Bonus Guidelines for Represented Staff


Bonus is defined as a lump sum payment that is not a permanent increase to the incumbent’s base salary. (CSUEU)

Availability for bonus depends upon bargaining unit.  Bonuses are currently available only to units 2,5,7,9 (CSUEU) and 4 (APC).  This reflects information found in the most current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provisions available online at  Any future MOU provisions that come into effect will take precedent over these published guidelines.


  • Normally, employee must have completed one year of service in the position.
  • Employee must have current performance evaluation on file at an overall satisfactory or above level.
  • Normally, an employee is eligible for a bonus only once in a given fiscal year.
  • There have been no prior base salary adjustments based on the same functions or factors.


Requests for bonuses are submitted by supervisors or managers, and should be forwarded to the Program Center Manager to assess if a bonus is warranted and funding available. 

  1. If it is determined by the Program Center Manager that pursuit of a bonus is valid and warranted, the Request for Staff Bonus form is prepared, with attached justification illustrating the particular factors leading to the request. 
  2. The Request for Staff Bonus form with justification should then be forwarded to the appropriate Vice President for review and approval.
  3. For requests up to 4%, the Request for Staff Bonus form should then be submitted to Human Resources for Payroll processing, logging and retention.
  4. For requests above 4%, the Vice President will submit the request to the Vice President for Human Resources.  The Human Resources Compensation Committee will analyze the request, using the criteria described in Attachment A, to determine if a bonus is warranted.  If approved, HR will then determine the appropriate percentage.  The final decision will be communicated in writing to the appropriate Vice President and/or Dean or Director.  Bonus requests where special salary adjustments have occurred in the year previous to the current request will also be reviewed by HR.  Special salary adjustments include reclassifications, in-range progressions, prior bonuses, requests to hire above the minimum, and individual salary adjustments.  It does not include negotiated general salary increases, merit pay, or service salary increases.
  5. If bonus is approved, HR will initiate paperwork to implement the action.


A bonus should not be promised to the employee prior to final approval by the Office of Human Resources.

NOTE:  Managers who wish to request reconsideration of any salary adjustment decision may do so by memorandum to the Vice President for Human Resources within five (5) working days of notification of original decision.


Criteria for specific bonus types may supersede General Eligibility requirements.

Recruitment Bonus
Offered to external candidates for employment as an inducement to accept employment in a permanent/probationary position and to commit to remain in Sacramento State employment.  Bonus must be returned to Sacramento State if employee does not complete probationary period.


  • Labor market conditions must be tight and candidates for position in short supply causing recruitment difficulties.
  • Proof should be offered such as:
    • The duration of recruitment efforts.
    • The number of qualified applicants.

Retention Bonus
Awarded to employees as incentive to remain in the employment of Sacramento State.


  • The position must be critical to the ongoing operations of the unit.
  • Applicants for the position must be in short supply in the labor market.
  • The unit has had difficulty retaining employees in pertinent classification.
  • The requirements for the retention bonus must be in writing to the employee.
  • The employee must commit to stay at Sacramento State for at least 12 months.

Critical Skills Bonus
Awarded to an employee, usually, but not exclusively, in an Information Technology position, possessing and regularly utilizing specialized and/or advanced skills necessary and critical to the ongoing operations of the unit.


  • Employee must possess specialized and/or advanced skill(s) not possessed by others in their classification, but not outside the realm of the classification or skill level.  (Specialized and/or advanced skills are generally transitory in nature and may become outdated over time as they are replaced by new innovations.)
  • Employee must be actively using the specialized or advanced skills.

Individual or Group Performance Bonus
Available to Units 2, 5, 7 and 9 (CSUEU) only
Awarded for exceptional performance of special projects or duties during a designated time period.


  • Normally, expectations for performance of a special project (or duties) made known to employee in writing prior to performance period.
  • Performance level for the special project or duties driving the request for individual performance bonus should be at the excellent level.
  • Performance level for the special project or duties driving the request for a group performance bonus should be documented as excellent overall for the group.

For non-exempt employees, all bonus awards will be based on a percentage of the annual gross salary as stipulated in article 20.23 of the CSUEU MOU.