Performance & Merit FAQs

April 2008


Why is it important to conduct a performance review?
Performance reviews are a useful tool to maximize employee performance by advising them in advance of performance goals and objectives,  providing ongoing communication and feedback throughout the year, and providing  a forum in which the employee’s performance can be evaluated and accessed.  While the formal performance review process takes place on an annual basis, it is the manager’s responsibility to meet with his/her employees regularly  to ensure that goals and expectations are clearly communicated and met.  

Is there a connection between how an employee’s performance is rated and the award of merit?
For bargaining unit employees there is a connection between the employee’s performance and the amount of merit award the employee receives.  It is essential that managers provide a clear and detailed rationale supporting their employees’ performance ratings.  Managers should review the performance evaluation and merit award provisions of the applicable Union contracts before beginning the evaluation process.  All Union contracts are located online at:

I have an OPEIU/PSA employee who recently transferred to my department.  Should I consult with his/her previous manager on the appraisal?
Yes.  If an employee worked in a different department within the same union, it is fair practice to consult his/her former supervisors.  Doing so will ensure that the employee is recognized for any work accomplished in his/her prior position.

I have an employee who changed unions during the past year.  Will he/she still be eligible for merit?
Yes.  If an employee used to belong to a different union and recently switched, he/she will be eligible for merit.

What is my role as a manager in the performance review process?
As a manager, you are required to review your employee’s performance during the prior 12 months, and outline goals and expectations for the coming year.  The employee’s prior performance review including current goals and objectives, the job description, other performance related documents generated during the year, and the applicable Union contract and/or Non-Aligned employee policy provisions governing your staff’s evaluation process should be reviewed prior to conducting your performance review.  The Union contracts and policies governing Non-Aligned staff are located online at:
You are required to discuss your employee’s performance with him/her, complete a written performance evaluation form within the applicable guidelines, obtain the appropriate signatures and submit the signed evaluation form to HR by the specified deadline.  Prior to meeting with your employee to discuss and evaluate his/her performance you should discuss your tentative performance review with your supervisor.
Additional guidelines are set forth on the Human Resources Web page at:

What should I include in the written performance review?
As noted, the performance evaluation should focus on the employee’s performance during the prior 12 months and outline goals and expectations for the coming year.  The employee’s work performance should be reviewed in relation to the performance plan from objectives and outcomes set the previous year.  Expectations for the employee, performance standards, objectives and specific areas of accountability should be clearly stated.  You should cite clear and specific examples of  work performance, including areas of achievement and areas of improvement.

What should be discussed during the performance review meeting?
The purpose of the meeting is to review the written evaluation with the employee.  Therefore, the discussion should focus on the employee’s performance during the previous 12 months and setting goals and expectations for the coming year.  It is most helpful to provide specific work related examples of where goals were successfully met and areas which need improvement. This is an opportunity for both parties to discuss any job-related matters.


Where can I obtain an evaluation form/procedures?
Forms can be found online at:
For OPEIU, PSA and Non-Aligned employees, there are two forms that managers can choose from, a traditional evaluation form or a narrative form.  
Procedures and additional resources are set forth online, on the Human Resources Web page at:
See also, applicable Union contracts on line at:

What is the timeframe for meeting with the employee and discussing his/her performance?
As outlined in the OPEIU and PSA contracts, meetings should conclude by May 15, 2008.

What is the deadline for submitting the signed forms to HR?
Per the PSA and OPEIU bargaining unit contracts, all signed evaluation forms must be submitted to HR no later than May 15, 2008.  Supervisors of unionized staff should consult the appropriate collective bargaining agreement to determine the specific appraisal period.

What happens if I do not submit evaluations by the May 15 deadline?
It is essential that all performance review meetings with employees and final, signed evaluations be submitted to HR by the May 15 deadline.  The university will be in violation of the union contracts if evaluations are submitted late and will be exposed to potential union grievances. Furthermore, payout of merit programs may be delayed.