Dunn County Board supports raises for UW System employees

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  The Dunn County Board has approved a resolution encouraging the state to fund two percent pay increases in each of the next two fiscal years for UW System employees, including faculty and staff at UW-Stout.

The Dunn County Board approved the resolution at the January 18 meeting.

The resolution notes that UW-Stout has more than 1,000 faculty and staff.

According to the background information included with the resolution, UW-Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, has a 97.3 percent placement rate for graduates.

The UW System is facing challenges to retain faculty and staff due to salary levels that have fallen behind salary levels at other universities in the Midwest. 

According to the resolution, “In the last six years, UW employees have received 1 percent raises in only two years, while other universities in other states have received on average increases between 1.4 percent and 2.3 percent each year.”

The resolution notes that UW-Stout faculty salaries are 21 percent less than those in the peer group, and instructional academic staff salaries are 22 percent less than those in the peer group.

“This gap has led institutions in other states to pursue UW-Stout’s faculty and staff by offering them higher salaries to leave. Faculty turnover rates are at record highs, with almost 13 percent of its faculty leaving in 2015-16,” according to the resolution.

Budget cuts in the UW System have left UW-Stout without the resources to fund a pay increase. The state Legislature and Governor Scott Walker should approve the UW System plan to increase rates of pay and should also appropriate enough money to pay for the pay increases, according to the resolution.

UW-Stout “is an emerging research institution and a leader in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education with more than 50 faculty in the mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering fields,” according to the resolution. 

On a salary of $30,000 per year, a two-percent increase would amount to $600 — or $50 per month. 

A copy of the resolution will be sent to UW System President Ray Cross, Board of Regents President Regina Miller, Governor Scott Walker, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and legislators in western Wisconsin.