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Friday, April 19, 2024

State approves faculty raises

UW System faculty and academic staff will be finding bigger paychecks in the mail this year. 




As part of a $116 million pay plan, state legislators approved a salary increase of 3.2 percent for university faculty and staff in 2001-'02, as well as a 4.2 percent increase next year Wednesday. The pay increase will affect every campus in the UW System. 




Though less than what the UW System Board of Regents initially proposed, university officials are still satisfied with the plan, said Board of Regents President Jay L. Smith. The board had originally asked for a 4.2 percent pay increase in both 2001-'02 and 2002-'03. 




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'We feel that this plan is very good, certainly considering the economic conditions,' Smith said. 'We're very pleased.' 




The final plan, approved by a 6-2 vote, was achieved through a bipartisan effort. Because of this year's shaky economic conditions, a compromise was necessary to reduce the proposed pay increase, said Steve Baas, press secretary for Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, R-Waukesha. He said the reduction was necessary because some legislators felt the original proposal seemed too costly. 




'Concerns were originally raised by [Gov. Scott McCallum] and some members of the Legislature, that it was too high given the fiscal condition of the state,' Baas said. 'The proposal accepted took these concerns into consideration. This was really bipartisan.' 




Smith said attracting and retaining top faculty will still be possible, even with the less-than-anticipated pay increase for this year. 




'The administration says that they're satisfied and we trust them,' Baas said. 




Smith said he too thought the ability to recruit faculty would not be affected. 




'We believe it will be effective,' Smith said. 




The pay raise is retroactive, so pay adjustments will be made starting from July 1 of this year, Smith said. He added each UW System university will decide how the money is distributed, with individual raises based  




on merit.

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