Budgetary funding for increases may be designated by the Kansas Legislature, Kansas Board of Regents, or University Administration. Allocations may be designated as a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) and/or Merit. The allocation percentage or amounts, as well as effective dates, may vary from year to year and there may be times when no increases are available. COLA and merit allocations are base pay increases. There may be variations to dates, amounts, and processes for faculty and unclassified academic staff.
This page addresses procedures for staff which are defined as Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) and University Support Staff (USS). USS may have varied guidelines if specified in applicable Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
For the purpose of this document, a current evaluation is defined as the official KU performance evaluation from the most recently completed annual evaluation period. The completed evaluation must be in the designated HRM system mytalent.ku.edu.
Increases that result from Market Studies/Competitive Pay Studies are not covered here as those increases are study based.
Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)
COLA is generally a defined percent applied evenly.
Eligibility for COLA
- USS/UPS in regular positions.
Ineligibility for COLA
- USS/UPS in temporary positions.
Merit increases are to recognize employees for their overall performance which includes professional conduct, completion of employer requirements (i.e., training, time, and absence reporting), additional or different duties assigned, special projects or related skill acquisition, etc.
During the budgetary preparation period, the University Administration with the Finance CFO will establish the amount of merit pools in proportion to base salaries associated with merit for eligible USS/UPS. The merit pool will be allocated to individual units and the unit leadership will finalize individual employee merit increases. There is no guarantee that every eligible employee will receive merit. Units may supplement salary (e.g. merit) increase pools through unit budgeted funds with approval by HRM and Finance. Additional annual guidelines may be specified in the merit allocation .
Merit Increase Allocation Process
- Overall unit increases must be within the average percentage as designated in the University’s allocation process for all funding sources.
- Merit increases cannot be awarded on an across-the-board basis.
- The merit increase must be based on the completed annual evaluation.
- Annual evaluations are to be completed within the deadlines as established by HRM, to precede budgetary recommendations for merit increases.
- The supervisor recommends the merit increase amount or percent for each subordinate to the department head who reviews and seeks approval through budgetary channels.
- The University must finalize the budget before any notifications are made to employees.
- Merit increases cannot be appealed.
- For sponsored project funded staff, the increase must coincide with the merit increase dates for other staff.
Eligibility for Merit Increases
- USS/UPS in regular positions who are not on initial probation.
- USS/UPS in regular positions with a current overall evaluation rating of meets expectations or higher.
Ineligibility for Merit Increases
- USS/UPS in regular positions with a current overall evaluation rating of unsatisfactory.
- USS/UPS suspended during the 12 months prior to the effective date of the increase.
- USS/UPS not employed in the same position as of the merit effective date when the merit allocation was determined.
- Allocations do not follow the employee when changing positions.
- Example: If the employee changes positions in July and the allocation of merit is budgeted in June and the effective date of the merit increase is in August. The employee would not receive the merit as it was budgeted to the prior position which the employee no longer holds. Employees should take this into consideration when accepting offers.
- USS/UPS in temporary positions.
Employee Notification of Increases
Units are responsible for notifying staff about their merit increases after the Office of the Provost has authorized the release of the information. If there are any questions concerning and employee’s merit increases, it is encouraged that an employee seek out the appropriate budgetary person in his/her unit department or a representative in HRM.
Longevity Bonuses-University Support Staff (USS)
If funding is available, all non-union covered grandfathered USS with a current evaluation rating of “meets expectations” or higher are eligible for an annual longevity bonus based on their State of Kansas service date. The bonus starts at $500 for 10 years of service with a $50 increase each subsequent year of service with a maximum longevity bonus of $1250. Merit increases are made to base salaries excluding longevity bonuses. Union-covered USS positions are not eligible for longevity bonuses, as the longevity amount was transitioned into the current base salary structure.
If you have questions or need additional information about staff increases, please contact HRM at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-864-4946.