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Merit Guidelines

Merit Increases


If staff merit increases are approved for 9/1, each department head should begin preliminary planning immediately by determining which staff employees will be recommended for merit increases. However, this planning information and any proposed percentages or amounts should be discussed only on a business necessity basis until the budget process is completed. Do not make oral or written pay increase commitments to any employee.

  • Merit Process Timeline for FY21 (09/01/2020 - 08/31/2021)
  • May 1
    Performance Assessments due to Human Resources
  • September 1
    Merit Awarded

Additional Information

What are the dollar or percentage limits on individual merit increases?

The merit pool is calculated using base-funded filled positions only by employees who are eligible. Vacant positions will not be included in the merit pool calculations. The amount and/or percentage available to each budget authority will depend on the amount of the total merit pool. This information will be disseminated to the budget authorities along with full instructions outlining the application of merit following the confirmation of merit eligibility by Human Resources.

What is Meritorious Performance?

Meritorious performance is service that is consistently above standard in terms of quality, efficiency, dependability, productivity, and/or value to the employing department or the university. The university has many good employees, but not every employee’s performance is meritorious.

Which employees are eligible to receive 9/1 merit increases?

To be eligible for a 9/1 merit increase, the employee must meet the following criteria:

  •  The employee must be in a “regular, benefits-eligible” base funded position for a minimum continuous period of at least 12 months. This means the employee must be in a position requiring at least 20 hours of work per week (50% FTE).

  • The employee must be in a “non-benefits-eligible” position or a current funded (non-base funded) position for a continuous period of at least 12 months. This means the employee must be in a position requiring less than 20 hours of work per week (<50% FTE). Departments must fund internally the merit (for those eligible) for non-base funded employees and non-benefits eligible employees;


  • The employee must not be in the probationary period as of 09/01/21;
  • The employee has not received a reclassification/promotion in the last 12 months nor scheduled for one on 09/01/2022; 
  • The employee was hired prior to 03/01/2021.


  • Supervisors who do not complete a performance assessment and submit to HR for all direct reports and employees under their supervision by May 1, 2022, will not be eligible for merit pay.  To be complete, performance assessments must have the signature of the employee and the immediate supervisor.
  • The employee must not currently be on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), or have had disciplinary action taken against the employee (for period 09/01/2020 - 08/31/2021) on file in Human Resources.

Note: Students working in positions that require student status as a condition of employment are not eligible for staff merit increases.

Printable Version


  • HR Compensation

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    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 167
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

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