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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Madison has announced plans to give faculty and staff a 4 percent pay increase over the next year.

A 2 percent pay raise would occur in July followed by another 2 percent increase January 2019, the Wisconsin State Journal reported . Employees who make less than $15 an hour would also get additional wage increases.

Employees must have started in their current positions by Jan. 8, be meeting performance expectations and must complete campus sexual harassment training to qualify for the raise, the university said.

The raises will help the school keep talented employees, said university Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

Employee pay has consistently been a concern to the regents. Low salaries make it difficult to recruit and retain faculty, particularly in high demand fields, according to a 2017 memo from the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal bureau.

It would be the first time since 2015 that employees have gotten across-the-board raises, the university said. It would also be the largest wage increase of its kind in more than a decade.

The decision comes after the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted last year to move forward with pay raises throughout state government in the 2017-2019 budget. That move included the University of Wisconsin System, though university officials and the employment committee were left to figure out the details of how the raises would be implemented.

The budget paid for 70 percent of the raises, and tuition increases for out-of-state residents will provide the remaining funds, said university spokesman John Lucas.

The state Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations must formally approve the plan before it can take effect.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal,