Frequently Asked Questions

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Systemwide Overview - For a systemwide overview, see the General Career Tracks FAQ document covering General Project, Job Mapping, Professional Title & Salary questions.

Reconsideration - Here reconsideration submission procedures are outlined including an overview of Reclassification and Recondiseration: Career Tracks FAQ's - Reconsideration

FAQ for Managers - Here is a usefull set of FAQ for Managers to assist with supporting their team's questions.

PPSM FAQ - These are designed to assist with questions regarding the UC systemwide Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM)

Local FAQ's - Below are our most frequently asked local Career Tracks questions. If you do not see your question addressed below, contact the Career Tracks team at or reach out to your Support Team member.

**Note** Use your back button between questions for easier navigation.

Why did an employee's job title, which was submitted as a supervisor, come back as a professional?

The Supervisory and managerial category describes a position that exercises independent judgment in determining the distribution of work of at least 2 FTEs, and makes decisions or recommendations about 3 or more of the following: hiring decisions; performance ratings; merit increases, promotional opportunities, reclassification requests; written warnings, suspensions, disciplinary actions; and/or resolution of grievances or complaints. Each individual job mapping submission was reviewed against this definition, and if the customized job content provided by the manager for custom scope, key responsibilities, problem solving and supervision (including organizational chart) did not support the definition of a supervisor or manager job standard, the employee was subsequently approved for a professional job title. Professionals may achieve and be responsible for many of the same functional responsibilities as a manager or supervisor, but achieve results through their own, personally performed duties, rather than through the efforts of direct reports.

We noticed a few folks were placed into an Exempt career level who are currently Non-exempt. Will their non-exempt status change due to the Career Tracks Mapping?

Yes, their status will change as of February 1st.

We also noticed some folks will be going from an MSP level to a PSS. As accruals are different between the two levels, how will this be handled?

Accruals are different. However, we will grandfather anyone losing MSP status by virtue of their Career Tracks Mapping.

Supervisor of students - If the definition changes to consider those who supervise students as Supervisors, and they happen to be represented, will those employees automatically be considered Non-Rep'd?

No, anyone who is currently represented will be outside of the scope of Career Tracks.

When we are mapped, does that correspond to a fixed salary?

The mapping isn’t intended to alter salary. In the event that someone places far below or above their current salary, we will work together to look at that and make adjustments.

When we are mapped, does that correspond to a fixed salary?

The mapping isn’t intended to alter salary. In the event that someone places far below or above their current salary, we will work together to look at that and make adjustments.

So, you want managers to make decisions about employees without knowing the salary change?

Yes, and that is deliberate in order to add objectivity.

You said the employees are going to have upcoming meetings, how are they going to be notified about this?

We posted on the Staff HR Home Page in News & Highlights, as well as, in Tuesday Newsday. The information can also be accessed via the Staff HR website. In addition, we have asked Mapping Partners to let their populations know.

In the event that the job description you are working from is out of date, should we get back to you with a more current description?

Yes, please let us know.

What time snapshot was used to compile job descriptions?

We used any data that was available to us as of December 2015. If anything has changed since then, please let us know.

You mentioned that we should take a look at the Career Tracks website, but if our employees see the site won’t it confuse them?

Correct, this is for you and not your population of employees yet.

When classifying people, should we do so based off of the needs of the organization or the abilities of the individual?

The first thing we are looking for is the corresponding job title that emcompasses the duties of the employee rather than adjusting for skill level.

What if we have new hires in the middle of the project; will we be developing a new career track for them?

Eventually all non-represented hires and positions will be placed in Career Tracks, but for now, they will be hired into the legacy system.

Which way is communication going, from us reaching out to our mapping partners or them reaching out to us?

Communication will be dependent upon both you reaching out to your mapping partner with any questions or concerns, and your mapping partner fulfilling their commitment to keep employees informed.

When will the list of MP’s be available?

After our last session.

After the round 2 mapping, what happens if individuals lands outside of the salary range?

It’s rare, but in the event that this does occur we will have a plan in place to remedy it. If they fall above, their salary will be grandfather until the range catches up to them. However, falling outside of the range might be indicative of an inaccurate placement and the manager will re-evaluate their assessment.

When you get this new job level, lets say your old job title was intermediate now you’ve been placed at an experienced level, do you get a salary adjustment?

Your supervisor can have a discussion with HR and conduct a review to make adjustments. Adjustments can be made, but they don’t follow as an automatic occurrence. Direct steps must be taken on the part of the individual to adjust compensation.

What data do you look at to develop the salary ranges used by CT? Is this nationally, locally or regionally?

We look at the local market, specifically the cost of labor for a particular geographic area. We also pay for a tool called the Economic Research Institute, which compiles salary survey info., cost of living statistics, and compensation data. Additionally, when we look at both job and market factors, we make sure that all information undergoes annual review. If we find that a particular field is advancing rapidly and our pay range doesn’t reflect that, we will flag that and take subsequent action to remedy any compensation disparities. Our goal is to ensure that we are able to provide our employees with salaries that are consistent with the job market, as well as exist as a viable option for potential future employees that would be beneficial recruits to the UC system.

Is all this mapping being done blind to the salary range or with the salary range in mind?

It’s being done both ways. However, it is a brand new structure so everyone’s range will change. The first time through we are asking managers to do it blindly. We want to build as much objectivity into the process as possible. The second round the salary range and any potential impact on the employee will be fully disclosed and taken into consideration.

Will our working title be changed or preserved?

Career Tracks only applies to Payroll titles. If you wish to maintain your current working title, you are free to do so in all business communications, business cards, etc.

What market do we look at, do we look nationally, locally or regionally?

We look at the geographic location for each of the UC campuses. We also look at it by job. We adjust any data to be comparable to our local areas. We do have different tools in place to approximate what that market, as well as a plan to collect more information; this is a first pass.

Since some of the other campuses are ahead of us in terms of implementation, if an employee here has a position that is a comparable to a position at another UC campus, would you assume that that mapping has already been done and we can mirror the other campuses’ mapping? Is our decision totally independent of theirs?

Even if the position is the same, it is unlikely that the level will be the same. For instance, someone in the collegiate athletics department at UCSC would not have a job comparable to someone with the same position at UCLA. We do try and calibrate across locations for fairness, but we recognize that each location does have a unique organizational structure.

In terms of the career development component of this, is there a plan to eventually change the way that the SHR job postings are done so that you can have a more effective search for opportunities for growth?

That is something that I don’t believe SHR has tackled yet, but I know from my own experience that at Berkeley we did embed CT levels in job posting descriptions. We want people to be able to look at positions and tell whether or not that would be a promotion or at the same level or lower. We would also like to do proactive outreach where we can identify candidates eligible for open positions. There is a lot of work that could be done in the career development component of this that we haven’t done yet.

So, when you say alignment with the market…What market are we looking at? Here in Santa Cruz, we have always been classified as rural, so we are paid much less than our counterparts in Berkeley or San Francisco yet we live in one of the most expensive cities in CA. Is that going to be addressed?

When looking at the cost of labor in Santa Cruz, it is not the same as SF or Oakland or Silicon Valley, but it is not as low as Merced. There is a continuum, and we don’t use rural, we use a database that looks at geographic areas outside of just urban vs rural. One of the things we have done is establish salary ranges that are broad; in some cases we do compete outside of the Santa Cruz market, so we have tried to accommodate that.

Is this going to involve managers and supervisors writing or creating job descriptions?

Yes, you will have access to job description templates that you will edit and customize to create job descriptions.

Will we be able to tell when looking at a job description what things are considered common to the title or what things are considered to the job?

There are a couple different usages within the system. Initially, it’s a word document that you can change but eventually there will be an online tool which the managers can use to create a new job description.

So our salaries aren’t going to change but our ranges will, correct?

Yes, everyone’s ranges will change.

How do we find out our current salary ranges?

It is posted through compensation. You can call Elvia and she can guide you to the location of that information.

Do you have any specifics on the people who are in facilities management, construction management, and positions like that?

Yes, there is a family called facilities and management and that will include most of those.

Has a group on our campus looked at each individual and put them into a family, level, etc.?

Yes, both SHR and UCOP employees looked at every individual and developed a preliminary ballpark of where individuals might be. We are going to give your manager or supervisor what we are working with and see if we missed the mark or if it’s accurate.

Are Bargaining Units completely excluded from Career Tracks?


How do you validate the job description if you are a manager but also an MP?

You shepherd the process.

What about not-represented employees doing represented work?

If they map to represented duties we need to inform the union.

Q: What about directors of a functional area that has no direct report?

Those individuals land in a more senior manager level.