By , November 4, 2011 4:24 pm

1. Will there be Classified raises this year (FY2012-2013)? How is that determined?

For 2012-13, it seems unlikely. Read this letter from the Governor.

Each year, the State Personnel Director (Executive Director of the Department of Personnel andAdministration) is required by law to issue a letter by August 1 of each year regarding recommendations and estimated costs for changes in pay and/or benefits for the upcoming fiscal year.

Colorado Revised Statutes, Sec. 24-50-104 (1) (a) (I), states in part, “It is the policy of the state to provide prevailing total compensation to officers and employees in the state personnel system to ensure the recruitment, motivation, and retention of a qualified and competent work force.”

Colorado Revised Statutes Sec. 24-50-104 (4) (c) states, “…by August 1 of each year …the state personnel director shall submit the annual compensation report and recommendations and estimated costs for state employee compensation for the next fiscal year, covering salaries, state contribution for group benefit plans, and performance awards, to the governor and the joint budget committee of the general assembly.”

Compensation and Benefits Adjustments for FY 2011-12

The Long Bill (SB11-209) was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on May 6th and funds appropriated by the General Assembly do not include annual salary adjustments. For the third consecutive year there will be no funding for base or non-base achievement pay, which includes occupational group structure adjustments and employee pay increases for market or performance.

The State Personnel Annual Compensation Summary can be found at:  


The FY 2012-13 Director’s Letter


Annual Compensation Survey Results FY2012-13:


 2. What is happening with Colorado PERA?

The Governor is recommending that the PERA offset be reverted beginning with the fiscal year change to the previous funding method–employees contribute 8% as opposed to the 10.5% employees have contributed for the past two fiscal years.

Extension of Temporary Changes to PERA Contributions for FY 2011-12

Senate Bill 11-076 was signed by the Governor on May 23, 2011, creating an additional one-year temporary change to PERA contribution levels from employees and the State. The law reduces the State’s retirement contribution by 2.5 percent but offsets that by increasing the employee contribution by 2.5 percent. The change applies to all state employees. This change protects employees’ base pay and requires no change to the compensation plan. However, it will have the effect of reducing state employees’ take home pay by approximately 2.5 percent for fiscal year 2011-12.

This temporary modification to PERA contribution levels will begin July 1, 2011, and end June 30, 2012. The Act, which contains a chart of contribution rates, can be found at the Colorado General Assembly’s website (http://www.leg.state.co.us) within the 2011 session Senate bills section.

3. What is an employee’s real compensation?

All of these employer contributions to benefits add up to a significant investment in employees. They are just one important piece of the total compensation package earned by employees – which includes not just benefits and pay, but other components such as paid time off (annual, holiday, sick), and retirement contributions.

Your employees can find out the value of the State’s investment in them by using the “My Total Compensation Statement.” This is an easy-to-use summary of all components of total compensation. An employee only needs a copy of the most recent pay advice and the statement will take him or her through the various parts of the employee’s compensation, step-by-step. None of the information entered is recorded or seen by anyone else, however employees may print a copy for their records. This is a valuable tool for the employees’ benefit.

4. Can I transfer into an exempt position?

Just like exempt employees cannot transfer but must apply and compete for any open classified position, classified staff cannot transfer but must apply to any open exempt position.

5. Can I have my position exempted from the classified system?

No. There are specific state rules for exempting a position from the classified system. For details please visit the link provided:


6. I am an Administrative Assistant in the Classified System and there are Administrative Assistants that are exempt. How can that be?

Administrative Assistant positions that are exempt are usually because they are paid through a grant and therefore not permanently funded positions. The College has to reapply for those funds in order to keep the position. They may also report to a Director and that qualifies as an exemption.

7. I have heard that some colleges are getting out of the Classified System. Is that true? Will Fort Lewis College consider that as an option?

Not true. Colorado Mesa University was exploring removing their classified employees from the state system, but ultimately that was never accomplished. New state rules do allow for broader exemptions from the classified system on a case by case basis. Fort Lewis will consider the use of these exemptions when vacancies arise and if it makes sense. However, these new rules do not allow for removing any current classified staff from a classified position.

8. Is Fort Lewis College looking at other ways to compensate Classified employees since they cannot give raises?

Yes. Fort Lewis is concerned for its employees and continues to search for meaningful ways to compensate them. Of course, there are always pros and cons to different options, and the difficulty is in finding ways that are allowed within the state system, and that still meet the demands of a competitive work environment.

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