4-36: Compensation and Benefits – Policy

Policy Overview

This policy sets out the parameters for compensation and benefits for Santa Fe Community College (SFCC or College) employees. It assigns responsibility for definition and oversight of the policy.

Scope and Applicability

This policy covers compensation and benefits and applies to all employees.

Policy Statement

SFCC is committed to a fair, equitable compensation, and benefits package for its employees.


  1. Adjunct Faculty Contracted to teach on a course by course basis.
  2. Contract Employee is employed under an employment contract or has contractual obligations with SFCC. Any non-faculty employee hired through an employment contract is a contract employee. Non-faculty employees who are typically hired through an employment contract include executive directors, vice presidents, employees in sensitive positions, and any other employee whom the College proposes to hire as a contract employee because the circumstances warrant.
  3. Core Faculty A full-time or part-time faculty member who has successfully completed the faculty probationary period.
  4. Degree for the purposes of Policy 4-36, is an associate degree (e.g., A.A., A.S.), bachelor’s degree (e.g., B.A., B.S., B.B.A.), master’s degree (e.g., M.A., M.S.), doctorate (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D.).
  5. Employee is any member of the college workforce: all staff (regular full-time, regular part-time, term, temporary, probationary, sensitive position); all student employees; all faculty (full-time, part-time, adjunct, probationary); all administrators, including interim; all contract employees.
  6. Employee – Full Time Scheduled to work an average of 30 or more hours per week.
  7. Employee – Part-Time One who is regularly scheduled to work less than 30 hours per week, regularly.
  8. Employee-Probationary An employee who has been hired to fill a regular full or part-time position who is working in the position during a probationary period.
  9. Employee – Regular Hired to fill a regular full- or part-time position and who has successfully completed his or her probationary period. Regular Employees have an expectation of continued employment and may be terminated only for good cause. Regular Employees are eligible to apply for any position posted as internal to SFCC employees only.
  10. Employee – Term Hired to work in a grant funded position or with a specific term of employment.
  11. Employee – Temporary is one who is hired to fill a full- or part-time, non-permanent position for no more than 24 consecutive months. An employee who has been in a temporary position for greater than 24 months will be assessed by the Office of Human Resources for regular employment.
  12. Faculty Employees whose position is to instruct students.
  13. Legal Dependent Status under the Affordable Care Act, is based on the relationship between a child and a health care plan participant. Specifically, a dependent is an individual who is the son, daughter, stepson, or stepdaughter of the employee.
  14. Look Back Period refers to the time period used to determine eligibility for medical benefits and family medical leave. SFCC uses the 12 months prior to the determination of eligibility.
  15. Part-Time Faculty Faculty who are contracted to teach a specific number of credit hours per semester rather than on a course by course basis. Part-time faculty will be required to provide availability hours to students and do college service.

Policy Process

  1. Salaries
    1. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for developing and maintaining a comprehensive benefits plan for various categories of employees as applicable to the status and term of the employee’s employment while in compliance with all state and federal employment laws and regulations.
    2. Annually, the Vice President of Finance/Chief Financial Officer shall present to the President a proposed compensation package.
    3. The President shall review and, if necessary, revise the compensation package and present it to the Governing Board for consideration and final approval.
    4. The Governing Board shall consider the proposed compensation package including salary schedules in a public meeting of the Governing Board.
    5. At least once every three years, the President shall review with the Governing Board the College’s salary schedules and the methodology on which they are based.
    6. The Governance Council may review the proposed salary schedules and feedback will be sought and may be incorporated where feasible; however, the Governing Board retains ultimate authority for setting salary and wage rates.
    7. Generally, an employee’s placement on the salary schedule shall be determined through a process developed by the Office of Human Resources and the Financial Services Office in collaboration with the appropriate Vice President(s) or Executive Director.
      1. In certain situations, the President may, in the President’s sole discretion, approve an employee’s salary that may not correspond to the salary schedule or wage scale when the College cannot otherwise fill a specialized staff and/or faculty position due to unique demands of the type of employee sought.
      2. The President may establish standalone pay schedules for departments with positions that are deemed hard to fill.
    8. It is both the intent and practice of the College not to pay below the minimum salary listed on the salary schedule.
      1. All salary schedules require budget approval and may be adjusted for budgetary consideration through Governing Board action.
      2. All full-time and adjunct faculty shall be compensated in accordance with the salary schedules as vetted through shared governance and approved by the Governing Board, with the exceptions noted in Policy Process 6., a. and b.
      3. A contract employee’s salary is set according to the terms of their contract.
  2. Salary and Wage Schedule Adjustments
    1. Each year, the President recommends salary and wage schedule adjustments to the Governing Board based on the competitive position of the salaries, the cost of living, and the availability of funds.
    2. The Governing Board approves salary and wage schedule adjustments which become effective at the beginning of each fiscal year on July 1. Annual salary increases for employees who have worked fewer than 12 months shall be prorated by the number of months worked in the fiscal year.
    3. The President may approve salary adjustments during the year as recommended by the Office of Human Resources and the Vice President of Finance/Chief Financial Officer.
    4. Annual increases generally do not apply to temporary employees, adjunct faculty, or student workers.
  3. Supplemental Compensation
    1. The Office of Human Resources must review all requests for supplemental compensation of regular full- and part-time staff. Supplemental compensation must be:
      1. Performed by an exempt employee,
      2. Tied to a specific period of time with an identified end date,
      3. Approved by the direct supervisor,
      4. Outside of an employee’s normal duties or to perform duties that are substantially outside the scope or reasonable potential scope of the individual’s position, or
      5. Tied to a consistent and ongoing workload.
    2. Employees who are paid on an hourly basis are not eligible for supplemental compensation.
    3. Hourly employees must receive payment for all hours worked, work in excess of 40 hours per pay week must be paid at the overtime rate in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
    4. Supplemental compensation of faculty members must be approved by the employing department Dean, Vice President, Executive Director, and the Office of Human Resources.
  4. Employee Benefits
    1. The College is committed to providing eligible employees a comprehensive benefits package within budget constraints. Regular full-time staff, core faculty, and term employees working 30 hours or more per week are eligible for group medical, dental, vision, basic life insurance, additional life insurance, and long-term disability insurance.
    2. All part-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and temporary employees working an average of 30 hours or more per week are eligible for medical and basic life insurance
    3. The look-back period, in compliance with the law, is 12 months for determining eligibility for the medical benefits and family medical leave.
      1. For employees scheduled to work less than 30 hours per week, the look-back period, in compliance with the law, is 12 months for determining eligibility for the medical benefits and family medical leave.
      2. If during the look-back period the employee works an average of 30 hours or more per week, including all assignments for which they are paid, the employee will become eligible for medical benefits.
      3. Enrollment in benefits is not retroactive.
      4. Anyone who works fewer than 30 hours per week, on average, is not eligible for medical benefits.
    4. The College offers a benefits package according to its provider that includes:
      1. Health, dental, and vision insurance,
      2. Workers’ compensation, and
      3. Retirement plans.
      4. Additional benefits may also include supplemental retirement plans, flexible spending accounts, tuition waiver, health promotion, staff development, earned educational leave, employee paid long-term disability, voluntary retirement plans, paid holidays, and various leave benefits in accordance with eligibility requirements for each (SFCC Policy 4-15 Family Medical LeaveSFCC Policy 4-35 Leave, SFCC Policy 4-23 Holiday and Campus Closures).
  5. Employee Educational Benefit
    1. All regular status full-time staff, full-time faculty, and part-time employees along with spouses, domestic partners, and legal dependents up to age 26 are eligible upon registering and completing the Employee Education Benefits form for a total of six credit hours, or the equivalent in monetary value for a noncredit course, per semester. This benefit can be used by the employee or shared by a member of the employee’s immediate family as defined above.
    2. No more than six hours of Employee Education Benefits may be used by a single individual per semester.
    3. Employees are encouraged to use their Employee Education Benefits outside of scheduled work hours.
    4. Only SFCC credit and noncredit courses are eligible for Employee Education Benefits.
    5. Employees must receive approval from their supervisor prior to applying for the benefit if the class occurs during scheduled work
    6. Adjunct faculty members may be eligible upon registering and completing the Employee Education Benefits form for a total of six credit hours per semester, or the equivalent in monetary value for a noncredit course, for the semester they are currently on This benefit is only applicable for the adjunct employee and is not extended to family members or dependents.
    7. The Employee Education Benefit form must be submitted at least five business days prior to the payment deadline. Cost of lab fees and other fees shall be paid by the employee or family member immediately to avoid disenrollment.
    8. Eligibility for this benefit is in addition to the staff educational attainment benefit described below.
  6. Staff Educational Attainment Benefit.
    1. SFCC values and encourages postsecondary degree attainment.
    2. Subject to available funds, all regular, full-time, non-faculty employees may be granted a one-time $2,000 increase in base salary for completion of a postsecondary degree at a higher level than previously held.
    3. The educational attainment earned must be greater than the highest degree the employee currently holds.
    4. Degrees must be in a discipline that is relevant and related to the employee’s current position and that enhances their ability to perform the duties of their current role.
    5. If an employee is currently in a position that lists a degree as a condition of employment and the employee achieves that degree after they are hired, they are not eligible for the base salary increase under the Staff Educational Attainment Benefit.
    6. Increases in pay are capped based on the current pay grade for the position. The increase cannot exceed the salary maximum of the current pay grade.
    7. Staff members must consult with their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources before undertaking a program of study.
    8. The non-faculty employee must submit an official transcript documenting educational attainment along with completed and fully signed applicable forms to the Office of Human Resources no later than three months from the date they completed the degree.
    9. The educational attainment benefit:
      1. Is dependent on available funding, as determined by the President and the Vice President of Finance/Chief Financial Officer. If funds are unavailable in the year the degree was earned, the non-faculty employee may submit an application in a subsequent year when funds become available.
      2. May apply to eligible degrees completed after July 1, 2019, but the base pay increase becomes effective on the date determined by the Office of Human Resources and is not retroactive to the date the degree was earned.
      3. Requires that the degree be earned through an institution accredited by one of the Regional Accrediting Organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education (
    10. For a non-faculty grant-funded employee position, the educational attainment benefit is only available if there is available funding for non-grant funded positions. If the provisions of a grant do not allow for grant funds to be used for an educational attainment base salary increase for a position, then the Staff Educational Attainment policy shall not apply to that position.
  7. Employee Health Benefit
    1. To promote the health and fitness of employees, the College encourages its employees to participate in health and fitness education courses by waiving the fitness fee for the Fitness Education Center.
    2. Full-time regular employees and core faculty members, including those in probationary status, may take 90 minutes per week of paid release time to attend a health and fitness education course with the approval of the supervisor.
    3. The supervisor shall make every effort to authorize paid release time for their employees and determines the scheduling of release time based on office needs.
  8. Employee Development
    1. Regular status full- or part-time employees may be eligible for employee development that allows for educational development related to the employee’s individual job.
    2. To be eligible for this benefit, credit classes or continuing education classes must not be currently offered at SFCC or eligible for the Employee Education Benefit.
    3. Employee development opportunities must be directly related to improving work skill for the current job.
    4. Approval of the employee eevelopment benefit is first subject to available funding through the Professional Development Funding Committee.
    5. Anyone interested in the Employee Development Benefit, shall discuss program suitability with their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources prior to registration.
      1. The employee’s supervisor or department head may approve or reject the request for Employee Development benefits.
      2. The College may partially or fully cover the cost of tuition, fees, and books related to employee development.
      3. Audited classes are not eligible for the Employee Development Benefit.
      4. Continuing education courses must be officially recognized by a licensing or accreditation group.
      5. Proof of successful attendance and completion must be submitted within 14 days.
      6. Classes taken during scheduled work hours must be in alignment with SFCC Policy 4-35 Leave.
      7. The Employee Development Benefit does not apply to employee dependents.
    6. Employees must successfully complete the course with a grade of “C” or better.
      1. Proof of final grade is required and must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources within 14 days of receipt of the final grade.
      2. If the grade level requirement is not met, employees are required to reimburse the College for all expenses covered by the College that are connected to the class.
  9. Tuition Waiver Program
    1. Some colleges and universities have agreed to offer a tuition waiver to regular employees.
    2. The number of credit hours per semester may vary from institution to institution.
    3. Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources for participating colleges and universities and other information.
    4. Books and fees are not waived as part of the participating college and university programs.

Statement of Accountability and Responsibility

The President, through the Vice President of Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness and the Chief Human Resources Officer, shall be responsible for enforcing human resources policies and procedures. The Office of Human Resources shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and to develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention, and remediation.


SFCC Governing Board approved: 9/20/2007
Revised and Governing Board approved: 9/02/2009
Revised and Governing Board approved: 10/19/2009
Revised and Governing Board approved: 10/27/2009
Revised and Governing Board approved: 6/24/2010
Revised and Governing Board approved: 7/29/2010
Revised and Governing Board approved: 12/16/2014
Revised and Governing Board approved: 12/13/2017

Revised and Governing Board approved: 5/25/2022


SFCC Policy 4-15 Family Medical Leave
SFCC Policy 4-35 Leave
SFCC Policy 4-23 Holiday and Campus Closures

Associated Procedures