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July 27, 2017

Staff Matters

Salary Pool FAQs Answered

In this column, the Office of Human Resources addresses pay increases, part of the annual University budget highlighted by Chancellor Gallagher on July 24. The following questions are among the most asked by University faculty and staff. This column was created in partnership with Staff Council.

What is the difference between merit and maintenance?

Maintenance increases are based on cost-of-living adjustments and tied to satisfactory/successful performances. All University staff employees who have maintained a satisfactory/successful performance over the last fiscal year are eligible to receive a maintenance salary increase. Satisfactory/successful performances are defined as a staff employee who has fulfilled their individual responsibilities as part of their role at the University.

Merit increases are awarded based on an individual’s performance. If a staff employee has performed at or above expectations in their required responsibilities and roles on a recurring or one-time basis, they are eligible for a merit increase during the fiscal year. Merit increases are awarded in addition to maintenance increases.

If I received satisfactory/successful or above/exceeds on my performance appraisal, can I expect to receive the full percentage increase available for both maintenance and merit?

Eligible employees who have met or exceeded satisfactory/successful performance expectations will receive a maintenance increase. Additionally, these same eligible employees may be considered for a merit, market, and/or equity increase. The salary pool allocates the funding, but it is at the discretion of each responsibility center to distribute increases based on their employees’ performance or the need to make market or equity adjustments. Essentially, it is possible to receive the full percentage increase for both maintenance and merit, but it is not guaranteed.

How is the salary pool determined each year?

The University plans salary increases around the state budget, which, once passed, typically begin in the month of July. The University Planning and Budgeting Committee then approves the annual University budget, which includes a salary pool. The pool is a combination of an allocation for maintenance and for merit, market, and equity.

First, the salary pool is used to distribute pay increases in the form of maintenance funds to employees who have met or exceeded performance expectations over the last fiscal year. The remaining allocation is then distributed to responsibility center leaders for merit, market, and equity increases. All pay increases distributed to employees will be included in the September paycheck.

Who is eligible to receive an annual salary increase?

Full-time and part-time staff, full-time regular faculty and research associates, part-time tenure, tenure stream and non-tenure stream faculty are all eligible for annual salary increases. Those excluded from eligibility include union and temporary employees and single-term appointments, as well as special instances and exceptions for certain individuals. Details about eligibility and guidelines are outlined in the Annual Salary Increase Policies and Procedures Manual.

What are some instances that would affect the annual salary increase process for certain staff employees?

Annual salary increases are meant to reward staff for meritorious performance over the previous fiscal year from July 1 to June 30. Newly hired staff and staff members currently in their provisional period are not eligible for an annual salary increase if their start date is after July 1 or if they have not successfully completed their provisional period by July 1. Those on a leave of absence beginning on or after July 1 can receive an annual salary increase upon return to active assignment. Staff who terminate from the University after September 1 are eligible for a retroactive salary increase, however those who terminate between July 1 and August 31 are not eligible.

What is a retroactive salary increase?

Retroactive pay refers to a salary increase for an eligible University employee for their performance in the fiscal year. Retroactive salary increases are based on the effective date of the annual salary increase, not the processed date.

Annual increases are processed in the September paycheck, retroactive to July 1. Exceptions include those individuals who are in a provisional period, performance improvement plan (PIP), on an unpaid leave of absence between July 1 and September 14 and staff on an assignment of less than 12 months. More information on limited exceptions and retroactive pay guidelines are available in the Annual Salary Increase Policies and Procedures Manual.

How will faculty and staff be notified of potential salary increases?

Faculty and staff employees will receive communication from their responsibility center administration detailing salary increases. The communication should explain the consideration and basis for an increase, which are dependent upon satisfactory/successful (and better) performance over the past year. Additionally, responsibility centers should detail the procedure for employees to appeal salary increase decisions. Communications are typically sent to faculty and staff employees in September.


For more information, visit the Staff Salary Administration and Job Classifications section of the Office of Human Resources’ website for a variety of resources for understanding salary administration.

Additional questions about pay increases and the annual salary pool can be addressed to the employees’ responsibility center administration or the Employee and Labor Relations Department in the Office of Human Resources.

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