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UW Trustees Act On Salary Discrepancies

Screen shot from March 21-23 UW Board of Trustees materials altered by Tennessee Watson

The University of Wyoming’s Salary Policy Task Force presented findings to the Board of Trustees Thursday confirming that staff are paid below average when compared to peer institutions and relevant industries. The task force was appointed by President Laurie Nichols last August after staff raised concerns about salary distribution.


In response, the UW trustees approved a policy change that would allow the university to make market-driven decisions about salary distribution in the future, in addition to employee performance.


UW Staff Senate President Rachel Stevens, who served on the task force, said the new policy is an important change.


“For staff, we know that across the board [that] if you are just even comparing to the state, we come in below,” said Stevens. “I think last time I looked the average was 12 percent below. That includes people who are above and below. For people who are below, we are closer to 17 percent below.”


Stevens said she knows because of budgetary constraints that pay raises aren’t likely immediately, but it’s good to see the university taking concrete steps to quantify inequalities and to create a path for future salary increases.


“It is big in that we at least have an approach that is more manageable and we are acknowledging that it is an issue,” said Stevens. “And we can start addressing it each year, so I think it’s a very big thing for the staff on campus.”


Under the new policy, the task force will come back to the board at a future meeting to make recommendations about where and in what amount salary increases are needed.


Note: Wyoming Public Radio reporters are UW staff.

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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