The salary review process

Last changed: 07 September 2021

Salary review at SLU is based on the central collective pay agreement (RALS). The purpose of salary review is to reward achievements consistent with operational targets and to provide optimal opportunities for SLU to maintain and recruit employees on a long-term basis.

An employee’s salary is set when a person is employed and salary reviews are reccurring yearly. The salary is set based on factual and activity-based criteria. The basis for salary setting is result and proficiency in relation to operational targets as well as responsibility and level of difficulty. Access and demand on the labour market for different occupational groups can also have impact on the determination of salary. Significantly changed tasks based on responsibility and level of difficulty can also impact the salary, in between revision periods.

Traditional salary negotiations or salary setting dialogue

The salary reviewing process at SLU is a yearly occurrence and is carried out in two different ways. The salary of an employee is reviewed either through traditional salary negotiations, or through a process called salary setting dialogue.

In traditional salary negotiations, the employer (represented by the heads of different departments at SLU and the Human Resource Division) and the different trade unions negotiate on a new salary for the employee. This type of salary negotiation is normally preceded by a salary dialogue, held between the employee and his/hers superior.

The aim of this salary dialogue is for the employee to get feedback on his/hers performance and contributions to SLU during the past year.  Through the salary dialogue the employee receives a justification of the assessment on which the setting of the salary is based. The dialogue should have a long-term aim and contribute to a result-oriented setting of salaries which is perceived to be explicit and fair by employees.

When all salary dialogues have been carried out, the head of department gives the proposals on new salaries to the HR-Division. When salary negotiations are to take place, the head of department together with a representative from the HR-division, negotiate with the trade unions at SLU.

The other way of the salary reviewing process is called salary setting dialogue.  According to the collective agreement (RALS) between the Swedish Agency for Government Employers and Saco-S (the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations), the salary setting dialogue is the main routine of salary review within the State for salary structures since 2010. As of 2016 it will also apply to all Swedish universities and colleges.  At SLU, this agreement today applies to members of the Saco-union and non-union members at chosen departments.

A salary setting dialogue takes place directly between those who are the most suitable for assessing - the employee and his/her superior.  This dialogue is to result in a new salary for the employee.

As well as in the salary dialogue, focus in the salary setting dialogue is on the employee’s contributions, results and achievements.  

The salary setting dialogue consists of two parts, where the first part is focused on reviewing performance, results and contributions.  At the end of the first part the superior tells the employee his/hers proposal on a new salary. Between the two parts of the dialogue both employee and superior have time to reflect upon what has been said, and if needed time to consult other people. The second part of the dialogue is usually very quick and if the employee and the superior are in agreement on new salary, a document is signed and the new salary is set.

If the employee and the superior are not able to reach an agreement, the salary setting dialogue will be reviewed by the HR-division and Saco representatives. If necessary, the salary setting dialogue will be conducted once more this time including also a representative from the HR-division and Saco. However, this does not apply to non-union members.

At SLU the salary setting dialogue has been applied at various departments for several years. After making local agreements with Saco every year, this process of salary review has been expanded. During 2015, 874 SLU employees had a salary review via a salary setting dialogue.




HR specialists
HR Unit, Division of Human Resources