UW Proposes Plan for Employee Pay Raises

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 7:12 PM CDT
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LARAMIE, Wyo. (Release) - University of Wyoming employees making less than $150,000 annually would receive base pay raises of $1,400 or $1,900, along with additional increases based upon merit, market and compression issues, under a plan to be presented to UW’s Board of Trustees next week.

The raises were made possible with an appropriation of about $8 million annually from the Wyoming Legislature and Gov. Mark Gordon during the recent budget session. Set to take effect in the fiscal year that begins July 1, this is the first broad-based raise for UW employees since the 2018-19 fiscal year.

“We have proposed a plan to address our most pressing compensation issues institution-wide while providing flexibility for supervisors at the unit level to direct dollars to where they’re needed most,” UW President Ed Seidel says. “We appreciate the support of the governor and lawmakers for these increases, which are just a start to address our significant compensation issues across the university.”

Under the plan, the increase of about $8 million annually would be equally divided into two pools:

-- The first pool provides for a salary increase of $1,900 for employees with base pay up to $79,999.99, decreasing to $1,400 for employees with base pay between $80,000-$149,999.99. Employees with base salaries above $150,000 would not be eligible for an increase from this pool. For those near the bottom of the pay scale, making about $24,000 annually, this piece of the increase would equate to about 8 percent; for those making $149,000, it would be just under 1 percent.

-- The second pool equates to an additional 2.25 percent raise overall but would be discretionary and used to individually address merit, market and compression issues. Funds would be distributed at the unit level, with unit allocations based on each unit’s percentage of total payroll for employee base pay up to $150,000 -- although those making more than that could receive increases from this pool.

Under the plan, all benefited employees hired before Jan. 5, 2022, would be eligible to receive salary increases, regardless of the funding source. Probationary staff employees would be included in the allocation, but any approved salary increases for them would not be effective until completion of the probation period. Employees receiving promotion or retention raises during the current fiscal year are not excluded.

Distribution of funds from the second pool to address merit, market and compression to individual employees would be at the discretion of the department head or director, although those plans would have to be reviewed and approved by the provost for academic colleges and the appropriate vice president for nonacademic divisions.

State-funded graduate assistant stipend minimum amounts would increase by 4 percent; departments could offer higher stipend amounts if other funding is available.

The plan was developed with input from a salary administration, classification and compensation working group appointed by Seidel that included faculty and staff senate leadership. The group’s allocation methodology focused on providing larger percentage raises to employees in the lowest pay grades without creating additional salary compression. Feedback from the president’s cabinet also shaped the proposal.

The Board of Trustees will make the final decision on the salary distribution plan.

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