Pentagon releases flexible pay policy for Army Research Institute

By Ethan Sterenfeld / November 30, 2020 at 11:07 AM

The Defense Department has finalized a project to implement more flexible pay scales and promotion policies at the Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.

This project is similar to policies previously used at three centers of the Combat Capabilities Development Command. An announcement of the finalized project was published Nov. 27 in the Federal Register.

"The goal of the current project is to enhance the quality and professionalism of the ARI workforce through improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the human resource system," the announcement said.

Among other changes, pay banding will replace the General Schedule for the Institute's employees.

Three occupational categories, each with three to six pay bands, will replace the 15 pay grades in the GS. The pay bands correspond with a range of GS grades that employees would have likely been assigned previously.

Managers will have more power to determine employees' salaries under a pay banding system. This will make it easier to reward performance, according to the announcement.

The project will also include new appointment authorities, extended probationary periods and a sabbatical program for Institute employees. The probationary period for new employees will be extended from two to three years.

Any employee whose salary would decrease under the new policy will have their previous salary grandfathered in.

The new rules will affect approximately 113 civilian employees of the Army Research Institute, most of whom are stationed at Ft. Belvoir, VA, according to the announcement.