The following outlines the type and timing of salary increases that may be granted to employees.
I. Trust Fund Employees
Merit Salary Increases: Trust Fund employees paid under the Institution Schedule (IS) may
receive merit salary increases for meritorious performance. Merit salary increases are also
known as "salary increases," "step increases," or "MSI's."
A single merit salary increase is an advancement to the next step within the employee's grade
level. A double merit salary increase advances the employee two steps within his/her grade
level. Step ten is the top of the grade for employees under the IS system.
Eligibility for a single or double step merit salary increase is not based on length of time an
employee is at a particular grade level. As part of the performance appraisal and salary review
process, supervisors are responsible for continually evaluating the performance of employees
under their supervision and, as part of that evaluation, determining whether or not an
should be granted a merit salary increase based on a performance rating of "Highly Successful"
Supervisors may recommend an employee for a merit salary increase at any time, subject to the
restriction that an employee can be granted increases totaling only two steps of his/her grade
in a 12 month period. Supervisors generally give consideration to granting such an increase
at the time of the employee's annual performance review. Supervisors may recommend a one
step merit salary increase for employees with a fully successful or higher performance rating.
Consideration for a double step merit salary increase is appropriate only when an employee's
performance has resulted in a performance rating of record of "Outstanding."
II. Federal Employees
Federal employees paid under the General Schedule (GS) and former PMRS (GM) employees
may receive within grade increases if they have received a fully successful or higher
performance rating. A within grade increase is an advancement to the next step within the
employee's grade level. Within grade increases are also known as "step increases," "salary
increases," "step raises," or "WGI's."
A within grade increase can be granted only if an employee has performed his/her job at an
"acceptable level of competence" for a specified period of time at the previous step. This
means that the employee's performance rating of record must be fully successful or higher.
The period of time is one year for those who are advancing to steps two, three, or four of
grade level; two years for those advancing to steps five, six, or seven; three years for those
advancing to steps eight, nine, or ten. Step ten is the top of the grade for employees under
the GS system.
Wage Grade (WG), Wage Leader (WL) and Wage Supervisors (WS) employee may also
receive within grade increases. The same criteria mentioned in the preceding paragraphs
apply to WG and WL employees with only one exception. The exception is the waiting period to
advance to the next step. Full-time WG and WL employees may advance to the second step after 26
weeks; advance to the third step after 78 weeks; and advance to the fourth step after 104
and advance to the fifth step after 104 weeks. Full-time WS employees advance to the
second step after 52 weeks; advance to the third step after 52 weeks of satisfactory performance;
advance to the fourth step after 104 weeks; and advance to the fifth step after 104 weeks. Step five
is the top of the grade for employees under the WG, WL and WS system.
Quality Increases: Federal (GS) employees and employees formerly under PMRS (GM)
may receive quality increases. Temporary GS employees and Wage grade (WG) are not eligible
to receive quality step increases. A quality increase is an additional within grade increase which
indefinitely raises an employee's pay rate. Only GS and GM employees who are not at the
top step of their grade are eligible to receive a quality step increase, and only after serving a
minimum of twelve months in a Federal civil service position.
Consideration for this type of recognition is appropriate only when an employee's performance
has resulted in a performance rating of record of "Outstanding." It is suggested that a determination
to grant a quality step increase be made as soon as practicable after a rating of record is assigned.
Work must have been sustained at the "outstanding" level for a sufficient time to be considered
characteristic of the individual's performance and be expected to continue. As a general rule, a quality step increase
is not appropriate unless the employee is expected to remain in the same or similar position for at
least 60 to 90 days.
A quality step increase may not be granted to an employee who has received another quality
step increase within the preceding 52 consecutive calendar weeks. A quality step increase does not affect
the waiting period required for a regular within grade increase, but if it puts the employee into the forth or seventh step rate of the grade level, the waiting period will be extended as required by the regulations governing within grade increases.
Note: Salary increases are never made retroactive unless an administrative error has been
made in entering or processing the action request by the Human Resources Department.
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