Knowledge Bank: Merit Increase

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A brief overview of the process to complete the action.

The University of California, Office of the President determines if a merit program will be implemented on an annual basis.


  • Reward behaviors that support the mission of the organization.
  • Generate commitment to the attainment of superior performance results.
  • Empower employees to take ownership of results.


Merit eligibility varies depending upon the corresponding staff policy or collective bargaining agreement but is typically restricted to career/contract, non-probationary employees whose last performance evaluation on file is at least "Meets Expectations."


Merit increases are applied to the base pay of eligible employees in career/contract positions based upon their job performance. The amount of the increase depends on the individual's performance in relation to current pay and assigned responsibilities as well as performance relative to other members of the review unit and budget control. Typically, merit programs provide higher merit increases for employees who perform above expectations; however, no individual merit increase may result in the employee's final salary exceeding the range maximum, and no individual's salary should fall below the range minimum.

Relevant UC and local policies or collective bargaining agreements.

Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM)

Collective Bargaining Agreements