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Date: April 5, 2016

Bulletin Number: CU-533

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Subject Merit to Base Salary Awards for Non-Managerial Classified Employees of the City University of New York (CUNY)

Purpose

To provide agency instructions for processing Merit to Base Salary Awards.

Affected
Employees

CUNY employees in eligible negotiating units who meet the eligibility criteria.
Background Section 2.3.3 (19) of the CUNY Personnel Rules and Regulations provides for merit award increases to the base salaries of employee recipients. Additions to an employee’s base salary may be made based on merit, within criteria established by the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, when justification is submitted by the college presidents to either the Vice Chancellor or a designee for approval.  There are two levels of the award: $500 - $2500, or up to 4% of base, whichever is less; and a minimum of $2500 up to 7% of base salary.

Effective
Date(s)
Merit to Base Salary Awards may be submitted at the discretion of the CUNY campuses.

Eligibility Criteria Full Time employees selected by the Campus President who meet the following criteria are eligible to receive the payment. To receive $500 - $2500 increase amount (not to exceed 4% of base), employees must:
  • Have a minimum of 18 months of CUNY service. Employees who are probationary or recently transferred and are on their trial period are not eligible for a merit award.
  • Have a performance evaluation within the past 6 months in which they have been rated Very Good or better. In the event that the evaluation is more than 6 months old, a special evaluation will be required.
  • Have a satisfactory time and leave record, as certified by the campus Human Resources Director (HRD).

To receive $2500 of base salary increase (up to 7%), employees must:

  • Have a minimum of 18 months of CUNY service. Employees who are probationary or recently transferred and are on their trial period are not eligible for a merit award.
  • Have a performance evaluation within the past 6 months in which they have been rated Exceptional. In the event that the evaluation is more than 6 months old, a special evaluation will be required.
  • Have an excellent time and leave record, as certified by the campus HRD.
In addition, the following conditions will render employees ineligible for the Merit to Base Salary Awards:
  • Receipt of a promotion or merit increase within the past 12 months.
  • Pending disciplinary actions.
  • A salary increase or promotion within the last 12 months (unless promoted from a civil service list).
Agency Actions Prior to processing, the campus HRD must submit the following to CUNY Central Office for review/approval:
  • Personnel Action Form (PAF).
  • Employee employment verification review.
  • A copy of the employee’s most recent performance evaluation (within the last 6 months).
  • Letter of justification from the campus President or his/her designee, citing examples of increased duties or meritorious service.
  • Verification of acceptable Time and Leave attendance.

All information will be reviewed and PAFs must be signed/approved by the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources or designee.  A copy of the signed authorization form and PAF must be provided to OSC with the transaction.  A roster, in Excel format, including the Merit to Base Salary Award payment amount, should be provided for multiple recipients from a single campus.

To pay the Merit to Base Salary Award to eligible employees, agencies must submit a Pay Change on the Job Action Requests page using the Reason code CMI (CUNY Merit Increase).  The Pay Rate field should be populated based on the information on the approval form or roster.

If the employee has rows on the Job Data page subsequent to the row inserted above, the agency must submit a Pay Change on the Job Action Requests page using the Reason Code CRT (Chg Rate) (Pay Basis Codes HRY only) or CSL (Cor Sal) and the updated salary for each row, provided the employee remains eligible.

Automatic Retroactive Processing OSC will automatically calculate the retroactive adjustments for regular earnings and Time Entry earnings that are calculated by the system based on annual salary, such as OT at 1.5 for CUNY  (OTD) and Lost Time (LT1), resulting from payment of the Merit to Base Salary Award payment.

Agency Actions – Retroactive Processing

Reporting Retroactive Adjustments

Time Entry earnings codes that are submitted with an amount will not be adjusted automatically.  Therefore, agencies must report the adjustment amount for earnings codes such as Overtime Override (OTO) and Regular Salary Override (RGO).

Correcting an Automatic Retroactive Adjustment

When certain conditions exist in an employee’s record, the automatic retroactive adjustment may be incorrect.  Therefore, the agency is responsible for identifying employees who meet the following conditions and, if necessary, submitting the necessary adjustment.

  • If an employee had a check returned or exchanged on an AC-230 for dates on or after the effective date of the payment, the payroll system does not consider the AC-230 when calculating the automatic retroactive adjustment.
  • If earnings were previously reported using Earnings Code RGS or RGH and a date range that exceeded the number of days reported, the system will calculate the adjustment of earnings based on the number of workdays within the range.
  • Adjustments for earnings that are calculated automatically, such as OT for Annuals (OTA), will be calculated incorrectly if the dates previously reported as a single entry on the Time Entry page overlap the effective date of the payment.  The system will calculate an adjustment for all earnings reported in a single entry based on the salary in effect on the Earnings End Date.
  • For employees who had a change reported on the Job Data page since the effective date of the payment and the action resulted in an overpayment of earnings, the automatic negative retroactive adjustment may not have been processed because the overpayment was either not recoverable or was recovered using an overpayment earnings code or an AC-230.  In this case, the negative retroactive adjustment may be re-generated when the payment is processed.  OSC will turn off (not process) the automatic negative adjustment for these employees since in most cases these overpayments were either not recoverable or recovered using another method.

If an overpayment of earnings is identified after the payment is processed but before the paycheck is received by the employee, the employee must be notified of the overpayment and the adjustment that will be reported in a subsequent pay period.

Submitting an Adjustment

To process a retroactive adjustment or correct an automatic retroactive adjustment, agencies must submit the following information on the Time Entry page or the Time Entry Interface (NPAY502) using the Earnings Code AJR.

Earnings Begin Date:

The first date included in the adjustment

Earnings End Date:

The last date included in the adjustment

Earn Code:

AJR

Amount:

Amount to be adjusted

Comments:

An explanation of the adjustment


Military Stipend Leave

OSC will recalculate the military stipend amount for employees who were placed on a Paid or Unpaid Military Stipend Leave on or after the effective date of the payment as the result of the new military orders.

  • If the employee received a stipend, OSC will insert a row on the employee’s Job Data page effective the date the employee is entitled to the increase using the Action/Reason code of Pay Rate Change/MSC (Military Stipend Change) and will increase the employee’s biweekly stipend amount.  In addition, updates will be made to all subsequent rows requiring an increased biweekly stipend amount.
  • If the employee did not receive a stipend but becomes eligible for a stipend as a result of the payment, OSC will insert the following in PayServ.
    • A row on the employee’s Job Data page effective the date the employee is entitled to a stipend using the Action/Reason code of Paid Leave of Absence/MLS (Mil Stip) and the new biweekly stipend amount.
    • A row on the employee’s Job Data page for each affected subsequent row using the Action/Reason code of Pay Rate Change/MSC (Military Stipend Change) and the new biweekly stipend amount.
    • A row on the Time Entry page using the Earnings Code MSP (Military Stipend Payment) to pay for each pay period the employee is eligible.
  • Any additional adjustment that is required due to the increased biweekly stipend amount that will not be calculated automatically will be reported by OSC on the Time Entry page using the Earning Code AMS (Adjust Military Stipend).
Tax Information These monies are taxable income, will be included in the employee’s taxable gross and are subject to all employment taxes and income taxes.  Income taxes will be calculated using the employee’s current Tax Marital Status, Withholding Allowances and Additional Amount on the Update Employee Tax Data page.

Payroll Register
and Employee’s Paycheck/Advice
All retroactive adjustments will be displayed on the Payroll Register using the appropriate earnings code and the associated amount.  The description of each earnings code and the associated amount will appear on the employee’s paycheck stub or direct deposit advice unless there are more than 13 earnings codes.  For these employees, agencies should utilize Locked Query #49 to identify a complete list of all regular earnings and retroactive adjustments.

Questions Questions regarding eligibility for this payment should be directed to CUNY System Administration. Questions regarding this bulletin should be directed to the Payroll Earnings mailbox.