A Performance Audit
A Biennial Report on the State's Position Classification Plan for the 2020-2021 Biennium
The State Auditor’s Office reviewed the State’s Position Classification Plan (Plan), which provides the salary structure for the State’s 147,486 classified, regular full-time and part-time employees, and determined that most job classification titles have competitive salary ranges that allow for agencies to pay their employees a competitive rate compared with similar positions in the public and private sectors. This report provides the results of the State Auditor’s Office’s analysis and recommendations for changes to keep the Plan current and competitive.
Those changes include:
- Adding 28 new job classification titles to address gaps in the Plan, which would provide agencies with new positions that more clearly distinguish the work being performed and create new levels in current job classification series. For example, the State Auditor’s Office is recommending a Payroll Specialist (six levels) job classification series.
- Reallocating 103 job classification titles to a higher salary group to better align them with the average market pay and/or to create internal parity within the Plan with other similar jobs. For example, the analysis indicated that, on average, salary ranges for the Maintenance Specialists were 17 percent below the market. Moving Maintenance Specialists to a higher salary group would enable agencies to adjust those positions’ salaries to be more competitive.
- Changing 76 job classification titles to better describe the job functions, to reflect current industry terminology, and to create title consistency. For example, if the Engineer I job classification title is deleted from the Engineer job classification series as recommended, the Engineer II will need to be changed to Engineer I.
- Deleting 36 job classification titles that were underutilized or not being used, had duties overlapped with other job classification titles, or no longer provided a competitive salary. An example is the recommendation to delete the Claims Assistant job classification title because it is not being used.
- Reassigning three job classification titles from Salary Schedule A to Salary Schedule B. Applying this reassignment to the Fingerprint Analyst I, II, and III job classification titles would better reflect the changing nature and complexity of the job. Although the salary schedule would change, the salary ranges would remain the same for each level.
- Adding a higher-level salary group B36 to Salary Schedule B with a salary range of $180,044 to $304,499 to provide agencies flexibility to offer market-competitive salaries to help retain employees in certain job classification titles.
The estimated cost of the recommended changes to the Plan is $1,302,240 in each year of the 2020-2021 biennium. The Health and Human Services Commission would bear the largest share (58.8 percent) of the costs associated with the recommendations. If the Legislature adopts these recommendations, agencies will be required to implement them.
In addition, 12 state agencies had turnover rates exceeding 17.0 percent in fiscal year 2017. The State Auditor’s Office analyzed turnover at those agencies to comply with the requirements of Texas Government Code, Section 654.037.
The State’s Position Classification Plan, established in 1961, provides the salary structure for the majority of employees at state agencies.
The State Auditor’s Office conducted a study to determine the competitiveness of the Plan with similar positions in the private and public sectors and to determine whether changes are needed to maintain a current and competitive structure for state agencies to classify and compensate their employees.
Texas Government Code, Section 654.037, requires the State Auditor’s Office to identify state agencies that experienced an employee turnover rate exceeding 17.0 percent in the preceding biennium and conduct a comparative study of salary rates within those agencies. Twelve state agencies had turnover rates exceeding 17.0 percent in fiscal year 2017.
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