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Chancellor Mnookin statement on employee pay raises

October 17, 2023

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On Oct. 17, the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) met to approve a pay plan for state employees and state collective bargaining agreements. JCOER approved raises for state employees, but excluded raises for Universities of Wisconsin employees. JCOER also did not vote on the tentative agreement with the Wisconsin State Building Trades Negotiating Committee (representing the UW–Madison Building Trades employees).

Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin’s statement is below:

Earlier this year, as part of the 2023-25 state budget, the full legislature approved pay increases for all state workers, including University of Wisconsin–Madison (and Universities of Wisconsin) employees. Today, the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) members disregarded that action and separated UW employees from other state employees and withheld much-needed cost of living adjustments. Withholding this well-deserved increase defies both reason and longstanding legislative tradition, and for this I am deeply disappointed.

Twenty-four thousand hardworking University of Wisconsin–Madison employees are affected: those who prepare and serve food to students in our residence halls, those who protect the safety of our community members, those who teach our 50,000 students, those who conduct transformative research that seeks to cure disease and protect and enhance key industries such as agriculture and manufacturing, and so many more. It impacts UW–Madison employees not only in Dane County, but all across Wisconsin, including those who work for our Division of Extension to improve the health of state residents as well as the environment in which we live, work and play.

The United States experienced record high inflation last year. By delaying action and thus withholding much-needed pay increases for our employees, JCOER harms those who directly contribute to keeping UW–Madison at the forefront of higher education institutions and help move Wisconsin and its economy forward.

I, along with Universities of Wisconsin leadership, strongly urge members of the state legislature to work toward a fair and swift resolution.

Tags: chancellor