The University of Wisconsin announced Friday the university will increase minimum wage to $15 an hour for their lowest earning employees beginning in spring 2020.

This raise will affect mostly custodial, food service and animal workers, according to a UW news release. It specifically said student and temporary employees will not be affected. 

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Chancellor Rebecca Blank said the increase hoped to keep the university competitive with other institutions and organizations across the state. Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday a proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 across the state. 

“The increase in our minimum wage is a key part of our strategy for helping the university recruit and retain high-quality workers,” Blank said in the release. “Employees who will benefit from this increase make important contributions to our teaching, research and outreach missions.”

According to the release, this will cost the university approximately $1.1 million. Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller said this investment would prove important to the university’s goal of continually attracting workers.

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The release said divisions like UW Housing often have as many as 50 vacant positions.

“UW-Madison strives to be the employer of choice in the Madison area,” Heller said in the release. “With this change, we’re recognizing both the competitive labor market and the hard and valuable work done by our dedicated staff.”

A 2% salary increase for faculty and staff will also go into effect January 2020, in alignment with Evers’ compensation plan, the release said.