Dunn County Board supports pay increases for UW System employees

January 19, 2017

Salary increases for University of Wisconsin-Stout employees paid for by the state were endorsed Wednesday night by the Dunn County Board of Supervisors.

“The board recognizes the importance of UW-Stout to Dunn County and western Wisconsin,” said Steve Rasmussen, board chairman. “We also realize that the university is having a very hard time finding and keeping talented faculty and staff because their salaries have fallen behind their peers. We hope that our elected officials realize what a significant problem this is for our local university.”

Chancellor Bob Meyer said he appreciates the County Board taking a position on the pay-plan issue.

Bob Meyer“This support from the Dunn County Board will be incredibly important as we press our case for improved salaries for our faculty and staff,” Meyer said. “It sends a very powerful message to our elected officials that there is popular support for this important issue.”

The resolution offers the board’s “full support” for a proposal submitted to the state by the UW System Board of Regents for state funding for pay increases in 2017-18 and 2018-19 for all system employees that would average 2 percent per year.

The resolution notes that UW employees have received just two 1 percent increases over the last six years, and average salaries have fallen far behind those paid at peer institutions. Faculty salaries at UW-Stout, the resolution says, are 21 percent behind those at their peer institutions.

This pay disparity, the resolution says, is making it harder for UW-Stout to recruit or retain faculty and staff. In 2015-16, the resolution says, the faculty turnover rate at UW-Stout was 13 percent, compared to 8 percent across the entire UW System.

Because the university does not have the money to fund general pay increases, the resolution says, “the Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker should approve the UW System pay plan request for 2017-19 as well as appropriate sufficient funds to support it.”

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Bob Meyer