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Some employers (for examplethe US government American Airlines) have a pay scale where:

  • The pay scale is transparent (either published to employees or made available to the general public)
  • Pay is determined (only) by the employee's time in service or hire date
  • Pay is not negotiable during interviews

Is there a specific term for this type of pay scale?


Edit: Turns out the US Government GS pay scale doesn't precisely match my criteria. What about something like American Airlines? See link for the American hourly pay scale based on years of service.

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    I don't know why this has downvotes. That payscale might be stupid (around here it's known as "government pay tables" and there is a reason that government isn't running on the brightest minds...), but it's a perfectly fine question to ask if it has a name. I see nothing in this question that could be improved and it certainly is about workplaces.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Feb 18 at 18:14
  • @nvoigt the US government pay scale isn’t just determined by time employed and there are other factors involved.
    – Joe W
    Commented Feb 19 at 3:54
  • @JoeW - You're right, I've changed the example.
    – Steve V.
    Commented Feb 19 at 4:10
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    Is that a full list of how a pilot gets paid or are there other things that can increase the pay such as being a trainer for new pilots or being in a position to take flights for other pilots that can't make a flight for some reason. The salary that is on the link that you provided seems to be just the basics for the purpose of recruiting but doesn't list everything that could impact their pay. Even at the basic level the pay is also determined by what planes they are a pilot of.
    – Joe W
    Commented Feb 19 at 17:27
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    I think the reason for the downvotes is that a pay system like you describe is incredibly rare. As you found out, government pay doesn't work like that. I know some school boards do something like it for teachers, but even then there are extra things a teacher can do that increase their pay not dependent on years of service. Being that rare it probably doesn't have a name. Commented Feb 19 at 22:12

4 Answers 4

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Pay scale by duration of tenure.

The 2004/2008 paper "Seniority, experience, and wages in the UK" by Nicholas Williams of the University of Cincinnati Department of Economics uses the terms tenure and seniority to describe time in service.

This paper uses BHPS data to investigate the relative importance of seniority and experience in determining male wages in the UK labor market. Using both the Altonji and Shakotko instrumental variable and the Topel two-step estimation approaches, I find that for all male workers, tenure plays a modest role, increasing wages by about 1% each year over the first 10 years on the job.

Although the conclusion states that:

Do wages increase with seniority? ... I reach the following conclusions. First, when looking at all male, private-sector UK workers, tenure has a modest effect, increasing wages by about 1% each year over the first 10 years on the job.

I think this paper is looking at the male jobs market in general rather than specific sectors or employers.

A confounding variable here may be that some employers only promote based on years of service and more senior roles pay better. I seem to remember some UK closed shops, back in the 1960s and 70s, that had negotiated those sort of salary structures but it would take a lot of digging to give you chapter and verse.

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Even the US government GS pay schedule doesn't meet these requirements.

Looking at your 3 requirements:

  • The pay scale is transparent (either published to employees or made available to the general public)
  • Pay is determined (only) by the employee's time in service or hire date
  • Pay is not negotiable during interviews.

It is transparent, but two employees hired at grade seven step one will not move in a lock step. Twenty years later they can be grades and steps apart. They get promotions at different times. I know employees who have negotiated a specific grade and step, because they wouldn't take the position unless a certain pay rate was achieved. In those cases they were moving from contractor to government.

In addition there is extra pay depending on locality, and some job titles get additional money because they are hard to fill.

I have known military people who have retired and become teachers, they also negotiated a higher starting level because they wanted credit for their years of non-teaching experience. They did this even though the public schools had fixed pay schedule.

But if it was true i would expect it to be called a pay schedule.

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It depends on locale, but it is usually something like

  • Pay Scale
  • Salary Band
  • Pay Grade
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    While this is probably the right words, they are also used for pay structures that don't fit the questioners description. I've certainly been in a pay scale/band/grade where advancement through the band depended on your performance. Commented Feb 19 at 0:25
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I think the word you are looking for may be "seniority", but ai can't imagine it being the sole criterion for pay rate. At least not unless the company is vicious about firing anyone who would otherwise be overpaid, and massively underpays junior staff.

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