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Institutional salary policy at UiO


In accordance with item 2.3. of the main salary agreement, UiO has formulated an institutional salary policy that is intended to serve as a common platform for the implementation of the salary system and for determining those salary-related measures that are needed to achieve the university’s objectives.

The parties at UiO assume that the salary policy will be an integral part of the University’s personnel policy (pdf).

UiO, Parat, the Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations, the Norwegian Association of Researchers, and the Norwegian Civil Service Union (NTL) have collaborated on the formulation of the salary policy laid down in this document and agree that salaries at the university shall be determined on the basis of these collective provisions. The parties also agree that the salary policy must at all times be adapted to ongoing developments related to changing framework conditions, macro-level plans and strategies, the staffing situation, concerns related to the working environment and other relevant circumstances.

The University’s salary policy shall promote a predictable, cohesive practice. The employer is responsible for ensuring that institutional salary-related decisions at all levels are based on prevailing parameters. The guidelines on salary policy and criteria for salary determination presented in this document shall be used for new recruitment as well as internal salary negotiations. 

Please also refer to the additional documentation and procedures for salary determination, which are laid down in:

The parties assume that the principles contained in the salary policy will be applied throughout the entire university. Individual units may make adaptations based on the priorities set according to the local circumstances. These may be, for instance, concrete priority areas, the recruitment and competition situation, particular needs for expertise or other challenges which require the use of salary-related instruments. The assumption is that it should be possible to base local choices of more precisely defined priorities on UiO’s general salary policy.

Every instance of salary determination shall be based on a conscious, predictable salary policy, which shall be made known to the employees. If the salary policy is to have legitimacy, it must be practised with openness. Therefore, the employer has a special responsibility to inform the employees of the way in which the salary policy is practised in connection with new appointments as well as in internal salary negotiations.

1 General principles of the salary policy

The parties assume that all employees at UiO will have equal opportunity for professional and salary-related development. The assessment of salary terms is part of the individual leader’s responsibilities with regard to evaluation, follow-up and motivation of his/her employees.

The parties will work to achieve satisfactory salary terms for all position categories.

Salary-policy instruments shall promote the values and objectives laid down in UiO’s personnel policy.

UiO shall strengthen its position as a research university of high international standing, and in this connection shall further develop salary-policy instruments that promote quality. A cohesive salary policy, increasing the overall salary level, and use of salary-related instruments are important elements in this context.

The salary level shall reflect the individual employee’s job duties, responsibilities and expertise, as well as bring attention to and reward achievements and efforts that help to achieve UiO’s objectives in all areas and at all levels. Objective criteria shall be used as a basis for salary determination in connection with appointments as well as internal salary negotiations. Pay increases in local negotiations will be determined on the basis of an assessment of individual achievements and contributions to the collective achievement of results. Structural and group considerations, the need to correct unreasonable differences in salaries, and other relevant reasons may also play a role when salaries are determined. The parties shall work actively to correct gender-based discrepancies in salaries both within and between position categories.

The choice of position code and salary level shall be based on a concrete assessment of job duties, level of responsibility and required qualifications related to the position/employee in question. UiO has a need to make use of salary-related instruments, including competitive salaries, to ensure that the university is able to recruit and retain highly valued expertise.

In cases when new employees receive better salary terms than others with comparable positions and qualifications, the employer has a special responsibility to provide information to the employees and to manage staff issues in a manner that ensures a good working environment. Flexibility with regard to new recruitment also requires an active commitment to the salary development of the other staff members who already are employed. To the extent possible, UiO aims to correct unreasonable differences in salaries through salary negotiations. In the long term, the salary policy should help to achieve an acceptable salary level for all employees.

The salary policy as an instrument must be calculated into the budgetary priorities and framework, and this requires a systematic effort in which available instruments for salary determination are used actively to achieve academic and personnel policy objectives.

All employees at UiO shall have equal opportunity to receive an assessment of whether grounds for a pay increase exist. Local leaders are instructed to perform a special evaluation of employees who have not received a local pay increase in the past five years. The purpose of a regularly scheduled evaluation is to ensure that attention is focused on the salary level of employees, thus ensuring that all employees can have their salary level assessed with regard to whether there are grounds for a salary adjustment.

Increasing the overall level of salaries at UiO is a challenge for the employer as well as the civil servant organisations. With the economic resources at the university’s disposal, salary-related mechanisms for new appointments and local negotiations may be just one of several instruments used. Tight budgets limit the latitude for action at the local level, and major salary-policy advances must therefore be realised through central salary settlements. UiO and the civil servant organisations will therefore work actively to influence the parties in the government so that the university’s position categories will be adequately compensated in central salary settlements.

2 Academic positions

UiO shall have high quality research, education and dissemination of knowledge. The salary policy shall serve as a foundation in efforts to recruit and retain highly qualified research and educational staff and to adapt UiO’s overall expertise to its own priorities. Salary-related instruments should serve to support researcher’s self-initiated research activities, including in those instances when such activities are not part of the university’s or faculties’ large-scale priority areas. If UiO is to be an attractive work place, the overall objective must be that salary levels reflect the job duties and expertise of the employees

Several academic fields in the scientific sector are subject to competition from various quarters, such as the research and education sector at large, other publicly funded activity, and trade and industry. The instruments available in the salary system must therefore be used actively in new recruitment and efforts to retain valuable expertise.

As a starting point, the academic staff shall be assessed on the basis of the total set of job duties, i.e. those related to research, education and dissemination. The use of salary mechanisms shall encourage contributions to the quality of research and education and to active dissemination of knowledge in connection with academic activities. The objective for more researchers, research groups and research communities to achieve high international standing suggests that documented research findings should be given high priority. 

With regard to the research leadership, UiO should be particularly active in its use of salary-related instruments for new recruitment as well as during internal salary negotiations. This includes the use of salary alternatives at the upper range of the position’s pay scale so that, to the extent possible, the university can offer a salary level that reflects individual expertise. Contributions to the development of research communities are not necessarily made by persons holding formal leadership positions. Through initiative and commitment, an employee without formal leadership responsibilities can represent a significant motivating force in projects and similar activities. 

Assessment of the salary level for the individual employee shall be based on the principles described under item 1 General principles of the salary policy; see in particular paragraphs 5 and 6. In addition, the following criteria shall be used:

  • research findings, publications
  • recognition in the form of awards and similar acknowledgements
  • teaching efforts, contribution to educational quality, good study programmes and learning environments
  • dissemination, profiling and publicising of research-based knowledge
  • formation/development of dynamic research communities and implementation of large-scale projects
  • efforts to increase the research community’s funding from external sources
  • facilitation of communication, cooperation and creativity
  • enhancement of researcher training and addressing the needs of recruitment personnel
  • development of cooperative relationships within and outside the university
  • activity that fosters a cross-disciplinary approach and cooperation at the interface of academic fields/disciplines
  • targeted profiling efforts, network building
  • service as an employee representative, participation in governing bodies, internal and external committees and working groups

Please also see the criteria for competence assessment presented in Part 1 of the guide for applicants and members of expert committees on documentation, assessment and weighting of qualifications.

3 Research fellowships

Access to research fellows is crucial for maintaining and renewing academic activities at UiO, and good salary terms can serve as an important stimulus for potential candidates who are considering an academic career. The instruments available in the salary system must therefore be used actively in recruitment efforts. Moreover, research fellows are in an educational position for a relatively short time, and the nature of the position limits the opportunities to qualify for a pay increase through internal salary negotiations.

The government salary plan contains two different position codes for research fellows, i.e. SKO 1017 and SKO 1378, but offers no guidelines for delineating between these codes. The parties at UiO recommend that, as a general rule, the university’s units use SKO 1017 for new appointments unless salary-related concerns make it necessary to use SKO 1378. The main purpose of this is to ensure research fellows a reasonable salary development through automatic promotions based on seniority as allowed in the salary framework for SKO 1017. The choice of salary framework at the time of appointment shall reflect UiO’s objective to conduct an proactive salary policy for research fellows.

Research fellowships shall normally be announced with alternatives for salary determination, and the salary grade for new appointments is determined according to an individual assessment in each case. Factors that should play a role in salary determination may include:

  • the degree of competition in the specific field
  • highly valued expertise
  • special education or other additional qualifications beyond a university degree
  • relevant professional experience
  • academic experience/research activity
  • the salary level for comparable functions
  • the need to limit a pay decrease when the employee transfers to a different position

4 Leadership positions

Following the introduction of the cohesive leadership strategy, the academic as well as the administrative leadership responsibilities have been formally placed with the deans and heads of department. This includes the personnel and financial responsibilities as well. In practice, however, much of the administrative responsibility will be delegated to the administrative leadership at the faculty and departmental levels.

Academic leadership involves responsibility for the operation and development of the unit’s research, education, dissemination of research-based knowledge and other academically based activities. Long-term planning, prioritising and realisation of the unit’s academic objectives are also incorporated into the leadership function. The leadership shall ensure that material resources are available (e.g. research support, equipment, infrastructure, fixed assets) and that good organisational conditions are present (e.g. distribution, organisation, administration of work). In addition, the leadership shall foster quality and productivity in the academic activities and motivate and encourage good results.

Administrative leaders are responsible for the technical and administrative operation and development of their respective areas. This includes the maintenance, ongoing development and quality assurance of these. Further, the administrative leadership is often called upon to contribute to macro-level planning and strategy oriented activity. This requires an understanding for and insight into the academic activities since responsibility for facilitating optimal conditions entails tasks that are closely integrated with the primary activities.

The salary level of the individual leader is assessed in relation to, among other things, general leadership qualities and the ability to lay the foundation for a good working environment. In this context, focus is placed on the leader’s ability and willingness to foster positive, constructive relationships with the employees and their representatives.

The nature of the activities within a unit will also greatly affect the burden of leadership responsibility and should therefore be taken into account in an assessment of the leader’s salary level. Regardless of the type of leadership function and the organisational level of the individual, the salary level should reflect the demands of the position arising from:

  • The complexity of the activities (e.g. the unit’s size, diversity, interdependent variations or other special challenges related to subordinate areas, activities, the breath of disciplines and academic fields)
  • The scope of authority entailed in the leadership responsibility (e.g. the number of employees in the individual unit or administrative area, special challenges related to the administration of employer responsibility, conflict resolution, safeguarding of a good working environment and similar responsibilities)
  • The scope of budget-related responsibilities (size of the budget as well as any other complicating factors, such as extensive external funding)
  • The nature of responsibility for planning, development and coordination (both the scope of the field and the amount of cooperation/coordination in relation to the various academic or administrative partners and/or organisational levels)
  • Special needs related to the establishment and follow-up of external networks and cooperative relationships (e.g. the relationship between university and hospital activities, the need for academic or administrative coordination within the higher education sector or other cross-sectoral cooperative relationships)

Criteria for the individual assessment of leaders:

  • Achievement of results related to the unit’s activities
  • Improvements in and quality assurance of the activities
  • Facilitation of communication, cooperation, creativity and a good working environment
  • Development of the organisation and the employees
  • Expertise in administration as a professional area
  • Administration of legislative requirements and contract terms, and cooperation with relevant parties
  • Development of one’s own leadership abilities
  • An especially high level of expertise

Academic leadership may also be assessed on the basis of:

  • Leadership of research activity (e.g. ensuring optimal framework conditions, enhancing the quality and productivity of the academic activities, motivating and encouraging research findings, prioritising and realising academic objectives)
  • Leadership of teaching activities (e.g. formulating objectives related to knowledge and teaching, promoting the further development and quality of study programmes, teaching and supervision)
  • Leadership of the dissemination of research-based knowledge (e.g. ensuring knowledge transfer to the general public, further developing dissemination activities, enhancing the legitimacy of and understanding for research activity within society)
  • Leadership of other academic activities and service provision (e.g. government mandated tasks, such as the professional faculties, counselling services, consultancy services, development aid)

With regard to positions such as rector, pro-rector, vice rector, deans, sub-deans, heads of department and elected section heads at the museums, please also refer to UiO’s special agreement for elected and appointed leadership.

5 Technical-administrative positions

The salary policy shall serve as a foundation in efforts to recruit and retain highly qualified technical-administrative staff. If UiO is to be an attractive work place for these groups, the overall objective must be for salary levels to reflect the job duties and expertise of the employees.

The parties assume that the library services and the administrative, technical and operational-related services will promote the achievement of UiO’s objectives.

The operation and development of UiO’s activities depend on a technical-administrative staff that contributes to a high level of service, efficiency, quality and professionalism. Salary assessment for technical-administrative positions shall be based on the individual employee’s expertise and efforts in relation to this.

The use of salary mechanisms shall promote high quality administration and technical services that help to enhance research communities. Many employees in technical as well as administrative positions perform their work at the interface of technical-administrative and academic activities, in which the job duties are well integrated into the primary activity. These functions require in-depth academic insight in addition to purely technical or administrative expertise, and the salary terms should reflect this.

Other important support services are related to the operation of UiO’s property and buildings. Contributions to good operational service functions and effective operation of buildings and technical facilities must be compensated with a salary level that reflects the expertise and efforts of the operations staff.

The placement of technical-administrative positions shall also be based on the document Sample position description and qualification requirements for technical-administrative positions at UiO (Norwegian). The sample job description shall serve as the basis for the formulation of position structure, announcement of vacant positions, salary determination for new appointments and in cases when the employer presents its demands in internal salary negotiations.

Assessment of the salary level for the individual employee shall be based on the principles described under item 1 General principles of the salary policy; see in particular paragraphs 5 and 6. In addition, the following criteria shall be used as a basis for assessment:

  • level of responsibility/job duties and work performance
  • job duties that require a high degree of specialisation
  • the breadth and/or complexity of the job duties/area of responsibility
  • job duties that lie at the interface of divisions and thus require a high degree of interaction
  • key functions related to coordination and organisation
  • development of the content of the job description
  • initiative, autonomy, flexibility in work performance
  • relevant development/upgrading of one’s own expertise
  • work experience
  • development of quality of the services
  • interaction with academic staff and contributions to academic development
  • counselling/advising, such as in connection with competence development
  • facilitation of communication, cooperation, creativity and a good working environment
  • service as an employee representative, participation in governing bodies, internal and external committees and working groups
  • other efforts that contribute to the development of the organisation and/or the sense of community
Published Jan. 23, 2019 11:02 AM - Last modified Oct. 28, 2020 10:32 AM