The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is offering a voluntary separation incentive to some employees to help save money in anticipation of cuts in state funding.
The incentive provides a one-time payment of half their base salary to eligible employees, who must be vested with the Wisconsin Retirement System and qualify for a full annuity as of July 1.
Four other U.W. campuses have announced similar cost-saving measures since Gov. Scott Walker proposed cutting the UW System budget by $300 million over two years. UWM’s share of that cut is estimated at $40 million. The Wisconsin Legislature is still considering the budget that takes effect July 1.
“As we have seen with other campuses, UWM’s voluntary separation program is one aspect of a multi-faceted approach to responsibly deal with the magnitude of budget cuts that have been proposed. As much as possible, we must be strategic about the vital role our faculty and staff play and how a voluntary separation program such as ours will impact UWM and, ultimately, the city, region and state,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said.
The separation program is expected to save UWM millions of dollars during the next two years. The specific amount will depend upon which employees accept the offer and whether they are replaced.
“Our hard-working and dedicated employees are UWM’s greatest asset, and we will be sorry to see valued workers leave,” Mone said. “We thank them for their long service. Our hope is that this program will help us meet the financial challenges ahead in a way that maintains the high quality of education offered here and affects as few employees as possible.”
UWM has approximately 4,500 employees. Employees who accept incentives cannot be rehired by UWM for two years to ensure that both employees and departments understand the program is intended to create long-term savings.
Eligible employees will be notified by May 1. They must apply by May 22 and will receive notice of the status of their applications by June 15. Dates of separation will be set on a case-by-case basis, based on employee requests and approval of the dean or division head.
Mone will discuss the future of UWM as the featured guest at the Milwaukee Press Club’s Newsmaker Luncheon on Wednesday. To register to attend, click here.