Campus details merit increase plans for staff

By Jeff Holeman, Public Affairs

06 September 2001 | Under a proposal approved last week by Chancellor Berdahl’s cabinet, all non-represented staff receiving a satisfactory rating or above in this year’s performance evaluations will receive a salary increase equal to the merit pool control figure.

In past years, individual merit increases were tied more closely to performance evaluation ratings, with performance determining the percentage increase at, above, or below the control figure for available funding. This year’s limited pool of funds makes merit pay distinctions difficult, leading to the proposal that all staff rated satisfactorily or above receive the same merit increase.

“The downturn in the California economy had a major impact on this year’s state budget,” said Berdahl. “The allocation for university salaries was disappointing, and the salary package is not what we wanted it to be to keep us competitive with the area employment market.”

The state budget adopted by the legislature and signed in July by Gov. Gray Davis provided only a 2 percent budget increase for UC salaries and benefits. Once benefits plans are negotiated, the remaining funds will be distributed to the campuses. At press time, the percentage of the merit increase was undecided.

“While we are appreciative of the budget increases the governor and legislature provided us, we are concerned that the budget marked a reversal of the state partnership with UC,” said Berdahl. That agreement calls for a 4 percent annual increase for salaries through 2002-2003. “Restoring the partnership funds,” he said, “will be a high priority for myself and other UC chancellors.”

This year’s proposed merit plan, which is under review by campus staff through Sept. 27, affects non-represented staff only. Represented employees will receive details of their merit and pay plans after they are negotiated in the collective bargaining process. Merit increase plans for faculty, which also will equal no more than 2 percent, are still being developed.

“The salary outlook is particularly painful for staff,” Berdahl said, “but we are going to continue to work on making changes we can effect for staff — looking at ways to improve working conditions, ease the staff workload, rethink the job classification system, and improve compensation levels in the long term.”

Many of the campus’s long-term plans were laid out in a report to Berdahl by the Compensation Advisory Committee, a group appointed last year to recommend sweeping changes to the campus’s compensation and classification system. That group called for a multi-year plan to raise staff salaries to the market level and for a complete redesign of the classification system.

Berdahl endorsed the committee’s recommendations — found online at — and is seeking funding sources to implement the salary increases. An advisory group, led by Vice Chancellor for Research Beth Burnside, will work on implementation.

To be eligible for this year’s salary increases, non-represented staff must have been hired by July 1, 2001. Salary increases take effect Oct. 1, and will be reflected in November paychecks. Details on the salary plan are available from departmental human resources officers.

Merit increase plan
• All non-represented staff whose performance is rated “satisfactory” or higher will receive a merit increase equal to the control figure to be determined, effective Oct. 1.
• Employees must have been appointed to positions in the merit-based pay plans by July 1, 2001.
• Supervisors should complete evaluations and discuss them with staff — as well as have them signed by the appropriate parties — and submit them to Human Resources by Sept. 27.
• Compensation changes for employees covered by collective bargaining are subject to the negotiation process. Communications will be sent out when the contracts are resolved.
• The salary grade structure for MSP and PSS positions will be adjusted by 2 percent effective Oct. 1. Employee salaries, after the merit process, must not fall below the new range minimum. This may necessitate providing an increase to a Not Satisfactory employee to bring that employee within the range if the employee was at or near the bottom of the old salary range.
• The salary range minimum for the Student Assistant I position will be adjusted to $6.75 per hour, effective Oct. 1.
• E-mail Beth Luke, acting director of human resources, at with questions or comments about the salary plan.


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