Establishment of Starting Salaries for Academic Staff

Approval Date
3 February 2010
Approved By
Chief Executive
Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
Baldrige Criteria
Workforce focus

This policy sets out criteria and procedures to be used in determining a fair and equitable starting salary and position for academic staff.

This policy applies to the appointment of permanent, full time or proportional lecturers.

There is a need to maintain equity of appointment positions and salaries across academic staff within Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) to maintain the integrity of the academic staff positions and salary structures.


1.           The primary consideration in determining the starting salary of a lecturer shall be the establishment of a fair relativity with those lecturers already employed in the Polytechnic and with other lecturers who are new to the Polytechnic.

2.          The criteria used to determine fair relativity in the case of each beginning lecturer shall be the lecturer’s:

  • Directly relevant experience   
  • Trained teaching experience   
  • Other teaching experience   
  • Related experience
  • Relevant required qualifications/recognised expertise

Note: All of the above may have been gained in either paid and/or unpaid capacities.

3.          If a salary, determined after consideration of all of the above matters, will not be enough to secure an appropriate/necessary hire, a market forces allowance may be paid on top of the determined base salary subject to the guidelines set out in policy Key Skills Allowance.



The Head of College is responsible for determining a starting salary in accordance with this policy.



1.         Proposal of First Salaries

Having considered the requirements of this policy, the relevant Head of College shall propose the salary to be paid and undertake any negotiations necessary to finally settle upon the starting salary. It should be noted that the criteria for setting a fair and equitable salary compared with the existing staff will not necessarily be the same as those for determining the best applicant. The position expectations documents should be used to evaluate where the new person should be placed.

2.          Appointment at a level higher than Lecturer

          Initial appointment to a scale higher than lecturer scale (ie Senior Lecturer/Principal Lecturer) is appropriate only if the applicant is from another similar institution, is already paid at the equivalent of a higher rate, and has had significant teaching experience, teaching qualifications, or if the appointee is judged to be at a level of competence by applying standard Polytechnic criteria for the position requested.

Professorial level appointments are covered within Policy Professorial Appointments.

3.          Positioning on the salary scales

The positioning on the scale should be determined as follows:

  • Lecturers without credits as defined below should begin on L01.
  • Lecturers with credits as outlined below will be placed on the corresponding point on the salary scale.

a.              Experience

i)               Directly Relevant Experience is derived from working as a practitioner in the field to which the lecturer position is oriented.

ii)              Trained Teaching Experience is experience as a trained teacher (at primary, secondary, or tertiary teaching qualification level).

iii)             Other teaching experience is also considered.

iv)             Research Experience is experience in related research at a university, equivalent educational institution, research institution or in industry.

b.              Required Qualifications
The level of qualification the person holds will determine increment credits for appointment as per the table below.

c.               Recognised Expertise
Is the result of learning which is usually non-formal and does not normally result in a paper qualification. Nonetheless the expertise is capable of being recognised by an appropriate person or group. For example, a Kaumatua could readily identify expertise in Te Reo Maori. For “recognised expertise” some judgement will be required as to the number of years involved.

d.              Additional Qualifications

Additional qualifications are either: 

Recognised Full-Time Teacher Training or

A relevant qualification above the minimum specified for the position


Positioning can be calculated as per the table below:

    Increment Credit Criteria

Increment Credit Value

A)      Experience


  Directly Relevant Experience

1 credit per year of directly relevant experience

Training Teaching Experience

1 Credit per year of trained

teaching experience

Other teaching Experience

0.5 Credit per year of other

teaching experience

Research Experience

1 Credit per year of research



Note Maximum Experience Credit

= 10 points


B) Qualifications (as required for the position not held by the person)


No increment credit

Diploma / certificate

1 increment credit

Bachelor’s degree

1 increment credit

Honours degree

2 increment credits


3 increment credits


4 increment credits


C) Recognised Expertise

Non formal Recognised


Manager Judgement of Credits



D) Additional Qualifications

Recognised Full Time

Teacher Training

1 increment Credit

A relevant Qualification above the minimum specified for the


1 increment Credit



Gives grade for appointment

4.          Salary Band

Once these criteria have been considered and a point on the scale has been indicated, a band of three salaries around this point (one up and one down) should be used as the basis to negotiate the final salary.

5.          Approvals

The Head of College shall recommend a salary band, from which the Director: Academic Delivery shall authorise appointments to Lecturer scale salaries or equivalent. Appointments involving extraordinary salary enhancements or arrangements must be approved by the Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety and/or Chief Executive.



·   Recruitment and Appointment of Staff

·   Key Skills Allowance

·   Professorial Appointments


·   Collective Employment Agreements for Academic and Allied Staff