The University of Wisconsin System will request the Board of Regents approve a 3 percent pay increase for all employees for the next two fiscal years.

According to a UW System press release, employees haven’t received a pay increase in five of the last eight fiscal years. Increases averaged less than one percent between June 2011 and July 2019.

UW System president Ray Cross said in a statement that they are requesting full state funding of this wage increase to protect educational investments on which students rely.

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“As labor markets tighten, salaries rise, and inflation increases, reinvesting in UW faculty and staff with modest wage increases will ensure we are not falling behind and losing out on talent we need in Wisconsin,” Cross said in the press release.

After six years of tuition freezes, the proposal called for full state funding of the wage increase. The state otherwise provides about 70 percent and the rest is funded by tuition, according to the press release.

Employees are already paid considerably below higher education market rates and meeting competitive pressures and fairly compensating employees should be a priority, Cross said.

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“Attraction, retention, and recognition of high-quality faculty and staff are critical investment opportunities for future student success,” Cross said in the press release.

The UW-Madison pay plan request will be the same as the UW System request.

The Board of Regents will consider the plan on Dec. 6. If approved, it will be sent to the Division of Personnel Management who will submit the proposal to the state Legislature.