Pay Plan Policy

  • Date:
  • December 19, 2023
  • Responsible Party:
  • Department of Human Resources

  1. Introduction

    As part of the State of Wisconsin Biennial Budget, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) may approve a compensation adjustment for the Universities of Wisconsin workforce. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Pay Plan Policy outlines the broad parameters for eligibility and disbursement of pay plan adjustments approved by JCOER. The policy is administered in accordance with UW System Administrative Policy 1278, and has been established after consultation with leadership of the University Committee, Academic Staff Committee, University Staff Committee, and with agreement of the Chancellor.

  2. Definitions

    Academic Staff: Professional and administrative personnel with duties and appointment types that are primarily associated with higher education institutions or their administration but does not include faculty or university staff.

    University Staff: The university workforce who contribute to a broad array of positions in support of the University’s mission and are not exempt (i.e., hourly) from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Note: All FLSA exempt employees holding positions in the State of Wisconsin “classified” service as of June 30, 2015, may remain in the university staff for as long as they retain their existing positions and continue under the University Staff designation.

    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, and such academic staff as may be designated by the chancellor and faculty of the institution.

    Limited Appointees: An appointment to a designated administrative position, the holder of which serves at the pleasure of the authorized official who made the appointment.

    Budgeted Employee: A budgeted employee is an employee who is built into the budget system (compensation administration tool) by name or position.

    Non-Budgeted Employees: A non-budgeted employee is not built into the budget system by name; funding for non-budgeted employees is typically provided through a provisional, or lump sum amount, built into the budget.

    Solid Performance: Solid performance is an indication of satisfactory performance, typically via performance evaluation, by an employee when considering the employee’s performance in total. Employees on a formal performance improvement plan are ineligible for designation as a solid performer.

  3. Pay Plan Eligibility Criteria
    1. Eligibility Timelines
      1. Eligibility for pay plan is determined each separate year that a pay plan is administered. For example, when a pay plan approved in a biennium has two phases, in each year of the biennium, eligibility will be determined separately for each pay plan phase.
    2. Eligibility of Positions

      Eligible Positions

      1. Faculty, Academic Staff, University Staff, and Limited Appointees are eligible for pay plan.
      2. Budgeted employees in eligible employment categories are eligible for pay plan consideration.
      3. Non-Budgeted employees at 50% FTE or greater are eligible for a pay plan adjustment, consistent with treatment of permanent, budgeted positions.

        An exception may be made when a College/Division has an established and published pay schedule, referenced in appointment letters, which exempts non-budgeted employees from pay plan adjustments. Pay schedules that fall under this exception should be reviewed and updated on an annual basis and filed with the Office of the Provost or respective Vice Chancellor.

      4. Employees on a leave of absence are eligible for pay plan but will not realize the adjustment until return to active pay status.
      5. Individuals in interim or acting appointments are eligible for pay plan. The percentage adjustment will be based upon the appointee’s base salary in the interim appointment; this excludes pay for overloads, temporary base adjustments or other compensation. Upon return to their permanent position, the employee will realize the pay plan adjustment(s) that took effect while in the interim position.

      Ineligible Positions

      1. Temporary University Staff, Student Hourly, Graduate Assistants, and Employees-in-Training are ineligible for pay plan.
      2. Employees represented by a collective bargaining agreement are ineligible for pay plan under these guidelines.
      3. Non-Budgeted employees at less than 50% FTE are not eligible for a pay plan adjustment.
      4. Employees paid on a lump sum payment are not eligible for pay plan adjustments.
      5. Graduate assistant stipend rates are available in the Graduate Assistant Handbook.
      6. Ineligible employees may be considered for a compensation adjustment under other reasons established in UW System Administrative Policy 1277.
    3. Eligibility Based on Hire or Start Date
      1. All eligible employees employed on the effective date of pay plan are eligible to receive pay plan. Employees who have an employment start date less than 60 days prior to the pay plan effective date will realize a commensurate adjustment to their starting compensation.
      2. Employees who have an employment start date after the pay plan effective date are not eligible for the pay plan or for a commensurate adjustment.
    4. Performance Eligibility
      1. Employees must demonstrate solid performance to be eligible for pay plan.
      2. All compensation adjustments must be based on performance; across the board compensation adjustments not based on merit are prohibited. Employees must have an evaluation on file during the annual evaluation period (May 1 to April 30) that demonstrates solid performance. Employees not eligible or not required to receive an annual evaluation will remain eligible for pay plan if meeting performance expectations and standards.
      3. Employees not meeting performance expectations or with documented performance issues (e.g., those on a performance improvement plan) are not eligible for pay plan.
      4. To be eligible for pay plan and meet performance requirements, supervisors must also complete annual performance evaluations for all employees they supervise.
      5. The determination of solid performance shall be based solely upon performance.
    5. Mandatory Employee Training Requirements
      1. Employees must have completed the required mandatory trainings per UW System Administrative Policy 1293 to be eligible for pay plan.
        • New employees must complete mandatory training within 30 days of the employee’s first day of employment.
        • All employees are required to complete the Sexual Harassment Prevention Training every three years and the Information Security Training every year.
      2. An employee who has failed to complete a mandatory training requirement by the prescribed deadline and who has subsequently become ineligible for a pay plan wage adjustment on that basis, may cure that ineligibility by completing the required training no later than 60 days prior to the implementation date for the pay plan adjustment.
    6. Outside Activities Reporting Requirements
      1. Faculty, Academic Staff, and Limited Appointees with appointments at 50% or greater must submit an annual outside activities disclosure per UW System Administrative Policy 1290.
      2. The Outside Activities Report (OAR) must be completed each year by April 30 to be eligible for pay plan for the current year.
    7. Future Eligibility
      1. Employees otherwise deemed ineligible in the current year may be eligible for pay plan in a future year should they meet the eligibility criteria.
  4. Pay Plan Percentage
    1. Pay Plan amounts are determined in the State of Wisconsin Biennial Budget process and are approved by the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) as part of the Universities of Wisconsin Compensation Plan.
    2. Chancellors may be authorized to earmark a percentage of the total pay plan each year for special compensation needs as outlined in UW System Administrative Policy 1278. This earmark is known as the Chancellor’s Discretionary Adjustment.
    3. Base salaries shall not be less than the salary minimum or pay range minimum. The salary adjustment shall not move the base salary above the academic staff, university staff, or limited appointee salary range maximum. For positions with an Extraordinary Salary Range (ESR), they will be limited to the maximum of the established range.
      • Employees paid near the maximum will receive the pay plan limited to the maximum with the difference paid as an annualized lump sum payment.
      • Employees currently paid above the applicable range maximum shall be eligible for an annualized lump sum payment in the amount of the pay plan percentage.
    4. Percentage adjustments will be applied on the base salary on the effective date of the pay plan adjustment. Where there are multiple adjustments on the same date, adjustments will follow the order or application as found in UW System Administrative Policy 1277.
  5. Notification to Employees
    1. Pay Plan Implementation Guidelines will be established within 90 days after JCOER approval. Final approval of the compensation plan requires approval by JCOER which may occur near to or after pay plan effective dates and may change the proposed compensation plan criteria.
    2. The Department of Human Resources in conjunction with Universities of Wisconsin Human Resources will distribute notices to eligible employees.
    3. Deans and Division heads in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources must provide notification to those otherwise eligible employees deemed ineligible based on the outlined criteria.

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