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WSU faculty and staff receive a $5.4 million pay bump

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(The Center Square) – Washington State University employees are set to receive a pay bump for the 2024 academic year after passage of this biennium’s operating budget by the state Legislature earlier this year.

The operating budget, known as ESSB 5187, was passed by the state legislature on April 23, 2023 and signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on May 17th, 2023.

Titled “for Washington State University,” Section 607 Subsection 19 states that “$1,921,000 of the general fund — state appropriation for fiscal year 2024 and $3,526,000 of the general fund — state appropriation for fiscal year 2025 are provided solely for compensation support.”

Combined, this comes out to over $5,447,000 for boosting employee wages at WSU.

“We are grateful for the state’s support in helping WSU fund these much-needed increases,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz to the school newspaper, WSU Insider. “This investment in our employees is one way we can show our appreciation, and we are glad to do it.”

What does this mean in terms of numbers for WSU employees?

Classified staff, as the university calls them under the federal Wages and Fair Labor Standards Act, are set to receive an across the board 4% increase. This increase is funded solely from the state legislature operations budget mentioned above, and will go into effect on July 1st of this year.

This increase applies to all classified staff, both salaried and hourly.

Faculty and administrative professionals will be getting a bit less, and will have to wait a bit longer.

The state legislature only provided enough funding for a 2.2% increase in this department. Fortunately, WSU provided the remainder of the funds to increase this to 2.5%.

This increase won’t go into effect until Oct. 1, and only applies to salaried staff.

Additionally in the state’s operating budget, Section 1603 Subsection 35 states that “$1,337,000 of the general fund — state appropriation for fiscal year 2023 is provided solely for institution compensation costs in recognition that these costs exceed estimated increases in undergraduate operating fee revenue.”

It is unclear if this funding is going to backfill shortfalls in the previous biennial budget or if it is being applied to the aforementioned pay increases.

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