IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The reader is advised that the material contained on this page is meant as a summary only! It in no way represents a comprehensive discourse on the topic. The reader must read the current negotiated agreement between USPTO Management and POPA for a thorough and complete understanding of the topic. If there are questions or a need for further assistance, then the reader is also advised to contact their POPA representative or a POPA officer.
The Special Achievement Award for Superior Performance(SAA award) is earned by patent examiners for 110% of expected production and at least satisfactory level performance in the other elements over four consecutive quarters. For others in the bargaining unit, the award is earned for performance at the outstanding level in at least 50% of all critical elements with the rest being at least satisfactory according to the employee’s Performance Appraisal Plan (PAP) over four consecutive quarters. The base amount of the award shall be 3% of the employee’s base per annum salary as of the end of the award period provided the employee has spent at least 1400 hours performing the job function. The award will be prorated for at least 700 hours but less than 1400 hours.
The Gainsharing Awardallows a patent examiner to earn 2% – 7% of the employee’s salary based on the employee’s end of fiscal year performance. It has recently been updated to expand the award levels. For other bargaining unit members, the amount of the award is dependent upon the total numerical score (maximum 500) of the employee’s performance elements for the fiscal year.
NOTE: The hours worked in an employee’s first year are not counted towards the time requirement in order to qualify for the Gainsharing Award.
There is also a Pendency Award that may be earned. Due to its complicated nature reading the entire section of the Docket Management Manual in addition to the new Pendency Award agreement dated April 1, 2013, is advised.