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Employment Relations board approves pay raises for state workers, UW employees

MADISON, WI (WTAQ0 - After several years, a pay raise is finally on the way for tens-of-thousands of Wisconsin state government and University-of-Wisconsin employees.

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations voted 8-to-nothing today to grant a general one-percent across-the-board raise for state workers – an extra 25-cents-an-hour for lower-paid workers – and an option to grant merit raises for top UW professors to keep them from leaving.

It’s the first raises in four years for rank-and-file employees, and the first in five years for most managers.

Democrats said it wasn’t enough to make up for what the employees lost in 2011, when they had to start paying more for their own health insurance and retirements.

Still, the Democrats called the raises a good first step.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said the state went through hard financial times in recent years, but it’s now able to invest in its workforce. He called the pay hikes “well-deserved.”

No other action is needed, so the pay hikes will take effect on Sunday. Employees will start seeing it on their paychecks at the end of July.