2019-21 University Pay Plan Distribution Guidelines


A 2% pay plan is anticipated to be proposed to the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations for the UW System in each year of the 2019-21 biennium. If approved, the pay plan will be distributed to UWL employees on the basis of merit and solid performance with increases of 2% provided on January 1, 2020 and 2% on January 1, 2021.*  This web page will be updated if any changes are required after the Joint Committee on Employment Relations meets. 

Definitions and Roles

Academic Staff: Professional staff serving in professional administrative, instructional or research related positions but does not include faculty and staff provided under Wis. Stat. § 16.57.

Approved Leave: Paid or unpaid time off for the purpose of military service, medical care, sabbatical, or otherwise specific personal matter approved by the vice chancellor.

Faculty: Persons who hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor in an academic department or its functional equivalent in an institution, persons described under Wis. Stat. § 36.13(4)(c) and such academic staff as may be designated by the chancellor and faculty of the institution.

Limited Appointment: An appointment to a designated administrative position, the holder of which serves at the pleasure of the authorized official who made the appointment. Certain positions must be designated as limited appointments under Wis. Stat. § 36.17(2), while others may be designated by the appointing authority as limited appointments at the time of the appointment.

Meets Expectations and/or Meritorious: An employee who through a written and documented, current evaluative process, or who, by UWL policy or practice, has been deemed to meet expectations in all areas of their job performance. Any employee who does not meet minimum expectations, as defined by UW System or UWL, is under a performance plan, or who is required to complete, but failed to do so, the Outside Activity Report; and online training program for Information Security Awareness and Preventing Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, will be deemed ineligible for a merit pay adjustment.

Project Employee: A University Staff appointment hired for the purpose of completing a specific project and duration of work may not exceed 4 years.

Redbook: Permanent base budget for the university for a fiscal year. An individual in a Redbook position means the individual is in a permanent ongoing position that is eligible for promotion/progression and pay plan adjustments. The position is also counted in the UW System FTE allocation and part of the university’s continuing employee base.

Temporary Employee: For the purposes of these guidelines any faculty, staff or limited appointee in an assignment scheduled to last less than one academic year.

University Staff: Para-professional, administrative, blue collar and trades employees who are determined to be non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) due  to the nature and function of the position duties.  (This also includes exempt University Staff positions that have yet to transition to Academic Staff.)

Vice Chancellor: The role within each Division that approves and oversees the merit allocation process ensuring equity and fairness in the process.

Employees Eligibility for State Pay Plan

  • Employees who are part of the UWL continuing staff base as defined below:
    1. Employees whose employment begins on or before June 30, 2019 will receive the January 1, 2020 pay plan increase; Employees whose employment begins on or before June 30, 2020 will be eligible to receive the July 1, 2020 pay plan increase.
    2. Employees who are designated in one of the following full-time or part- time Redbooked classifications:
      1. Faculty
      2. Instructional Academic Staff
      3. Non-instructional Academic Staff
      4. University Staff
      5. Project Staff
  • Employees identified as meets expectations or meritorious performers as defined above. Employees shall have a current (within 12 months) performance evaluation (as defined by the Division/College/School) or their supervisor must otherwise be able to demonstrate that the employee meets performance expectations.

Employees Ineligible for State Pay Plan

  1. Employees with a performance appraisal rating of “Below Expectations” or “Unsatisfactory”.
  2. Employees who are required to complete the Outside Activity Reporting process as per Regent Policy Document 20-7, but fail to do so, will be deemed ineligible for pay plan.
  3. Employees who are required to complete training of Preventing Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment as per Regent Policy Document 14-2 and Information Security Awareness as per UW System Administrative Policy 1032, but fail to do so, will be deemed ineligible for pay plan.

These Guidelines Do Not Apply To

  1. Limited-term
  2. Ad hoc employees
  3. Research Interns
  4. Interim, acting appointments, or employees with a temporary base adjustment
  5. Student Hourly Staff and Graduate Assistants
  6. Employees in training
  7. Seasonal Employees
  8. Temporary Employees
  9. Employees covered by collective bargaining

Other Considerations

  1. No employee may be paid above the maximum of a salary range per UW System Policy: 1278. Pay above the maximum salary range may be exceeded if an extraordinary salary range is approved.  
  2. UW System 1278 authorizes Chancellors to earmark up to 15 percent of the total pay plan each year for the Chancellors’ discretionary use to meet special compensation needs such as rewarding members of the university workforce for innovative program delivery; exceptional performance in support of institution goals; and to correct pay inequities. The University will not be implementing the Chancellor’s discretionary provision for the 19-21 pay plan distribution guidelines.

The 2019-21 University Pay Plan Guidelines will be reviewed with Faculty Senate, Academic Staff Council, University Staff Council, and the Joint Planning and Budget Committee. 

*Updated after JCOER approval on December 18, 2019.

Related Policy: UW System 1278 - Pay Plan Distribution Framework