Initial Salary Step Calculation

All new partial-load and full-time faculty follow the same initial salary step calculation formula, outlined in the collective agreement (“JOB CLASSIFICATION PLANS FOR POSITIONS IN THE ACADEMIC BARGAINING UNIT“). The initial salary step is calculated based on the individual’s relevant educational and work experience.

2022 Kaplan Award:

  • The College may grant up to 10 points in recognition for Indigenous Knowledge on hiring of an applicant who is Indigenous and whose teaching and/or other assigned duties are partially or entirely related to Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being, and Doing.

If you would like your initial salary step calculation reviewed by an officer of the local, please email us at

How to calculate your initial salary step

As members of this bargaining unit, all partial-load and full-time employees are paid according to a salary grid found inside your collective agreement (p. 27 for full-time, p. 51 for partial-load). Calculating your initial salary step is based on a formula and points system found on p. 122.

Your initial salary step is determined based on the education and work experience you possess that is relevant to your job. The hiring manager will look at your resume or ask you for a detailed list of your education and work experience, and based on this information, determine your starting step.

It is important to note that hiring managers may, at their discretion, give employees up to 5 additional steps on the pay grid beyond what the calculation determines (but not exceeding the max step). After the College has made you a job offer, if you feel that your skills, professional designations, experience or education are not properly recognized by the formula, you should encourage your manager to consider providing you with one or more of these discretionary steps. The College’s desire to hire you, coupled with the fact that you may be taking a pay reduction from your previous job, can result in the hiring manager increasing your starting pay rate.

It is also important to understand that this formula for calculating initial salary steps was established over 50 years ago, when a PhD (or even a Master’s degree) was not a requirement for most academic positions at colleges. As a result, there is no specific additional salary provisions for new employees with PhDs, nor has our Local been able to reach an agreement with the College on this issue. However, the Union believes that PhDs should be recognized, and can be done through discretionary steps or years of experience. Do not hesitate to ask the hiring manager for consideration in this regard.

Relevant work experience is counted in years, although Lambton’s practice has counted such experience accurate to the month. Years of experience have the following tiered points system:

  • Up to 5 years:   1 point per year
  • Next 9 years:    2/3 point per year
  • Next 12 years:  ½ point per year 

Example: an individual with 10 years of relevant work experience equates to 8.33 points.

  • 5 years x 1 point = 5 points
  • 5 years x 2/3 points = 3.33 points

Total: 8.33 points

Years of education are counted as 1.5 points per year, with maximum caps set for 3 categories of credentials (college: 4 years max, university: 6 years max, work-study programs or certified journeyperson: 5 years max). The collective education maximum for all 3 categories is 7 years.

It is important to note that any credentials that are counted must be increasing and successive in level of expertise. In addition, the curriculum must not duplicate that of any previous credential, and all credentials must be relevant to your hired position.

Example: a person with a 4-year bachelor’s degree and a 2-year master’s degree:

  • 1.5 points x 6 years = 9 points

By comparison, a person with a 4-year bachelor’s degree, a 2-year master’s degree, and a 4-year PhD:

  • 1.5 points x 6 years = 9 points (max university years has been reached).

However, a person with a 4-year bachelor’s degree, a 2-year master’s degree, and a 1-year post-grad certificate (assumes post-grad certificate provides a more specialized credential required for your job, and is not a duplicate of any university education):

  • 1.5 points x 6 years = 9 points (university category)
  • 1.5 points x 1 year = 1.5 points (post-grad certificate – college category)

                                              Total: 10.5 points

The individual’s initial salary step is calculated by adding the points from experience, formal qualifications, and Indigenous Knowledge, then subtracting the sum by 8. If the final answer is a decimal, round up to the next whole number.

Example: a person with 10 years relevant experience and a 4-year bachelor’s, and 2-year master’s:

  • 8.33 (Experience points) + 9 (Education points) – 8 = 9.33 points round up to 10.

Initial step is Step 10.