Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Policies and Procedures
Professional Staff Salary Request Procedure


SUNY ESF has established procedures pertaining to the consideration of requests for Professional Staff represented by United University Professions (UUP) and for Management Confidential (M/C) for promotion and/or salary increases. Definitions of terms, Guidelines and the Procedure are described herein.

Decisions relevant to requests described in this document are made based on:

  1. Criteria for Promotion as listed in the Memorandum of Understanding Between the State University of New York and United University Professions Relating to System of Promotion and Certain Salary Increases for Professional Employees and;
  2. Duties and responsibilities as delineated in the Performance Program of the Professional Staff member.


“Promotion” shall mean an increase in a professional employee’s basic annual salary accompanied by movement to a higher salary level with a change in title, resulting from a permanent and significant increase in scope and complexity of function of the employee’s position or a change in the employee’s duties and responsibilities as a consequence of a permanent increase in the scope and complexity of function of the employee’s position.

“Salary Increase” shall mean an increase to a professional employee’s basic annual salary, without a change in salary grade or title, resulting from a permanent and significant increase in duties and responsibilities as demonstrated by the employee’s performance program.

Permanent – Long-term in duration with no anticipated end date.  Assuming additional duties to cover
for an employee on leave, sabbatical, or temporary assignment does not constitute a promotion or salary increase under this process.

Significant – Results in a substantive impact on an employee’s daily work life. Not typically a task or
responsibility that is done occasionally.

Scope – The range, extent, capacity or span of an employee’s responsibilities; the scale or reach of an
employee’s responsibilities.

Complexity – The difficulty, intricacy, level of involvement or complicated nature of the duties and

  1. Information Needed for Review
    1. Before applying for a promotion or salary increase, be sure that your Performance Program is current and on file with HR, and that you have had an evaluation within the last year.  
    2. Cover letter indicating specific and detailed rationale for your request should include, detailed changes in your duties and responsibilities, level of autonomy in your position and your level of supervisory responsibilities.  
    3. Performance programs - should consist of your two most recent programs or as many as you feel are needed to demonstrate how your responsibilities have changed and the general percentages of effort for each item within your most recent program.  
    4. Organizational chart of your department.
    5. Other supporting documentation, which can include evaluations written by the immediate or next level supervisor, letters of recommendation from colleagues, letters of commendation or other items related to your request.  
  2. Criteria
    1. Criteria for Promotion as listed in the Memorandum of Understanding (Appendix A – 28.II.E.2 of the State/UUP Agreement).
    2. Duties and responsibilities as outlined in your Performance Program.  
  3. Guidelines
    1. A promotion may affect the projected permanent appointment date or existing permanent appointment of an UUP employee. Please consult with Human Resources.
    2. The decision to provide a salary increase is within the discretion of the President and the President’s decision shall be final.
    3. Professional Staff Request for Promotion and Salary Increase process is not the same as a Discretionary Salary Increase (DSI). The DSI process is the collectively negotiated pool of money that can be distributed to members of the UUP bargaining unit as specifically detailed in the UUP Agreement.  The DSI process may take into account an employee’s participation in short-term projects, community service related to position, level of performance, etc. The Promotion and Salary Increase process does not take these into account unless they are directly tied to a permanent and significant increase in responsibilities.
    4. Professional Staff Request for Promotion and Salary Increase process is not used to correct inequity. Inequity is pursued at the discretion of the President, through the DSI process or directly with the employee’s supervisor. The DSI process does not recognize requests based solely on salary comparisons with others in similar positions.
    5. If an employee attains a new degree or certification and the employee’s job responsibilities do not change, the employee would not qualify for a promotion or salary increase. It could, however, be utilized for a DSI under certain conditions. If an employee’s job responsibilities change based on the attainment of a degree or certification (e.g., the employee is assigned personnel to supervise, or the employee is now responsible for a new program area), the employee could apply under this process.
    6. There are differences between a salary increase and a promotion. An employee can receive a salary increase for assuming additional responsibilities that do not necessarily require more knowledge, skills or abilities, but are at a similar level as the employee’s current duties (e.g., an employee has routinely reported activities to New York State and the State has recently made a significant increase in its reporting requirements which directly impacts the requirements of the employee). A promotion is to recognize an addition or change in duties or responsibilities that increase the scope or complexity of the employee’s work and usually requires a higher level of knowledge, skills and abilities to carry out those responsibilities (e.g., an office is responsible for multiple program areas and to comply in a change in regulations, the office has added a substantial program and made the employee responsible for it).
    7. When an employee is given additional responsibilities and also has some responsibilities taken away, a salary increase would not be warranted if duties were ‘exchanged’ and the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the new responsibilities are similar to those required to perform the removed tasks. If the new tasks require a new skill set and have a significant impact on the employee’s daily work life, the employee may be entitled to a salary increase and/or promotion.
    8. If an employee is not seeking a salary level promotion or a salary increase, a request for a campus title change does not have to be made through the Professional Staff Request for Promotion or Salary Increase process. The request should simply go to the employee’s immediate supervisor and all subsequent supervisory levels to the President with reasons justifying the change.
  4. Procedure
    1. Either the employee or supervisor completes the Professional Staff Request for Promotion or Salary Increase Application form.
    2. Complete the application form consistent with the instructions provided in the form.
    3. Review appropriate title/position standard if applicable. These are available through the Human Resources Office.
    4. If an application is denied or not recommended for approval at any level below the College President, the employee may appeal the decision to the College Review Panel.  
    5. If a request for promotion is denied by the President, and the employee feels that the decision is arbitrary or capricious, an appeal may be filed with the College Review Panel in accordance with appropriate provisions contained in the Memorandum of Understanding relating to Systems of Evaluation and Promotion for Professional Employees. The decision of the College Review Panel is final.
    6. Applications for Promotion or salary increase (change in title and salary level) that are disapproved may not be resubmitted for a period of twelve (12) months, or until the employee’s performance program has been changed, whichever is sooner.
    7. As per UUP contract, this process should be completed within 45 days.