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Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) Awards for FY 2023-2024



 UCLA’s guidelines for implementation of Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) Awards for FY 2023–24 are now available. 

The guidelines are consistent with those issued last year and reflect best practices in employee recognition programs. Please note that in support of Chancellor Block’s directive regarding the importance of mandatory training, employees must have completed the required systemwide training applicable to their position to be eligible for an award.

The following plan features, as well as recommendations for implementation, are noted below:

Total annual award expenditures may be up to 2% of the payroll base of eligible filled positions.

Consistent with program intent and to ensure equitable distribution, the maximum award amount for all levels of staff will be 10% of base salary or $5,000, whichever is less.

It is recommended that the number of awards be within 25–30% of the eligible population, but may be higher in some circumstances.

It is recommended that distribution of the awards be generally consistent with the relative proportion of employees at management and staff levels in the organization.

STAR awards are discretionary and are not intended to serve as salary supplements.

Eligibility for a STAR award requires completion of mandatory training on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Prevention, Abusive Conduct, Cybersecurity, and Ethics.

Prior to the nomination process, it is recommended that organizational leadership identify the strategic focus area(s) for awards, such as exemplary customer service, improved efficiency in operations, or outstanding team leadership, for example, so that the awards have a more targeted impact.

As reflected in Staff Policy 34, Incentive and Recognition Award Plans (PDF), STAR awards provide an opportunity to recognize staff members for exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions to the department, organization, and/or the campus.

STAR Plan eligibility requirements for policy-covered staff (PSS and MSP) are described in the guidelines. Highlights are noted below:

Awards are in the form of a lump sum and may range from $250 to a maximum of $5,000 or 10% of base pay, whichever is less. (The XSL Earn Code should be used to process all cash awards that fall within the STAR Plan.)

To receive an award, eligible staff must be employed at UCLA for at least six months and have successfully completed their probationary period, if applicable; they must be on pay status at the time of the payout to receive an award.

Please note that in addition to policy-covered (non-represented) staff and Management & Senior Professional (MSP) employees, represented employees in the Clerical Unit (“CX”) and UCLA Skilled Crafts Unit (“K4”) are eligible for STAR awards under the same terms and conditions that apply to policy-covered employees.

All awards require specific documentation of performance and achievements that are the basis for the award. Only those employees who have achieved a performance rating of “meets expectations” or better are eligible to receive an award. Please utilize the CHR Award Nomination Form (PDF) for the necessary documentation of award approval.

Campus departments may contact CHR Compensation Services for questions. Guidelines for the David Geffen School of Medicine, consistent with the above parameters, are issued separately by Health Human Resources.