Understand compensation types and pay equity considerations you’ll need going forward.

There’s more to compensation than just salary. Benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans and paid leave combine to present the total picture of an employee’s compensation.

At CU, we have additional responsibilities to comply with Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act and to extend paid sick leave coverage under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act. Get to know more about how Human Resources manages this criticial function.

Compensation types

Base Building Compensation

Base building compensation is a permanent increase in salary and take-home pay for an employee. This type of compensation may be increased permanently through a promotion, reclassification, merit, equity or market increase.

Base building increases for cost of living may be provided at a flat percentage. This percentage will be determined by the Budget and Human Resources offices and will be dependent on the percentage approved by the Board of Regents. 

Non-Base Building Compensation

Non-base building compensation is a temporary increase in salary and take-home pay for an employee. This extra compensation is removed after the allotted time has expired, and/or the work has been completed. This is not taken into consideration when determining base building compensation as part of a promotion or position reclassification. Being temporary in nature, these increases typically last 12 months or less.

  • Examples of non-base building compensation include temporary pay differentials, one-time payments and shift differentials.
  • Example: An employee receives a temporary pay differential for absorbing acting/interim duties. The employee applies for and receives a promotional opportunity (related or unrelated to the acting/interim duties). The base salary is determined using the appropriate salary range recommendation for the new role. 


Employee benefits are part of the total compensation package provided to employees as part of their employment contract. These benefits vary by employee type and by employee selection. More information related to the University of Colorado’s benefits packages can be found online.

Changes to current employee compensation

Explore the ways that compensation can change throughout your career at CU System. 

Career Advancement


Market Rates

In-Range Increases

Temporary, recurring and one-time payments


Human Resources may adjust current employee salaries, job codes, and/or titles on a limited basis to ensure compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay Act.

Pay Equity

Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act establishes legal requirements and recommends best practices to ensure pay parity between employees engaged in substantially similar work. This law is intended to reduce the pay gap that currently exists based on gender.

Equal Pay Act

Compensation Differentiators

Offer Guidance

Grievance Process


Timelines for compensation reviews

Total Compensation

Total Compensation Calculators

Employee compensation encompasses salary in combination with employee benefits including health insurance, retirement plans and paid leave. This is crucial to keep in mind considering the Equal Pay Act job posting requirements that all compensation be listed. These calculators help you learn more about total compensation for staff.

See calculators