Get to know your CA: initial salary step calculation (2023)

Updated: October 23, 2023

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 (Article 14 for full-time; Article 26 for partial-load). Calculating your initial salary step is based on a formula and points system found in the JOB CLASSIFICATION PLANS

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. For reference, we have a template initial step salary calculation spreadsheet you may find helpful.

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 can negotiate for these additional 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.

NEW: In the 2021-2024 round of bargaining, we gained language in the Job Classification Plans to account for Indigenous Knowledge, and therefore, the formula has been updated.

Relevant work experience is counted in years, although Humber’s recent 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 bachelors degree and a 2-years masters degree:

  • 1.5 points x 6 years = 9 points

By comparison, a person with a 4-year bachelors degree, a 2-years masters 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 bachelors degree, a 2-years masters 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

NEW: Indigenous Knowledge

If the employee was hired to a role that required Indigenous Knowledge, then this new factor would also count toward the initial salary calculation. “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.” Note that specifics of how these points are awarded remains to be finalized.

The Calculation

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

Example 1: a non-Indigenous person with 10 years relevant experience and a 4-year bachelors, and 2-years masters (hired for a non-Indigenous role):

  • 8.33 (Experience points) + 9 (Education points) + 0 – 8 = 9.33 points — round up to 10.

Initial step is Step 10.


Example 2: an Indigenous person with 10 years relevant work experience, 20 years working with the Indigenous community, a 4-year bachelors, and 2-years masters (hired for an Indigenous role):

  • 8.33 (Experience points) + 9 (Education points) + 10 – 8 = 19.33 points — round up to 20.

Initial step is Step 20.


 If you have further questions about your own salary step, don’t hesitate to contact us.