UW System to propose 3 percent pay hikes for employees

Associated Press

December 4, 2018


MADISON The University of Wisconsin System is seeking 3 percent pay hikes for its employees each of the next two fiscal years, under a plan released Monday.

System officials said they would ask regents to consider the plan when they meet on Thursday. The UW System has about 39,000 employees statewide.

In a statement, UW System President Ray Cross said as labor markets tighten, reinvesting in UW faculty and staff "with modest wage increases will ensure we are not falling behind and losing out on talent we need in Wisconsin."

"Attraction, retention, and recognition of high-quality faculty and staff are critical investment opportunities for future student success," Cross said.

The pay hikes would come after a period of little economic gain for those employees, the Wisconsin State Journal reported . UW System employees haven't received raises in five of the last eight years, and increases have averaged less than 1 percent over the past decade. The plan also cites higher health insurance costs.

"Many of our employees are already paid considerably below higher education market rates," Cross said.

Faculty salaries lag behind those at peer institutions, the UW System said. Salaries for full professors at UW-Madison are about 10 percent below the median for its peer group.

While the proposed raises would not close salary gaps between UW System employees and those at peer institutions, they would allow chancellors to recognize employees' work, according to regents meeting materials published Monday .

The proposal calls for full state funding of the general wage increase, and comes after six years of tuition freezes. The state typically provides about 70 percent of the UW System pay increase with the rest funded by tuition.

"A fully funded increase will protect our educational investments that students rely upon," Cross said.

Walker picks attorney to serve on UW Board of Regents

MADISON, Wis.  Gov. Scott Walker has appointed a high-powered attorney to serve on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.

Walker has selected Scott Beightol to serve on the board until May 2023. He replaces Republican Bryan Steil, who resigned from the regents last week to focus on his first term in Congress. Steil defeated Democrat Randy Bryce in the Nov. 6 elections to win outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan's seat.

Beightol is a partner in the Michael Best and Friedrich firm, which helped Republican lawmakers redraw legislative boundaries in 2011. Democrats allege the boundaries so unfairly consolidated Republican voters that they're unconstitutional.

According to MBF's website, Beightol focuses on employment discrimination, labor arbitrations and trade secrets.

The state Senate is set to confirm Beightol during a lame-duck floor session Tuesday.

UW-Madison proposes tuition hike for nonresident undergrads

MADISON, Wis. Officials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are proposing to increase tuition for nonresident undergraduate and some professional school students

The plan announced Tuesday would raise nonresident and international undergraduate tuition by $810 and $828 over the next two academic years. Based on current enrollment, the plan would generate about $16 million.

The increase does not apply to Minnesota students.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank says in many cases, UW-Madison tuition falls below its peer institutions. Blank says at least 20 percent of the revenue from tuition increases would funnel back into financial aid initiatives, such as Bucky's Tuition Promise .

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Blank also suggested lawmakers consider "modest" tuition increases for in-state students.

University of Wisconsin System regents will consider the plan at their meeting this week in La Crosse.