Date: April 5, 2016

Bulletin Number: CU-534

Subject Lump Sum Merit Awards for Non-Managerial Classified Employees of the City University of New York (CUNY)


To provide agency instructions for processing CUNY Lump Sum Merit Awards.


CUNY employees in eligible negotiating units who meet the eligibility criteria.
Background Section 2.3.3 (18) of the CUNY Personnel Rules and Regulations, provides for a one-time Lump Sum Merit Award payment distributed upon approval of the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources. Award amounts may not exceed 4% of an employee’s base pay and are subject to the limitations established by the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources.

Lump Sum Merit Awards may be submitted at the discretion of the CUNY campuses.

Eligibility Criteria Full Time employees selected by the Campus President who meet the following criteria are eligible to receive the payment.

In addition, recipients of the Lump Sum Merit Award must:

  • Be a permanent employee or a provisional employee with more than 18 months of continuous CUNY service.
  • Have had a recent (within 6 months) performance evaluation.  If an evaluation has not been conducted within the past 6 months, a special evaluation must be done before submission of the merit request.
  • Be rated very good or exceptional for time and leave.
  • Not have had a salary increase or promotion within the last 12 months (unless promoted from a civil service list).
  • Not be on probation.

Agency Actions Prior to processing, the campus Human Resources Director (HRD) must submit the following to CUNY Central Office for review/approval:
  • Personnel Action Form (PAF).
  • Verification of acceptable Time and Leave attendance.
  • Letter of justification from the campus President or his/her designee, citing examples of increased duties or meritorious service.

All information will be reviewed and PAFs must be signed/approved by the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources or designee.  A copy of the signed authorization form and PAF must be provided to OSC with the transaction.  A roster, in Excel format, including the Lump Sum Merit Award payment amount, should be provided for multiple recipients from a single campus.
To pay a Lump Sum Merit Award to approved employees, agencies must submit the following information on the Time Entry page using Earnings Code LSF.

Earnings Begin Date:

Pay Period Start Date

Earnings End Date:

Same as the Earnings Begin Date

Earn Code:



Payment amount appearing on the approved authorization form

Miscellaneous Payment Information

The Lump Sum Merit Award is not pensionable and not included in the calculation of overtime.

Tax Information These monies are taxable income and are subject to all employment taxes and income taxes. Income taxes will be calculated using the employee’s current Tax Marital Status and Withholding Allowances on the Update Employee Tax Data page.

Payroll Register and Employee’s Paycheck/Advice The Earnings Code LSF and the amount paid will be displayed on the Payroll Register.  The Earnings Description LSP-Merit Award N/P and the amount paid will appear on the employee’s paycheck stub or direct deposit advice.

Questions Questions regarding eligibility for this payment should be directed to the CUNY System Administration.

Questions regarding this bulletin should be directed to the Payroll Earnings mailbox.