Discretionary salary increases are possible Jan. 1

University employees whose most recent performance review is at least satisfactory will be eligible for a discretionary salary increase of up to 3% on Jan. 1, 2024.

This follows an across-the-board 1% increase eligible employees received July 1 as part of a planned transition in 2023 to implement annual salary increases in January. The new timing coordinates better with annual appropriation decisions at the Legislature (May-June), the state Board of Regents' subsequent decision on tuition and fees (June-July) and the university's annual budget-setting process.

Salary increases on Jan. 1 will be discretionary, and differentiation is expected, said Emma Mallarino Houghton, director of classification and compensation and talent acquisition in university human resources.

"At a time when the university is facing financial pressures, salary increase parameters that allow for up to 3% -- in addition to what was rewarded on July 1 -- demonstrates a continued commitment to rewarding employee performance at Iowa State," she said.

How do the parameters apply?

These salary adjustment parameters apply to faculty, professional and scientific (P&S) staff, postdoc scholars and contract staff whose contracts don't specify performance-based adjustments.

A few process guidelines include:

  • The salary parameters apply to all eligible employees in the identified groups, regardless of a unit's funding source(s).
  • Employees who weren't eligible for the July 1 increase because they hadn't been in their positions for 90 days yet (start dates of April 2-July 1), have satisfactory performance and are otherwise eligible will receive a 1% increase on Jan. 1.
  • P&S employees can't receive increases that would raise their new salary above the maximum of their pay grade. So, any portion of a proposed Jan. 1 adjustment that's beyond the maximum of their pay grade would have to come in a one-time payment, not as an adjustment to their base salary.
  • For Ames National Laboratory employees, the Jan. 1 salary parameters can be modified and should align with U.S. Department of Energy salary adjustment guidelines.

New timeline doesn't impact Merit employees

The timing of salary increases for Merit employees is not changing. Merit staff received a 3% across-the-board increase on July 1, consistent with the state's 2023-25 collective bargaining agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Iowa Council (AFSCME) and Regents Merit System rules. Merit employees may be eligible for an additional 1% performance-based increase on their annual review date.

A reminder about performance reviews

In this transition year, all faculty annual reviews will take place this fall semester (any time from July 1 to Nov. 30). If a faculty member's last review was conducted during spring semester 2022, for this cycle only the review covers 18 months (not the usual 12): Jan. 1, 2022, through May 15/June 30, 2023.

UHR is asking supervisors of P&S and contract staff and postdocs who completed annual employee reviews in the March-May window to do a less formal "check-in" this fall with their employees. By Nov. 30, supervisors should confirm in Workday that the follow-ups occurred. Beginning in 2024, most annual reviews will occur in the fall, so the check-in helps bridge the time difference between the two annual evaluations. A knowledge-base article in the UHR service portal about regular check-ins with employees is suitable for this fall's task.


Related story:

Timing of salary increases will move to Jan. 1, Nov. 17, 2022