Case Study: University of Auckland

Strategic Pay were proud to work with the University of Auckland to deliver a modern, robust and fair remuneration and reward framework that will competitively pay their people in a fiscally responsible way. 

Download a copy of the case study HERE>




This was a key project to put in place the necessary infrastructure to ensure the University of Auckland was paying their professional staff correctly and in line with the external market. 

The principle objective of this project was to ensure the internal relativities of all Senior Leadership and Professional Staff positions are equitable and have an external link to their market value. 


The project team at the University of Auckland, led by Stephen Davies (Associate Director HR Advisory) and Tim Mycock (Remuneration and Rewards Manager), decided upon Strategic Pay as a business partner. Strategic Pay’s Michelle Gapes led a team of consultants including Christine WhelanCraig Cameron and Lu Wang

This long-awaited project equipped the University with a modern, robust, and fair remuneration and reward framework that will competitively pay their people in a fiscally responsible way. 

The University decided upon a market-leading career banding system – ‘JobWise®’ – for all Professional Staff positions and the use of Strategic Pay bands which are linked to the external market.

Strategic Pay has the largest remuneration database and this rich data source gives our clients access to comparative information against which to effectively benchmark their remuneration and rewards packages.

There were almost 3,200 professional employees and 1,242 unique roles identified in this project. All 1,242 unique roles were then to be job evaluated and extensive analysis undertaken to match the remuneration with the University’s market position – one of the largest remuneration and job evaluation projects in New Zealand.

Tim Mycock has said “the work could not have been done without JobWise® – this tool is the new way of doing job evaluation and makes life so much easier. JobWise® sliced through the complexity, providing a simple and easy solution that was both time and cost efficient. No longer does job evaluation seem like a foreign language. This is a meaningful tool that you can easily communicate to executives, managers, unions, staff and they understand it.”

The approach we undertook at the University, and what we promote as best practice, was to job evaluate a proportion of benchmark roles and then ‘map’ the remaining roles using JobWise®. The 1,242 jobs to evaluate then became 274, drastically cutting the timeframe and costs.

University of Auckland has also been bold, and effectively a leader in the sector, by deciding to be fully transparent about pay bands. This required excellent change and communication planning, through to gallery walks, workshops, publishing job matrices, a dedicated intranet page and issuing over 10,000 letters.

This has been positively received by employees and no staff member rejected the offer to transition onto the terms and conditions associated with the new remuneration framework.

The Unions were engaged early in the process and trained in the Strategic Pay SP10 methodology along with a cross-section of managers and HR staff. These staff then formed, along with the University’s Remuneration Team and Strategic Pay Consultants, a Job Evaluation Committee tasked with evaluating all the benchmark positions and handling any appeals.


The University of Auckland has seen many benefits as a result. The project has results in an enhanced remuneration framework that will reward professional staff fairly and will help drive exceptional performance in a fiscally sustainable way. It has also provided certainty when the University is undertaking recruitment because the jobs are linked to the external market.

It is always important in any project such as this to have robust quality assurance and acceptance, and this was achieved through consultation with managers and HR, and with union involvement. The new remuneration framework has been accepted by the Union’s during Collective Bargaining negotiations, which resulted in a three-year agreement, a first for any NZ University.

Crucial to the success of the project were high levels of stakeholder engagement with all parts of the University – Union, Human Resources, Executive Leadership, Managers and Employees. 

The University has a sound approach to take them into the future of work. A special thanks to the Project Sponsor, Andrew Phipps, Director HR for never giving up on his vision for success.

Be The First To Know

Get the latest remuneration insights delivered straight to your inbox

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Be the first to access our special 30th Anniversary Whitepaper

Enter your email below and we'll email you your copy of Strategic Pay's 30th Anniversary Whitepaper as soon as it becomes available.

Thank you, we'll email you your copy of our 30th Anniversary Whitepaper as soon as it becomes available.