Author: Sarah Corea, NTEU Steward

Annual Performance Appraisals are used by management in several ways that can financially impact employees. Employees are most often familiar with, and concerned about, the “Average CJE Score” on their appraisal. This score is used to determine yearly Performance Award eligibility. It is also used in the ranking process to determine the Best Qualified lists for internal competitive job applications. For these reasons, most appraisal grievances are filed based on this score, as an unfair score could hinder award eligibility or future job opportunities, both of which can affect an employee financially.

Another important component of an appraisal that can affect an employee financially is the “Overall Rating.” This rating determines whether or not an employee will receive a Within-Grade Increase (WIGI) or Career-Ladder Promotion, An employee must be “Fully Successful” in order to qualify, so these increases in salary will be withheld from an employee with a rating of “Minimally Successful” until he/she performs at a “Fully Successful” level, as determined by management.

In a recent grievance settlement, where NTEU alleged that management unfairly rated the employee in several CJE’s, the remedy granted by management did more than just raise the employee’s average score. More importantly, it changed the “Overall Rating” from “Minimally Successful” to “Fully Successful,” which in turn qualified the employee to retroactively receive the Career-Ladder Promotion that had previously been withheld by management. This means the employee will also receive back-pay from the date of the original appraisal.

In this rare case, the financial impact on the employee wasn’t based on numbers, awards, or BQ lists. It was based solely on a box checked “Minimally Successful” which allowed management to deny a salary increase of nearly $4,000/year. In a big win for the employee and NTEU, we were “Fully Successful!”