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Date:March 29, 2007
Bulletin Number: 721
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Subject

Adjustments to Geographic Pay Differential (GEO) for Employees Eligible for Merit Step Payments

Purpose

To provide instructions for adjusting GEO payments for certain employees eligible to receive a Merit Step payment.

Affected Employees

Employees represented by the Public Employees Federation (PEF – BU05) or the Rent Regulation Services Unit (RRSU – BU67) who are eligible to receive a Merit Step payment and are receiving GEO pay.

Background

Pursuant to Civil Service Law §130.7, the Department of Civil Service has established GEO pay differentials based on title, work location and/or employing agency for certain employees.  Eligible employees are entitled to the full amount of GEO pay listed in the Department of Civil Service Title and Salary Plan Advisory Memoranda, unless the employee's salary exceeds the job or longevity rates for their position.  In those cases, the amount of GEO pay to which the employee would otherwise be entitled must be reduced by the difference between the employee’s base salary and the job or longevity rate for their position, as applicable.

Beginning in April 2007, employees represented by PEF or RRSU may be eligible for a new Merit Step payment (see Payroll Bulletin No. 708).  Once implemented, employees eligible for the Merit Step payment who also receive GEO pay differentials should have such differentials reduced by the amount of which the employee’s base salary exceeds the job, merit step, or longevity rate for their position, as applicable.  For April 2007, this should result in increases in GEO pay for certain employees, as illustrated below.

Example:  Effective April 1, 2007, the Job Rate for a Grade 18 PEF employee is $55,954, the new merit step is $57,367 and the GEO pay differential is a maximum of $4,500 based on title and job location.

  • Prior to implementation of the merit step, Employee A had a salary of $56,800, or $846 over the job rate for their position.  The employee received $3,654 in GEO pay ($4,500 less $846).  As of April 1, 2007, the employee’s salary will increase to the new merit step of $57,367, and no reduction in GEO pay is required.  As a result, GEO pay should be increased to $4,500.
  • Prior to implementation of the merit step, Employee B had a salary of $58,250, or $2,296 over the job rate for their position.  The employee received $2,204 in GEO pay ($4,500 less $2,296).  As of April 1, 2007, no additional increases to base salary will be made as a result of the merit step, since the $58,250 salary exceeds the merit step of $57,367* by $883.  However, GEO pay should be increased to $3,617 ($4,500 less $883).

Note that all employees who are eligible for a Merit Step payment will have a Job row inserted with an Action/Reason code of PAY/MST (Pay Rate Change/Merit Step) to denote eligibility, even if the employee's base salary does not increase as a result.

Effective Date(s)

Pay Period 1L, paychecks dated April 26, 2007 (Institution) and May 2, 2007 (Administration).

Agency Actions

Agencies should review the records of employees who are eligible to receive a Merit Step payment and also receive GEO pay to determine if employees are due increased GEO pay amounts.

To increase the GEO amount:

For transactions submitted in Pay Period 1

  • Insert a new row with an effective date of 3/29/07 (Inst) or 4/5/07(Admin) with the new GEO amount.

 For transactions submitted after Pay Period 1

  • Submit a request using the Action/Reason code of Data Chg/COR (Data Change/Correct History).  OSC will update the Additional Pay page due to the factor change row being added for Pay Period 1.

OSC Actions

OSC will review the records of employees eligible for both Merit Step and GEO payments, and notify agencies if additional GEO adjustments are required.

Questions

Questions regarding this bulletin may be directed to the Payroll Audit mailbox.