General

Who’s eligible for a merit increase?

Staff covered by Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) policy:

  • In a Career or contract appointment included in salary ranges 15 – 30 hired before 1/4/16
  • On payroll in an eligible position and appointment on the date that the pay increase is paid, and
  • Performing at a level that meets expectations.

Who’s eligible for an equity increase?

Career employees, and on a case-by-case basis contract employees are eligible for consideration for an equity increase.  

What are the effective dates?

The retroactive effective date for merit increases is 7/1/16. You will receive retroactive payment by 11/1/16 for those on a monthly schedule and by 11/16/16 for those on a bi-weekly pay schedule.

Equity increases will be effective 11/1/16 if paid monthly and 10/23/16 if paid biweekly and will be available in the paycheck 12/1/16 if paid monthly and in their paycheck on 11/16/16 if paid biweekly.

Are there new requirements for Supervisors and Managers to receive merit increases?

New this year, merit increases for PPSM Supervisors and Managers are contingent on:

  1. Completion of written performance reviews for all subordinate non-represented staff in their unit by 8/31/16, confirmed by the VCs and Deans, or designees
  2. Completion of mandatory Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence prevention training by all subordinate staff (non-represented and represented) in their unit, confirmed by the VCs and Deans, or designees. (Managers can check the status of their employees training and completion progress through this link)

Are there new requirements for individual contributors to receive merit increases?

New this year, merit increases for individual contributors (non-manager/supervisor staff) are contingent on completion of mandatory Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence prevention training.

What happens if the required Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence prevention training and/or performance reviews are not completed?

If completion of the required training and/or performance reviews does not occur, merit increases will be delayed and will not be retroactive. The merit increase will be effective the 1st of the month following completion of the requirement(s).

Why is the salary program happening later than the start of the fiscal year?

Merit increases will be effective at the beginning of the fiscal year. In the case of equity increases, we want to give managers time to work with our Central HR compensation team to identify the highest priority equity needs.

I’ve been working at Berkeley for several years and never had a formal performance evaluation. What is HR doing to hold managers accountable? What are you doing to ensure that every staff member receives a formal evaluation?

Managers should provide formal evaluations to their employees. This year managers must complete written performance reviews for all subordinate non-represented staff in their unit by 8/31/16, confirmed by the VCs and Deans, or designees.  Merit increases that are delayed will not be retroactive and will be effective the 1st of the month following completion of the required training and/or performance reviews. 

Why is Berkeley doing something different than other campuses?

Berkeley is administering a 3% non-represented salary program. UCOP issued high-level guidelines for administering non-represented salary increases, which are the same across all UC campuses. These guidelines include a requirement for merit-based pay. The guidelines give chancellors flexibility to develop a plan that is suited to the economic conditions and operational needs on each campus while taking into account performance, market and equity considerations at each individual campus. We are giving managers the flexibility to consider both merit and equity (internal and external). We are also funding $2M for performance based bonuses through the Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) program. We are committed to performance based pay and are using both the salary program and the STAR program to that end. However, we also want to be mindful of the fact that we also have external and internal equity issues to address.

When and how will the decisions be communicated to staff?

Managers should inform their staff about their salary increases by the end of October.  Employees paid monthly will see the increase in their paycheck on 11/1/16 and those on a bi-weekly schedule will see the merit increase in their 11/16/16 paycheck. Equity increases, if provided, will be in their paycheck 12/1/16 if paid monthly and in their paycheck on 11/16/16 if paid biweekly.  

Does this mean that there will be some staff who won’t be receiving any increase? How is the campus addressing increases in cost of living?

Staff whose performance does not meet expectations (i.e. a rating of 1 or 2) will not receive an increase. Managers are considering both one-time bonuses and base salary increases. Performance, external, and internal equity will drive those decisions. Percentages will vary.   Berkeley provides merit increases and salary adjustments which reflect the increased value of the employee’s contributions to the organization rather than cost of living increases. 

Why are we only using part of the 3% pool for equity increases?

We want to be able to address both merit and equity. The funding is admittedly limited, but we have done the best we can within the constraints of UCOP’s guidelines. 

How is this being funded?

The funding for this program comes from campus budgets. We receive no additional funding from UCOP to support any of these increases. Units were advised as they were planning for their FY17 budgets to include 3% for an anticipated non-represented salary program. 

What does 2% and 1% really mean?

These are annual spending caps, so all managers are required to administer merit increases up to a maximum of 2% and they are receiving information about how much that is. Similarly, they are asked to consider equity increases up to an annual cap of 1%.

Isn’t 1 or 2% merely a token amount?

A 3% salary program is consistent with other UC salary programs this year. It is a small pool that needs to be administered carefully if we are to address both merit and equity. We are also funding one-time bonuses to support a performance based approach. The reasons include:

  • We know we have top performing staff who we want to reward and recognize with the right compensation. 
  • We know overall that we lag the market by around 10%. 
  • We know we may have some internal equity issues.

Collectively, the needs are beyond what we could possibly fund. We’re doing what we can this year. It isn’t something we think we can resolve in one year but we feel we’re taking a step in the right direction.

Equity Program

Must the department give equity increases to all employees on the list provided by Central Human Resources?

The names on the list are recommendations for consideration. The manager decides who will get an increase and the amount of the increase. This list is based upon analysis of relatively low salaries campus-wide. This list does not take into account such factors as:

  • Performance
  • Special skills and expertise
  • Recent salary increases received, or
  • Actual salary compression within the department for the managers and supervisors.

Based upon these factors, departments may:

  1. Modify the recommended percentage equity increase
  2. Indicate whether the employee should not receive an equity increase, and/or
  3. Add employees to the list for a special equity increase.

What are the eligibility criteria for adding employees to the list for an equity increase?

  • The employee must be appointed to a career, partial-year career, or a contract appointment to be eligible for the equity program.
  • The employee should generally have an annual salary BELOW the midpoint of the salary range (below a compa ratio of 100).
  • The employee must have a documented performance rating of “3—Meets Expectations” or higher.
  • The employee must not have received an equity increase greater than or equal to 2% since January 4, 2016.

Who is ineligible to be added to the equity program list?

See the FAQs for the merit salary program. The same criteria apply to the equity program. In addition, if the individual received an equity increase of 2% or more after 1/4/16, they are ineligible. Also, the current annual salary is below the midpoint of the salary range. The equity program is specially designed to address employees with relatively low pay on campus.

I understand that under PPSM policy, an employee’s total salary increase in a single fiscal year shall not exceed 25% of the employee’s base salary. Will this employee be eligible to receive any further salary adjustment?

Full Question: An employee in my department has already received a 24% salary increase in 2015. I understand that under PPSM policy, an employee’s total salary increase in a single fiscal year (including reclassification, promotion, and equity adjustments) shall not exceed 25% of the employee’s base salary. Will this employee be eligible to receive any further salary adjustment?

No, that employee would not be eligible for an equity increase in FY 2016-2017. Since the equity increase is effective November 1, 2016, it will be in the same fiscal year.

The equity program has been communicated as a 1% base salary increase, am I getting a 1% increase?

The amount of the increase is determined by the manager and varies depending on relative compensation differences and other performance or proficiency factors. The 1% refers to the total amount of funds available in the pool.

Can my department add names that the Compensation unit may have missed?

The manager has the flexibility to add names for Compensation to review. Yes, as long as those added employees meet the eligibility requirements listed above, including current salaries not above the midpoint in their salary range.

May we add employees to the equity list if those additions then total more than 1% of the total base salaries for non-represented employees?

Full Question: The list of employees submitted and their recommended increases total 1% of the department’s total base salaries for non-represented employees. We have other employees paid relatively low in the range. May we add employees to the equity list if those additions then total more than 1% of the total base salaries for non-represented employees?

The department may not exceed the 1% for the equity program without prior approval of the Vice Chancellor or Dean. They may decide to move equity allocations between departments in their unit so as not to exceed 1% overall. The equity program should not exceed the 1% for any organization.  

When will HR be sending the rosters?

The equity rosters will be available for Equity Administrators the week of October 4th.

Who is ultimately responsible for making these decisions? Are we going to have to wait on HR approval? Or can we inform employees as soon as we've made our decisions?

The Compensation Unit should be involved in the review of the equity increase however the manager makes the decision.

What if I don't use my 1% equity pool because my department has been making equity adjustments on a regular basis? Is that money I get to keep in my budget?

The equity funds may be applied later in the year as needs arise and it may also be moved to other departments within the same unit that have equity priorities. The equity funds may not be used for merit increases.

Can I use merit or equity funds to increase the size of one-time performance bonuses?

Merit or equity funds may not be used to increase the size of one-time performance bonuses.

If an employee on the equity roster has a recommended equity increase of 10%, may we give that employee a 0% merit increase, since that employee is going to receive a more sizable increase?

No. The equity increase recommendation is in addition to the merit program, not to replace it. The equity program increase should not replace the merit program, since the employee has already been identified as paid low relative to other employees on campus in the same job title.

If the department wishes to delete an employee from the equity list, what sort of documentation is necessary?

The equity roster has a drop-down choice citing the following reasons for deletion of an employee from the equity list: “Performance; Special Skill/Expertise; Actual Salary Compression; Recent Salary Increase; Other.” The department must select one of those choices. The Compensation Unit may contact the department to obtain more detail regarding the proposed deletion.

If the department wishes to add an employee to the equity list, what sort of documentation is necessary?

The equity “additions” roster has a drop-down choice citing the following reasons for addition of an employee to the equity list: “Low Salary; Special Skills/Expertise; Actual Salary Compression; Performance; Other.” The department must select one of those choices. Central Human Resources may contact the department to obtain more detail regarding the proposed addition.

If the department wishes to modify the percentage given for an equity increase, what sort of documentation is necessary?

The roster has a drop-down choice citing the following reasons: “Low Salary; Special Skills/Expertise; Actual Salary Compression; Performance; Other.” One of the choices should be selected to indicate why an equity increase is being modified. Central Human Resources may contact the department to obtain more detail regarding the proposed modification.

Merit Program

Who is eligible to participate in the 2016-17 PPSM Merit Salary Increase Program?

Staff covered by Personnel Policies for Staff members (PPSM) policy:

  • In a Career or contract appointment included in salary ranges 15 – 30 hired before 1/4/16
  • On payroll in an eligible position and appointment on the date that the pay increase is paid, and
  • Performing at a level that meets expectations.

Contract appointments are handled on a case by case basis.

Who is not eligible for consideration for the merit salary increase?

  • New hires and rehires on or after 1/4/16
  • Rehired Retirees
  • Employees who have salaries exceeding the salary range maximum for their position 

How are performance ratings a factor in the salary increase amount?

The matrix below is an example of how the employee’s performance rating and the quartile the employee resides in the salary range (market lag) may be considered. Individual managers may administer the program differently.  

Compa-Ratio Image

How do I explain why an employee with a 4 rating in the 4th quartile has a salary increase range of 1.0-1.5% and another employee with a 3 rating in the 1st quartile has a higher increase range of 2.0-2.5%?

Berkeley’s salary ranges are market priced to the Bay Area. A job is considered paid at market when the compa-ratio is close to 100%. An employee in the 4th quartile (118% compa-ratio or higher) is well-paid for their job while an employee in the 1st quartile (65-83%) is at the low end of the market range for their position. The employee in the 1st quartile should be receiving larger increases if they are performing satisfactorily or better to bring them closer to market. The employee in the 4th quartile should receive a smaller increase because they are already well-paid for their job. If a significant stretch goal was achieved the employee could be considered for a one-time performance bonus.

The guidelines state that merit increases for Supervisors/Managers are contingent on completion of written reviews for all subordinate non-represented staff confirmed by their manager. At what managerial level will the increase be affected?

​If you are a supervisor/manager, you must complete performance reviews for each of your non-represented direct reports to be eligible for a merit increase. If any of these required performance reviews are incomplete as of 8/31/16, your merit increase will be delayed until the 1st of the month following completion of the missing review(s).

This delay affects only your merit. Merits for your own manager and for your subordinate managers are not affected (assuming they have each completed all of their own required reviews).

Will the Berkeley campus salary ranges be adjusted?

Berkeley’s salary ranges will be adjusted by 2% effective July 1, 2016.

Who is considered a “Career” employee?

PPSM policy covered employees with an appointment type 2 (Career) and appointment type 7 (Partial-Year Career) are considered a “career” employee.

An employee is promoted or reclassified from a represented position into a non-represented PPSM position , and received a promotional/reclassification salary increase. Is this employee still eligible to participate in this 2016-17 salary program?

Full Question: An employee is promoted or reclassified from a represented position (covered by policies contained in the bargaining unit contract) into a non-represented PPSM position on or after January 4, 2016, and received a promotional/reclassification salary increase. Is this employee still eligible to participate in this 2016-17 salary program?

No, eligibility is limited to non-represented, career staff covered by PPSM before January 4, 2016.

Are Contract (appointment type 1) employees eligible for a salary increase?

It depends. Some contracts stipulate that the employee receive the same percentage increase as the campus control figure. Departments should review all contracts to determine if a salary adjustment will need to be provided.

Should employees who have separated from the University on or after the effective date of the program, but before the payout date, receive the increase?

No. Based on past practices and operational considerations, any separated or terminated employee is ineligible for a salary increase. They must be actively employed on the payout date to receive the increase.

An employee in my department has already received a 24% salary increase this fiscal year. Will this employee be eligible to receive any further salary adjustment?

Full Question: An employee in my department has already received a 24% salary increase this fiscal year.  I understand that under PPSM policy, an employee's total salary increase in a single fiscal year (including merit, reclassification, promotion, and equity adjustments) shall not exceed 25% of the employee's base salary (as of June 30, 2016, in this situation) unless an exception is granted by the Chancellor.  Will this employee be eligible to receive any further salary adjustment?

When the updated PPSM Policy 30 was issued in 201, it stipulated that system-wide salary program salary increases are now excluded from the 25% calculation.  Hence, no need to gain additional approval for a merit salary increase that takes the current fiscal year total increase percentage over 25%.

If an employee transferred from another UC location after January 4, 2016 to our campus, are they eligible to receive a merit increase?

It depends.  Assuming that the entire eligibility criterion is met, then, yes, the employee is eligible.  However, in the automated merit roster the employee will appear to be ineligible since they did not have a Career appointment at UC Berkeley before January 4th (HIRE).  Please send the employee’s name and the name of the previous UC location to Compensation Operations Manager Scott Dinkelspiel (scottd3@berkeley.edu) for validation that the employee did not receive a salary increase when moving to the Berkeley campus.  Departments will be notified regarding the update process once the eligibility validation has been completed.

Is a career employee who goes below .50 FTE still eligible?

No. Once a career employee drops below a .50 FTE, appointment status changes to Limited.

How does the merit salary increase affect an administrative stipend?

If the stipend was established as a percentage of base pay, the stipend should increase when the base salary increases.  If the stipend was established as a flat dollar amount, the stipend amount should not change. 

Are employees on leave status eligible?

Yes, assuming they meet all other eligibility criteria.  Merit increases for employees on leave can be processed by the web-based application.

An employee recently transferred to my department. With the performance evaluation period being July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, how do I conduct a performance evaluation?

The current department will need to contact the old department for an assessment of the employees’ performance for the time period the employee was in the old department in order to determine eligibility.  If no one is available to provide that review, the current evaluation should state the period of time being used by the current supervisor.

How do we treat an employee who does not have a performance evaluation?

PPSM requires that all non-represented staff have an annual performance evaluation.  Employees who do not have a written, documented performance evaluation during the past twelve months (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016) will be deemed to be “3 – ME – Meets Expectations” and are eligible to receive a salary increase.

An employee works 50% time in my department and 50% time in another department. How will this employee’s increase be handled?

The employee will appear on two rosters – your department roster and the roster in the other department.  Each 50% appointment will be handled separately.

Performance Bonus Program

When should a manager consider giving a one-time performance-based bonus?

Managers are encouraged to consider using one-time bonuses for top performance achievements at any time during the year. However, Achievement Awards typically occur toward the end of the fiscal year. In fy17, we have set aside $2 million to be allocated to campus units for use on Spot and Achievement Awards, and to be distributed within the unit at the discretion of the unit head. Individual award decisions are at the discretion of unit managers, and are handled through the Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) program which continues to provide for $500 Spot Awards and Achievement Awards from $2000 up to $10,000 (or 10% of the annual base whichever is lower). Managers have the flexibility to award substantial one-time bonuses and consider a lower base adjustment, particularly in situations where the achievement of a significant stretch goal warrants a higher level of reward than can be provided with a base salary adjustment. The STAR award review process varies by unit. This program supports our commitment to developing and rewarding a high performance culture.

What is the process for nominating an employee for a performance-based award?

Managers who nominate an employee for an Achievement Award should follow their unit’s established process for review, approval and pay-out of the award.

How are performance-based awards funded?

Performance-based awards via the STAR program are one-time bonuses covered by centrally allocated funding.

Are represented staff eligible?

The Teamsters are eligible for the STAR program. Other represented staff are not eligible.