
  3. Is Step M considered the salary range maximum?  Can you get to Step M through promotion or reallocation?
    • No, Step L is the salary range maximum. However, if you are setting salary following a promotion or reallocation, you must follow the more specific language in the collective bargaining agreements. Therefore, it is possible that an employee could achieve Step M upon promotion or reallocation provided the collective bargaining agreement states that the salary will be increased to a step of the range that is nearest to five (5) percent higher than the previous step.
  4. How is “permanent salary range” defined for purposes of interpreting the application of Step M?
    • Permanent salary range is the employee’s range that their current job class is in.
  5. Do eligible employees move to Step M on a specific date or on their periodic increment date (PID)?
    • The trigger to moving to Step M is 6 years from the date they were appointed to Step L.  This could be the date they were appointed to Step L or the date they moved to Step L through their PID.  Employees are not required to wait for their PID to move to Step M if the date they were appointed to Step L differs from their PID.
  6. How will Y-rates work?
    • If an employee is Y-rated and their salary is between Step L and Step M, they will progress to Step M six years following the reallocation.  If an employee is Y-rated and their salary is higher than Step M, the employee will stay at the Y-rate until their salary catches up. See the following examples:

      Step L

      Step M

      Y-Rate

      Result

      2,800

      3,050

      3,000

      Y-Rate is less than Step M. Stay at Y-Rate for 6 years, move to Step M.

      2,000

      2,500

      3,000

      Y-Rate is more than Step M. Stay at Y-Rate until Step M catches up.

  7. If an employee is rehired following separation, does the time away from employment count towards 6 years
    • Yes. If an employee is hired back at Step L in the same permanent salary range, the trigger for moving to Step M will be the initial date they were placed at Step L.  Once an employee is appointed to Step L, the 6 years begins running.
  8. When an employee returns to classified service from exempt will time spent in exempt service count towards 6 years?
    • Yes, provided the employee is returning to Step L in a salary range where he/she had previously been at step L
  9. If an employee is at Step L then promotes then reverts will time in higher level position count towards 6 years?
    • Yes.
  10. Does time out on LWOP count towards the 6 years required at Step L?
    • Yes. As discussed above, the trigger from moving to Step M is the date they moved to Step L.
  11. If an employee is promoted and then reverts during their trial service period, does time spent in the promotion count towards Step L?
    • Yes.
  12. If an employee has a break in service does the six year requirement at Step L restart?
    • No. If the employee is rehired back at Step L in the same salary range, the trigger for moving to Step M will be the initial date they were placed at Step L.  Once an employee is appointed to Step L, the 6 years begins running. 
  13. If an employee takes a layoff option, is then laid off a month later, and returns two years later to a position in the same classification they held prior to taking the layoff option, does the time spent while laid off count towards Step L?
    • Yes. Since the trigger to move to Step M is six years since moving or being assigned to Step L, the time spent separated due to lay off will count towards Step L.
  14. If an employee who is at Step L accepts a layoff option to a position with a lower salary range; will time at Step L of the higher salary range count towards the six year requirement to move to Step M in the lower salary range?
    • Yes. Although the two positions are at different salary ranges, employees demoted as a result of a layoff will be given credit for time spent at Step L of the higher salary range.  This rule only applies to demotions that are the result of a layoff and does not apply to other employer/employee initiated actions that result in movement to a lower or higher salary range. 
  15. How do you set the salary with a demotion?
    • The employee’s salary will be placed in the new range at a salary equal to his/her previous base salary. If the previous base salary exceeds the new range, the employee’s base salary will be set equal to the new range maximum – Step L. The only exceptions are if the demotion is due to accepting a layoff option, see Question # 14 or a reasonable accommodation option, see Question # 2.
  16. If a classification is moved to a new pay range as a result of collective bargaining will time spent at step L of the previous range count towards the six year requirement to move to step M of the new range?
    • Yes. If a classification is moved to a new pay range as a result of collective bargaining, time spent at step L of the previous range will count towards the six year requirement to move to step M of the new range.