Did You Know? – Merit 2021

Written by Darcy Hryn-Bird

Well, it is the time of year again, to talk about merit.   You may or may not know that merit changed significantly in 2021.  Here is an update of those changes:

1. Eligibility – to be eligible for merit there are two criteria that need to be met:

a. You are an ASPA member.

b. That you have been employed since November 1 of the current fiscal year.

We have seen some of the documents that the employer has sent out recently and it appears that in a few cases their documents have not been updated or the employer is adding criteria that is not referenced or inferred in the Collective Agreement.  If you have been advised that you are not eligible for Merit, we encourage you to find out the reason why and then reach out to ASPA so we may have the appropriate follow up conversations.

2. Process – this remains relatively unchanged from years past.   

Each unit/department/college will advise their members on how the merit process will function in their area.  Members should look for an email from their people leader(s) or reach out to other ASPA members in their unit for the specifics of the process in their unit.  This tends to be unit specific and is different across campus.  Often, however, it is the member who makes a submission to their supervisor with the reasons why they should receive merit.  All merit recommendations need to be sent to People and Resources by the college or unit by June 15th.   Members will be notified in July whether or not they received merit, and if they did not, they should be provided the reason why not.

The employer has complete discretion to determine who will receive merit.  The employer has provided members with a document, Guidelines for Merit Bonuses that outlines their vision of what would be seen as meritorious and roughly identifies a range of monies the member might anticipate receiving should they receive merit. 

Members who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the merit process can make a request to the Merit Audit Review Committee as per Article 9.6.4 to have a systemic review of the merit process.  Requests for review by either the member or manager would need to be forwarded to People and Resources (compensation_inquiries@usask.ca) by October 15. 

3. Amount – the actual amount that someone can receive for merit has changed. 

Merit is now only provided as a lump sum.  The employer is suggesting that the minimum amount of merit a member can receive is $1000.  The maximum amount a member is eligible to receive is 8% of their salary.  The total merit pool is 1% of ASPA’s total annual membership salary from the previous fiscal year and must all be distributed.  The employer is also stating in their documentation that the overall percentage of ASPA members who could receive merit will fall between 25% and 50%. 

If you have any questions about merit or anything in the Collective Agreement, please do not hesitate to reach out to either the office at aspa@aspasask.ca or our Member Services Officer, Glenn Billingsley, at glenn@aspasask.ca

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