Reference Civil Service Rules, Ch. 5, 3., B.,1.: Civil Service Rules and the various bargaining agreements provide for advancement from step to step based upon the character of performance measured in accordance with the Performance Management System. Civil Service Bulletin 5.15A relates standard procedures governing the use and administration of merit increases and special merit increases.

Merit Increase eligibility is determined by certain fundamental considerations being that the employee must have civil service status, that the merit increase is justified in relation to satisfactory performance as measured by the Performance Management System, and that the employee must be below the maximum step of his or her salary range. A merit increase will not be processed absent the completion of an annual evaluation. It is important to note that a merit increase may not be granted to an employee who is on initial probation, promotional probation, probation arising from transfer or demotion, or any extension of probation.

In order to avoid misunderstandings or erroneous expectations, it is important to pay particular attention to the appropriate effective date of an employee’s merit increase. The date that an employee may be considered for a merit increase is known as the Salary Review Date.

The type of employment determines the Salary Review Date; Civil Service Bulletin 5.15A should be carefully consulted. In summary, the Salary Review Date for full-time employees is one calendar year from the date of employment; for part-time employees, the completion of 2,080 authorized position hours; for Seasonal employees, the completion of 2,080 authorized position hours; for Intermittent employees, the completion of 3,120 hours actually worked. In cases of transfer or demotion, the Salary Review Date will remain the same, except in cases where the employee is placed on probation and the established Salary Review Date falls during the probationary period; in such a case, the Salary Review Date is established on the day following the End of Probation Date. The Salary Review Date is also impacted by employment situations. Disciplinary suspension and unpaid leaves when the employee is not in pay status will advance a new or established Salary Review Date. Unpaid absences that do not advance the Salary Review Date are Military Leave, Voluntary Cost Savings Leave, and Family Medical Leave.

Effective Dates for MSEA B.U.’s/Confidentials - if Salary Review Date falls between the first day of the pay week through Wednesday, the merit increase is effective on the first day of the pay week in which the Salary Review Date falls. Otherwise, the merit increase is effective on the first day of the following pay week. AFSCME/MSTA - the merit increase is effective on the first day of the pay week following the Salary Review Date.

Special Merit Increases are a second step increase, in addition to a regular step increase, which is based upon truly exceptional performance or extraordinary accomplishments. To ensure equitable consideration, departments and agencies must develop a mechanism to process and evaluate requests. A Special Merit Increase may be effective concurrent with the Salary Review Date, or any other date during the rating period. Approval of Special Merit Increases rests with the Director, Bureau of Human Resources.  Requests must be processed through departmental or agency human resource representatives.