FY21 Staff Merit Increase Program

Penn’s merit increase program recognizes and rewards the contributions of our faculty and staff. Each year, the University establishes a salary increase pool based on market trends and economic conditions. Schools and centers use this pool to provide salary increases as merited by performance. Performance appraisals must be completed for all eligible staff to support the merit increases.

Workday training for the Staff Merit Increase program begins on April 24 and a KnowledgeLink notification indicating that the Workday Staff Merit Training has been assigned will be sent to Merit Planners responsible for proposing merit increases for eligible staff.

On Monday, May 4, these Merit Planners will receive a Workday Inbox item, giving them the ability to enter increases for eligible staff members.   All salary increase recommendations must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22.

Eligibilty and Guidelines for Staff Merit Increases

SAS has established FY2021 salary increase guidelines in which eligibility will be based on current individual salary levels:

  • For staff whose current base salary is $70,000 or less, there will be an aggregated merit increase pool of 2.5%.  The merit increase range is zero to 3.0 percent. The 2.5% pool does not constitute an “average” raise but rather is a means of calculating the total amount of funds available to distribute to this group. 
  • Staff whose current base salary is above $70,000 will not be eligible for an increase
  • Employees external to the University hired after February 29, 2020, are not eligible for the July 2020 salary increase.  
  • Increases for all weekly and monthly employees will be effective July 1, 2020.
  • Part time lecturers, student workers, temporary workers, staff on unpaid leave of absence, staff on long-term disability, and staff in collective bargaining units are not included in this salary increase process and thus are not covered by these guidelines.
  • Staff salary increases are based on performance. A Performance and Staff Development Plan must be completed for all staff to support the merit increase awarded. The percentage increase should correlate with the performance rating. If performance is unacceptable, no increase will be awarded.


Link to KnowledgeLink Online Training

Training for staff Merit Planners opens on April 24. Merit Planners will receive an email message from Knowledge Link informing them that the training module is in their learning plans.

Workday Staff Merit Training is computer-based and on-demand. It should take approximately 40 minutes to complete. Merit Planners may take the training course as many times as they like.


  • Contact Brian Clark from SAS HR if you have questions or need assistance with the Merit Planning process.. 
  • Workday Staff Merit Training links to Supplementary Guidance for Merit in Workday that Merit Planners can use and share as needed. 
  • Merit Planners have the opportunity to schedule a session in Office Hours for Merit Planners. Soon after they reserve a 30-minute, one-to-one session on Thursdays between 10am and Noon, Workday Training Manager Lisagail Zeitlin will contact the Merit Planner to confirm the preferred time and training channel (phone, Microsoft Teams, Blue Jeans, Zoom, etc.). Go to the registration site for the schedule and to register.

Full Guidelines for Staff Merit Increase Program

Merit Increase Program Timeline

Common Workday Transactions and their Impact on Staff Merit in FY2021

Supplemental Guidance for Merit Planners