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Pay plan increases and other wage changes to take effect in January

December 10, 2020

In January, UW–Madison will provide a 2 percent wage increase to employees under the 2019–2021 pay plan. This long-planned pay increase will result in a 2 percent increase for most employees effective in January 2021.

The pay plan, approved in December 2019 by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER), specified a 4 percent increase that would be implemented in two phases. The first 2 percent increase took effect in January 2020. The second 2 percent increase will take effect next month.

All Academic Staff, Faculty, Limited, and University Staff are eligible to receive the pay plan increase. Some employee categories, including Temporary Employees and student hourly employees, are not eligible.

The 2 percent increase will be effective Jan. 1, 2021, for employees who are paid monthly, and Jan. 3, 2021, for employees who are paid biweekly. Employees who are paid hourly will see the increase on the earnings statement for Jan. 28. For employees who are paid monthly, the increase will appear on their earnings statement for January, paid on Feb. 1. Employees who are receiving the pay increase will receive a written communication informing them of their new pay rate, when that pay rate becomes effective, and when the increase will be reflected on their paycheck.

To be eligible to receive the pay increases, individuals must have been employed in their current positions on Nov. 22, 2020 (for employees paid hourly) or Dec. 1, 2020 (for employees paid monthly). Employees must also have completed UW–Madison’s sexual harassment prevention training, and must have met performance expectations as identified in their last performance evaluation. Supervisors are required to complete performance evaluations for the employees they supervise. Additional criteria may apply at the divisional level.

Impact of Pay Plan on Furlough Program

The January 2021 pay plan increases will provide a slight buffer against the impact of furloughs. For UW–Madison’s lowest paid employees, the 2 percent pay increase will offset most of the temporary furlough’s impact. These raises will also increase employees’ base pay, a positive change that will continue long after furloughs are no longer required.

For employees who are participating in Round Two of Campus-wide, Intermittent Furlough in 2021, the furlough obligation will be based on their annual pay after the pay plan increase. For most employees, their furlough obligation will be identical to Round One of Campus-wide, Intermittent Furlough. Only a limited number of employees should see an increase in their furlough obligation after the pay plan increase.

$15 per Hour Minimum Wage

UW–Madison first announced an increase in the minimum wage for University Staff employees to $15 per hour in November 2019, with implementation planned for the spring of 2020. At the time of that announcement, university leaders explained that the higher wage minimum will enable the university to compete more effectively for workers in tight labor markets and strengthen UW–Madison’s commitment to paying a fair wage to all employees.

As previously announced, the budget crisis brought on by COVID-19 delayed implementation. The $15 minimum wage is now going forward and will be effective as of Jan. 17, 2021.

University Staff are eligible. The increase in the university’s minimum wage will primarily affect workers in custodial, animal care and food-service positions. The minimum wage increase will not apply to Temporary Employees or student employees.

Living Wage Increase

University Staff and Temporary Employees will also receive an increase to the new City of Madison Living Wage of $13.86 per hour beginning Jan. 3, 2021 if currently under $13.86. UW–Madison follows the City of Madison living wage standard, which is equal to 110 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four, in determining the living wage. For University Staff affected, the 2 percent pay plan increase will be applied on top of the new living wage.

Many of the employees who receive the Living Wage will move to the $15 per hour minimum wage effective Jan. 17, 2021. However, Temporary Employees are not eligible for the minimum wage increase, and as a result, the Living Wage of $13.86 will continue to apply to those Temporary Employees who are currently earning less than $13.86 per hour.

Building Trades Agreement

UW–Madison also came to a collective bargaining agreement with the campus Building Trades employees. The contracts will ultimately need approval by JCOER and the full legislature and to be signed by the governor to go into effect. The Building Trades are the only certified bargaining unit on campus. Under state law, the union can only bargain over wages up to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The agreement calls for the trades employees to receive a 1.81 percent increase for 2020–2021, effective Jan. 3, 2021. If there is a delay in implementation, eligible trades employees will receive a lump sum payment equal to the amount of the increase for all hours in pay status going back to the effective dates of the contracts.