A recently obtained ATIPP request reveals that Memorial University currently has market differentials in place for 16 non-academic positions, including a Clinical Veterinarian in Animal Care Services. In CITL/Medicine, a Manager Course Development and Maintenance, Manager Health Education, Technology, and Learning, and Senior Instructional Design Specialist. In Facilities Maintenance, a Power Engineers 3rd Class, Power Engineers 2nd Class, Mechanical Patrolperson, Supervisor, External Plant, and Supervisor, Electrical Systems. In Information and Technology Services, a Project Manager III. In the Office of Development, a Senior Development Officer and Associate Director, Development. In the School of Pharmacy, a Drug Information Pharmacist, Pharmacy Skills Lab Instructor, Pharmacy Coordinator, and Clinical Pharmacist. Several other market differentials previously in place are no longer applicable or active.

In March 2013, the Board of Regents approved specific criteria for applying market differentials. In a memo from a Board of Regents, March 14, 2013, meeting, the university stated, “Market adjustments in the form of hiring step, percentage differential or stipends may be used as one solution to overcome employee recruitment or retention challenges. A market adjustment is a form of additional compensation that is based on the current employment market and should only be used in exceptional circumstances where there is a low supply accompanied by high demand labour market.”

They then stated that the Department of Human Resources regularly receives requests for market differential consideration. The following criteria were developed for market differentials:

“The Department of Human Resources recommends that the consideration and application of market differential should only be used in exceptional circumstances:

1. Where the position(s) exist in a low supply/high demand labour market. This can be characterized by high turnover accompanied by the inability to recruit qualified staff that are deemed critical to the operation of the department/university; and

2. a higher salary is deemed essential to recruit/retain an employee (or employee group) that serves a critical function that cannot be achieved by any other possible means.”

The VP Council makes decisions to apply market differentials to non-academic positions on the recommendation of the Director of Human Resources, and market differentials are reviewed annually regarding continued applicability.

A memo from a Vice-Presidents’ Council February 12, 2013, meeting stated that there were recruitment challenges in the Department of Computing and Communications (C&C). As a result, the Department of Humans Resources (DHR) completed a market review of project manager positions. Due to recruitment and retention issues, a specific emphasis was placed on the positions of Project Manager III and Manager, Project Management Office.

To conduct the market analysis, DHR contacted public sector organizations with St. John’s and universities in Atlantic Canada. Also contacted were public utilities in the province and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information.

Detailed analysis of the information indicated that Memorial’s minimum and maximum salary for Project Manager III classification was slightly misaligned with the public sector. At the minimum level, Memorial was slightly below the public sector average and at the maximum compensation level, Memorial was only marginally below (0.73%) the public sector average. Eastern Health was deemed to be the closest organizational match and closest match in terms of job duties and position scope. Compared to Eastern Health, Memorial was 10% below the minimum compensation level and 5% below the maximum.

In the Market Differentials Annual Report by the Department of Human Resources in Fall 2015, it was stated that the position of Project Manager III (MPS Band 9: $59,856 – $81, 622) received a 5% market differential. It was implemented in 2013 and equated the salary to Eastern Health’s Project Manager (IT Unit) classification. Eastern Health’s salary range (HAY Level 21: $65,786 – $85,522/annum) remained higher than Memorial’s applicable salary range, so it was recommended to maintain the market differential.

The positions of Manager, Health Education, Technology & Learning and Manager, Course Development & Maintenance (MPS Band Level 11: $69,055 – $89,514) were given a 10% market differential to reflect the general economic increase given to MI Instructors. It was recommended to maintain the market differential.

The position of Senior Development Officer (MPS Band 9: $59,856 – $81,622) received a flat rate market differential of $17,106/annum. No adjustment to the market differential rate was recommended at that time.

The position of Clinic Veterinarian (MPS Band 11, Step 36: $89,514) received an upscale hire step (36) plus an additional market differential to match Government’s Regional Veterinarian position. The Government’s salary range (Common Grid Level 46: $78,715 – $93,038/annum) remained higher than Memorial’s salary range. It was recommended to maintain a match to the Government’s Regional Veterinarian position.

The positions of Drug Information Pharmacist (MPS Band 8: $57,146 – $77, 923), Pharmacy Skills Lab Instructor (Common Band 8: $48,338 – $67,781), Pharmacy Coordinator (MPS Band 9: $59,856 – $81,622), and

The position of Clinical Pharmacist II (MPS Band 9: $59,856 – $81,622) was a match with Eastern Health. The Eastern Health salary range for the Clinic Pharmacist II position was compared with Memorial’s salary ranges for the pharmacy positions. Eastern Health employees in this position work 37.5 hours per week with a salary of $72,657 – $85,624/annum compared to Memorial’s employees in the Pharmacy positions who work 35 hours a week. The Eastern Health salary was converted to 35 hours per week range ($69,813.20 – $79,916.20/annum. The converted Eastern Health salary range remained higher than Memorial’s applicable salary ranges. It was recommended to maintain the current market differential.

The position of Power Engineer 3rd Class ($25.55 – $32.81/h) received a $2.00/hour market differential, and the Mechanical Patrolperson also received a $2.00/hour market differential. The position of Power Engineer 2nd Class ($34.80 – $37.24/hour) received a market differential of $2.00/hour as well. Memorial salaries are equivalent to Government positions. It was recommended to maintain the market differential.

There were ninety-two (92) employees in receipt of a market differential for approximately $152,000 annually.

In the Non-Academic Market Differentials & Upscale Hire Positions Annual Report by the Department of Human Resources in April 2023, Animal Care and Veterinary Resources requested a review of the Clinic Veterinarian position due to reported continuous recruitment issues. In October 2022, a market review and adjustment to the position’s market differential amount was approved. Before this, there was an established upscale hiring step of Band 11, Step 36 ($93,139) with an annual market differential of $3,667 for a total compensation of $96,806 to align with the Government of Newfoundland’s Regional Veterinarian salary top scale (Common Grid-46). In a recent review in 2022, the Government of Newfoundland and the City of St. John’s were reviewed as comparators. Due to positions with the Government being bargaining unit positions, they are eligible for overtime compared to Memorial’s Clinic Veterinarian. As an MPS position, they are not eligible for overtime but accrue an additional week of overtime in lieu. The substantial on-call and overtime requirements were factored into the recent review by looking at the Government’s compensation disclosure. They took the average of comparator positions and recommended the total compensation to be $120,889. The market differential amount was adjusted to $27,750 for a total compensation of $120,889.

The Project Manager III (PMIII) position is currently receiving a 5% market differential. After a review of the position descriptions, it was determined that the positions maintain their match to Eastern Health’s Project Manager (IT Unit). There are currently five PMIII positions, with one employee on step 35, two on step 36, one on step 20, and one vacant. The chart below outlines the 5% differential amounts for these steps:

Power Engineer 2nd and 3rd Class and Mechanical Patrolperson positions receive a market differential of $2.00/hour. These positions are responsible for maintaining and operating major heating and mechanical systems and have been deemed vital for daily operations. After a review of the Government’s classifications, Memorial salaries were no longer below the salaries paid to the equivalent Government positions. Applying the $2.00/hour market differential approved in 2019 alleviated recruitment and retention issues associated with Power Engineers and Mechanical Patrolpersons. There are currently fifteen Mechanical Patrolpersons, seven 2nd Class Power Engineers, and six 3rd Class Power Engineers working 40 hours/week, each receiving an annual market differential of $4,160.

In 2011, the Supervisor, External Plant position was reallocated to the MPS group. In April 2011, a $2.00 per hour market differential was added to the compensation of these positions as interim recruitment and retention support. There are two positions, each receiving an annual market differential of $4,160.

For the Supervisor, Electrical Systems positions, there are two employees on band 9, step 32, each receiving a market differential of $4,668 per annum.

In 2009, the position of Clinical Pharmacist II (CPII) position was a match to the position with Eastern Health. The previous maximum market differential rate was set to $80,000. The 2022 review revised the market differential for a maximum salary nearest to $83,155. The positions on the MPS bands 9 range ceases to be eligible for a market differential when they reach Step 34 ($83,310) of the salary range.

The Senior Development Officer received a flat rate market differential of $17,106/annum for a maximum salary of $98,728. The Atlantic Broader Public Sector was identified as the market comparator for the MPS group. However, in 2018 it was approved to broaden the comparator market to include the National University Sector. In 2022, a deeper review of the compensation structure was conducted and included national Canadian Universities and other Atlantic public organizations. As a result, there was an approved increase to the market differential for Senior Development Officers from $17,107 to $18,357 for a total maximum salary of $103,285.

After a review, the Associate Director, Development position was approved for a market differential amount of $18,357 for a new compensation minimum of $107,272 to a maximum of $135,351.

The Senior Instructional Design Specialist (SIDS) positions were approved for a market differential in Fall 2008. The differential was implemented to ensure internal equity with the Marine Institute (MI) Instructors. The MI Instructors received a 2% increase with the signing of the NAPE collective agreement effective September 1, 2022. As a result, the SIDS market differential scale was revised as well.

At the end of quarter four, March 31, 2023, fifty-three employees received a market differential. The total cost of the market differential amounts for these employees is $495,144 per annum. This is compared to the cost of $487,069 per annum reported at the end of quarter 3, December 31, 2021.

Download ATIPP files below:

Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.


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