Such was the title of a series of USFA e-Letters sent at the time the merit pool was increased to 600 Career Development Increases (CDIs) in the 2010-13 Collective Agreement.
Merit has been the subject of many stormy debates at the University, both between USFA and the Employer, and within our own ranks. Some of these debates are archived on our website.
When the merit pool was increased, the Employer argued strongly for a merit-based reward system. USFA ensured that the salary review process remained a collegial process and increased its transparency.
In the last round of bargaining, the Employer stated the current salary structure was unsustainable in the current economic environment, and that the Employer was not receiving the anticipated benefits and argued to cut back the merit pool to the 2009 level. USFA changed the allocation process so that it would remain to spread the merit as far as possible.
Throughout these changes the USFA has held a steady position. If there is to be a merit pool, awards must be distributed fairly. You should ensure that your unit’s standards for special increases rewards members equitably for all types of contributions. The merit process should be as transparent as reasonably possible, and it should be a collegial process. Finally, the merit process should take into account the publication cultures in different units, and, for each individual reviewed, should take into account the individual’s assignment of duties.
As the new merit process goes into effect, we urge all those serving on salary review committees at the Department, College and University level who are evaluating the performance of their colleagues to ensure they are taking into account not only the standards that have been set in the department, but also the assigned workload of the individual colleague.