Discretionary Merit Compensation-Classified Staff (AP-06-104)

UW-River Falls Administrative Policy
Policy ID: AP-06-104
Effective: March 1, 2012
Last Revision: August 21, 2014
Review: 3 years

Discretionary Merit Compensation -
Classified Staff
Maintained by: Human Resources
Approved by: Chancellor
Next Review Date: May 1, 2017

Printable PDF version


This policy establishes compensation guidelines for eligible classified staff members who seek Discretionary Merit Compensation as stated in the University of Wisconsin System Discretionary Merit Compensation (DMC) Criteria and Guidelines policy of June 30, 2013, the 2013-2015 Compensation Plan, and Chapter 550 of the Wisconsin Human Resources Handbook.


The UW-River Falls Chancellor issues this policy in accordance with the Administrative Policy process.
The Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance is responsible for the administration of this policy. Request an exception to this policy by writing to

Sanctions and Appeals Process

Failure to adhere to the provisions of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary action as provided under existing procedures applicable to students, faculty, and staff, and/or civil or criminal prosecution.


Permanent and project classified employees (except Crafts Workers and Crafts Worker Supervisors) who have had a satisfactory evaluation during the previous fiscal year at UW-River Falls in broadband and non-broadband pay ranges are eligible for a base pay increase, lump sum payment, or a combination of both. DMCs will generally be awarded as a base pay increase but lump sums may be requested for short-term projects or assignments in which a lump sum is more appropriate.

Except in extraordinary situations, the maximum base pay adjustments and lump sum payments granted to an employee in a fiscal year is greater than zero and up to two within-range steps.

Employees are not eligible to receive a discretionary merit compensation award for two consecutive years.

Merit Criteria:

Merit: Employee recognition for superior or meritorious performance. Merit criteria/factors which should be considered include:

  • Length or frequency of the outstanding performance;
  • Overall significance or importance of the employee's work products to the organization; and
  • Regularity with which the outstanding performance or unique contribution is demonstrated (e.g., an employee who routinely demonstrates exceptional performance and performs special projects on an ongoing basis, as compared to an employee who completes a one-time special project).

Merit-related criteria/factors which may be considered include:

  • Employee has new permanent job duties and/or responsibilities of growing importance to the agency that have been either newly assigned or were an evolution of their originally assigned functions. The new duties are of greater scope, impact and/or complexity compared to the previous functions; or
  • Employee has acquired additional competencies, which are both specialized and critical in carrying out the permanent functions of the position.

1.  Requests will be submitted utilizing the justification for DMC Award form as prescribed by the University of Wisconsin System. Employees who choose to self-nominate may complete the CSAC Justification Narrative and attach it to the required DMC Award form. Supervisors must provide supporting justification by completing the Justification Narrative section on the Justification for Discretionary Merit Compensation (DMC) Award form (OSER-DCLR-220).

2.  Supervisors of eligible classified staff will complete and/or accept requests beginning with the first Monday of August and ending on the first Tuesday of October annually. Employees may self-nominate for DMC no more than once per fiscal year within the designated period.  The "Recommended by (Supervisor)" signature must be obtained from the immediate supervisor.  If the supervisor approves the request, he/she must complete the Justification Narrative section on the Justification for Discretionary Merit Compensation (DMC) Award form to support the request.  If the supervisor denies the request, the employee may petition to the next level supervisor for review of the request.  The next level supervisor must review the request and respond to the employee, in writing, with his/her decision within seven days or by the first Tuesday of October, whichever comes first.

3.  Within seven days of receipt but not later than the first Friday in October, supervisors will forward the signed Justification for Discretionary Merit Compensation (DMC) Award forms to Human Resources for verification of eligibility. Human Resources will date stamp the form(s) and verify eligibility of the employee(s).  Human Resources will notify the employee and supervisor if ineligible.  Requests for eligible employees must be returned to the appropriate Division Head by the third Tuesday in October.

4.  The maximum number of DMC requests that may be submitted by a Division will be based on the number of FTE in the Division as of the first pay period in May.  The Office of Business and Finance will determine the number of DMC requests that may be submitted from each Division for consideration. Division heads from the following areas will review requests and submit recommendations to the Office of Human Resources by the fourth Friday in October:

Administrative Services
Business and Finance
Chancellor's Office
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Business and Economics
College of Education and Professional Studies
Technology Services
Enrollment and Student Success
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Student Affairs

5.  Requests will be reviewed by an advisory committee comprised of the Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance, two division heads from the list under Item 4, and the HR Director (non-voting).  The division heads will be appointed each year by the Chancellor on a rotating basis.  The advisory committee will review the DMC requests, recommend approval or denial, and recommend award amounts by the fourth Tuesday in November.  Forms will be routed for the Chancellor's approval, appropriate Office of State Employment Relations (OSER) reports completed, and documents to OSER for approval.

6.  All DMCs must be approved by OSER before being granted.

7.  Under no circumstances will the effective receipt of a base building adjustment be earlier than the first Monday of August annually.

8.  Award and non-award notifications should go out simultaneously to both supervisors and applicants.

University Responsibilities

The Office of the Assistant Chancellor of Business and Finance will maintain this policy on the Administrative Policy website, and the Office of Human Resources will share this policy with employees inquiring about classified merit.

Department/Unit Responsibilities

Human Resources


DMCs were previously known as Discretionary Compensation Awards (DCA). DCAs were suspended in November 2008 by OSER. The DMC criteria were modified in the 2013-2015 Compensation Plan; equity and retention were removed and Discretionary Equity or Retention Adjustment was established.

Related Documents


Please direct questions about this policy to