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Merit Program

The merit program is a process to recognize employees’ performance and contribution to UMass Chan's mission. The merit budget is set according to the university’s financial situation and the competitive market. Merit programs and the effective dates for merit pay may differ from year to year. Generally, the merit program is administered on an annual basis if budget and economic conditions permit. 

A competitive market analysis conducted by the Compensation Department is used for recommending a merit budget to senior management. Using published survey sources UMass Chan positions are compared to similar positions in the external labor market to determine external competitiveness. An evaluation of the projected merit spending for companies and other institutions throughout the U.S. and the New England region in which UMass Chan competes for talent is completed.  In addition, general economic indicators including Unemployment Rate and Consumer Price Index at both the local and national level are reviewed.

To participate in the merit program, an employee must meet the programs eligibility criteria, including having a current performance appraisal completed by their manager. During this process, Merit Program Guidelines are updated and published on the Human Resources Compensation Website. In addition, Performance Management Workshops designed to assist managers with the appraisal process are available. See the HR Learning & Development Website for more information on these workshops

Managers merit award recommendations should be based on the employee’s overall performance rating. Higher performing employees should receive larger merit increases. However, any amount of the merit award that is over the maximum of the salary grade will not be added to the employee’s base salary. Instead the amount of the award over this limit will be granted as a lump sum payment. Merit awards may only be communicated to employees after confirmation of approval is received from Human Resources.

Please Note: If the employee is a member of one of UMass Chan's unions, you will need to refer to the collective bargaining agreement for guidance.