Merit Guidelines

Merit Increase Guidelines for Staff Employees


To be eligible for a merit increase, the staff employee must be classified as benefits-eligible and have a current staff performance appraisal on file establishing a record of meritorious job performance.

Salary adjustments for employees on contract will be handled as specified in the contract.

Staff merit increases will be effective September 1, 2015.


In order to further our Tier One goals, merit should be concentrated on the most productive staff.  Managers should consider their staff’s performance ratings and other actions which positively impacted the university.  Therefore, only employees with a rating of “Achieved Expectations,” “Exceeds Expectations” or “Outstanding” will be eligible for merit.

The minimum merit increase is 2%. Any increase of 6% or more requires a written justification.


  • Benefits-eligible staff employee:  An employee who is hired to work at least 20 hours per week for a period of at least four and one-half months.  Excluded from this definition are students employed in positions that require student status as a condition of employment (both monthly and hourly paid students) and individuals employed in faculty (both teaching and research) positions. Teaching Fellows, Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants and Research Assistants are not considered benefits-eligible staff employees.
  • Merit increase:  A pay increase granted in recognition of an employee’s individual performance level and based upon documented performance criteria.
  • Merit increase budget:  The budget amount, determined by the administration that is authorized for merit increases during the budget preparation.

Basic Eligibility Criteria

Individuals must be continuously employed at UH/UHSA in a benefits-eligible staff position for at least one year prior to the effective date of the merit increase program.  Non-benefits eligible staff employees are not eligible to receive a merit increase and will not be calculated for merit pool purposes.

Employees who have received a 5% or greater pay adjustment within the 6 months prior to the merit effective date are not eligible to receive a merit increase and will not be calculated for merit pool purposes.

Employees must have completed the mandatory training required for state and federal compliance in accordance with SAM 02.A.11 by November 21, 2014.

Employees who are supervisors or managers must have completed ePerformance documents for all of their subordinates by March 2, 2015.

Employees with current pay rates over their respective pay range maximums are not eligible for merit pay increases.  Likewise, no merit increase will be approved that results in an employee’s new pay rate exceeding the pay range maximum.

Employees must have a current completed performance document on file in Human Resources with a rating of “Achieved Expectations,” “Exceeds Expectations” or “Outstanding.”

No merit increase will be approved if the employee is indebted to the University under MAPP 5.03.01 Employee Financial Responsibility. Any debt must be cleared by May 4, 2015.

Final merit increase guidelines for staff employees are subject to revision by Human Resources and/or the University President.


The President, Provost, Vice Presidents, Deans, Chairs, Principal Investigators or Directors may recommend merit increases for benefits-eligible staff employees consistent with these merit increase guidelines.

The Research Division will review individual recommendations for Contracts and Grants (PeopleSoft Fund Group 5) and Educational & General (PeopleSoft Fund Group 1) project accounts to ensure availability of funding that will allow pay adjustments by the sponsoring agency.  Research Division approval must be obtained before forwarding recommendations to the Division Vice President for approval.

Following approval by the Division Vice President, Human Resources will review the merit increase recommendations for compliance with merit increase guidelines, and ensure that equity across the university is preserved.

Proposed merit increases must not be communicated to staff employees until reviewed by Human Resources and all appropriate approvals have been obtained.

Questions concerning budget issues should be directed to the Budget Office or to the appropriate college or division business administrator.  Compensation related questions should be directed to the compensation section of Human Resources.