Range Changes & MSAs

Range Changes and MSAs-Timing is Everything

Until you reach the top of your classification’s salary scale, you are eligible for a yearly Merit Salary Adjustment (MSA) – a 5% pay increase on the anniversary of your start in your current classification.

Some classifications also include alternate salary ranges. For example, the Attorney I classification has Range A and Range B pay scales, with Range B topping out at a higher level of pay. Those in Attorney I Range A are eligible to move to Range B upon completion of two-years (24 months) of experience. Those hired into state service with two or more years of legal experience, should be placed in Range B. (If you weren’t, give CASE a call). When you change ranges, your anniversary date resets to the date of your range change.

Article 5.4 of the CASE MOU allows Unit 2 employees to delay their range change for up to 6 qualifying pay periods to coincide with the effective date of their MSA.

But why defer moving to a higher salary?

In short: because math. Let’s look at an example:

Attorney Shelby is hired on July 1, 2021 at the starting salary for Attorney I, Range A. She came to the state after working for a small local law firm for 18 months. On January 1, 2022, Shelby is eligible to move from Range A to Range B because she would have 24 months of legal experience, which would give her a 5% raise and reset her anniversary date to January 1 from now on. When July 1, 2022 arrives, Shelby does not receive an MSA, because she changed ranges in January. She won’t see another raise until January 2023.

But, if Shelby had delayed her range change until her MSA date, here’s what happens: On July 1, 2022, Shelby gets her 5% MSA and then gets her Range Change – another 5% raise calculated on her 5%-higher salary. With the compounding impacts of the back-to-back raises, Shelby gets a 10.25% raise. She’ll make up what she missed out on by waiting 6 extra months in no time and now benefits from the higher bump, and subsequent compounding effects, for the rest of her career in state service.

Do you have questions about MSAs, Range Changes, and timing? Contact CASE today.