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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Technology Services

BTS HelpDesk: 503-823-5199

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 1111, Portland, OR 97204

FY 2020-21 and COLA (Merit Increases)

Dear City Employees,

You are the engine that makes the City run, and I am grateful for your service to our community.

We are all here to serve Portlanders, and when challenges arise we face them together.

The Bureau of Human Resources and the City Budget Office says that sharply rising personnel costs are creating near-term financial challenges, including for next year’s City budget, and this means that we must consider difficult trade-offs between staffing levels, service levels, and compensation.

That’s why we’re weighing these trade-offs and making decisions now so that we won’t have to make harder and more-disruptive choices in the future.

On January 22nd, I issued several compensation-related directives in an effort to slow the acceleration of these costs. These were sent to Bureau Directors last week, so you may have begun to hear about them.

The directives for the next fiscal year, FY 2020-21, include:


  • Non-represented employees making an annual salary of less than $100,000 on June 30, 2020 will receive a 2.9% COLA on July 1, 2020.
  • Non-represented employees making an annual salary more than $100,000 on June 30, 2020 will receive a $2,900 COLA on July 1, 2020, or a COLA amount that will bring the employee to the top of the classification pay range, whichever is less.
  • There will be no adjustment to top salary ranges through FY 2020-2021.
  • Merit pay will be limited to no more than 2%.


These changes will only impact non-represented, merit-eligible City staff. This does not affect union-represented employees.

I would like to emphasize the following:


  • Non-Represented merit-eligible staff who receive an evaluation prior to June 30, 2020 are eligible for up to a 4.1% merit increase based on their annual performance and subject to the current merit calculation tool.
  • Current eligible employees will receive the 2.9% COLA on July 1, 2020, which is calculated on their first $100,000 of earnings.
  • With the launch of the new Citywide performance management system (SuccessFactors) going live July 15, 2020, non-represented merit-eligible employees (excluding the Portland Police Bureau) will transition to a fiscal year review cycle. More information about this will be rolling out over the next several months.
    • Performance ratings and merit awards become effective July 15th of each year. The first eligibility for merit pay under the new system will be July 15, 2021.
    • Options about the process to transition staff onto this new fiscal year cycle are being reviewed.


This is a lot of information, and you may have questions. Cathy Bless, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer, and her team will be available to answer your questions and hear your suggestions or concerns.

As always, I thank you for your tireless efforts to serve the people of Portland.


Ted Wheeler

Mayor Ted Wheeler

Pronouns: He/Him/His
1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 340

Portland, OR 97204