Job evaluation is a method of analysing jobs in order to determine the remuneration band for a position. Whilst widely promoted as an objective measure for evaluating comparable and different positions within and between organisations, it is prone to the same subjective judgements found in most attempts to assess or compare. If properly designed and implemented however, job evaluation can assist in providing an organised and systematic method for appraising the remunerative worth of different roles.
Current job evaluation methodologies in the tertiary education sector
A number of different job evaluation methodologies are used within the tertiary sector, however our investigations suggest that most have been developed in the context of the private sector, and often do not adequately recognise important organisational values and practices in the tertiary education sector.
Therefore in recognising the inherently subjective nature of job evaluation models, and the limitations of models currently used in the tertiary sector, the Tertiary Education Union Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa (TEU) believes these models should be reviewed, with resolution of the following issues being part of the outcome of these reviews:
- Better recognition of the range of skills required for a position, (other than financial or management skills), such as cultural competency skills, that may be incorporated into the current model/s;
- How gender pay equity may be incorporated into the current model/s;
- The relationship of salary structures and career progression to job evaluation;
- Ensuring that comparative data between similar positions in other institutions (here and Australia) is provided to employees;
- How institutions can ensure that policies and systems such as review of job descriptions (for consistency and currency), performance reviews and career progression that impact on remuneration are integrated into the job evaluation process.
Implementation, methodology and processes for job evaluation
The TEU believes that the following principles are the minimum necessary elements for any job evaluation methodology being used or considered for use in the tertiary sector, and will seek to promote these in our members’ workplaces.
1. The methodology and process used are able to assess for gender pay equity.
a. The TEU will encourage employers to use the “Equitable Job Evaluation (EJE) System” developed by the Department of Labour, and will only support job evaluation models that are demonstrated to address gender equity issues.
b. Additionally the TEU supports the NZ Standard “Gender inclusive job evaluation” as the tool for assessing gender equity in job evaluation models.
2. The methodology and process are recognised and accepted by employees as reflecting the sector.
a. Employees and the TEU are consulted about proposed methodology and processes.
b. Employees are regularly surveyed about their experience of job evaluation, and an agreed process for considering and integrating this feedback as appropriate is implemented.
3. There is adequate resourcing for the job evaluation process.
a. The job evaluation process is adequately funded by the institution, including provision for reviews of the model.
b. A budget is set aside annually to provide for salary movement as a result of job evaluations.
4. The job evaluation process is transparent and occurs in a timely manner.
a. Employees and the TEU are consulted on processes to ensure greater transparency of information about grading decisions.
b. An agreed timeframe for implementing and completing job evaluations is included in the job evaluation process.
5. There is union involvement in job evaluation.
a. The TEU is involved in processes to consider appropriate methodology, or to evaluate current models. This may occur either at the level of individual institutions or as part of a combined union/institutions working party that examines job evaluation at a national level. In either role, the TEU would be seeking agreement in the sector about the common elements for fair and equitable job evaluation methodologies and processes.
b. Institutional policy relating to job evaluation (for example, composition of committees, involvement of staff in committees, initiation of re-evaluation process) is developed and reviewed in conjunction with the TEU.
c. The TEU is involved in a monitoring capacity on job evaluation committees (i.e. the role monitors the decision-making process of the committee, but is not involved in decisions relating to individual evaluations).
d. The TEU continues to support individual members by advising on the job evaluation process and assisting with reviews as appropriate.
TEU’s ongoing role
In addition to working to ensure that these measures are adopted in tertiary institutions, the TEU will also monitor developments in job evaluation, both in New Zealand and internationally, with a view to identifying and promoting a methodology that reflects the type of work and range of responsibilities that general staff undertake in the tertiary sector, and that addresses issues such as gender pay equity.
As passed by Conference 9 November 2010
“Gender bias is often unintentional and can occur in any of the processes involved in describing, analysing and evaluating jobs. The main reason gender bias occurs is that job evaluations are affected by assumptions about the nature and value of work in occupations that are mainly done by women or mainly by men. Some skills are difficult to observe, especially those used in performing services involving changing interactions with people over time. Sometimes skills are overlooked, or have been undervalued, for example, if they are similar to unpaid domestic work, such as looking after others, cleaning and cooking. While values and assumptions are to some extent an integral part of job evaluation, measures are required to identify and address their gender impact. Unless people know or have been trained on how to recognise and avoid gender bias, and there is systematic monitoring of how the process is working, gender bias will continue, and job evaluation will continue to be regarded by some employees as unfair.” www.dol.govt.nz (Pay and employment equity page).