Revised: December 1, 2004

I. Background

This paper sets forth proper bases to use for calculations concerned with salaries and fringe benefits of unclassified appointees (excluding student help). UW System Administrative Policy 215 (SYS 215), Payment Methods and Timing for Payroll and Wisconsin Statute Section 109.03 address pay period assignment and payment issuance.

II. Constraints

In addition to the policies and procedures set forth in this paper, calculations of salaries and fringe benefits are subject to the following rules and regulations:

III. Policy

A consistent set of guidelines shall be used to compensate unclassified staff. Generally, employees shall be paid on the first of the month for work performed during the previous pay period. The amount of the monthly pay rate for each pay period shall be the same regardless of the number of days in the pay period. For academic year appointees, a payroll calendar, defining the pay periods within the academic year calendar, shall be established annually for each institution. For annual appointees, the pay period shall be the calendar month.

IV. Procedures

Academic basis (“C”) Appointments directly tied to the academic year calendar (273 days or 39 weeks).
Summer basis (“S”) Employment periods between the end of one academic year and the beginning of the next, paid as determined by the institution.
Annual basis (“A”) Appointments for the fiscal year paid as determined by the calendar month.
Hourly basis (“H”) Infrequent appointments where workloads typically fluctuate and it is not practical to determine a monthly rate of pay.
Lump Sum basis (“L”) Short-term cases where establishing a rate of pay would be inappropriate.

A. Calculation of Monthly Rate of Pay

Regular monthly payroll payments are generally issued on the first of each month (refer to SYS 215Payment Methods and Timing for Payroll for exceptions). Under the regular payroll schedules, the payment is for services rendered during the preceding pay period.* For full-time employees, the monthly rate of pay equals the annual/academic year contract salary rate (if the position is budgeted, this is the budgeted rate) divided by the number of months associated with the pay basis and payroll schedule. Examples follow.

* Other pay periods in existence have been grandfathered in or approved on an exception basis.

Pay Basis Annual Contract Salary Rate Number of
Rate of Pay
A $36,000 12 $3,000
B $36,000 9 $4,000

Full-time, one-semester appointees should receive 4.5 months of pay; the payroll calendars should be constructed so that the one-half month paid after the end of the fall term or in the beginning of the spring term will equal 50% of the Monthly Rate when applying the Partial Pay Period Rules in paragraph B, below.

The Monthly Rate of pay for part-time employees is the full-time rate prorated for the part-time percentage.

The Monthly Rate is rounded by carrying the result out to five places and then rounding up to the next whole cent. Example: .00001 equals one cent. (In the above discussion, one month equals one pay period.)

B. Payment for Partial Pay Periods and Leaves of Absence

When an employee begins employment after the beginning of a pay period or terminates before the end of a pay period, the partial salary shall be determined on the basis of calendar days in the pay period. This calculation is also used when a leave of absence begins in the middle of a payroll period and ends in the middle of a subsequent payroll period. The payroll calendar for each particular institution shall be used in determining partial payments in accordance with the following methodology:

(monthly base / # of days in the pay period) * days to be paid = amount to be paid


A new employee on an annual (calendar year) pay basis ($36,000) begins employment March 17. Partial payment for March is calculated as follows:

$3,000 / 31 = $96.78* x 15 = $1,451.70

*Any number three places to the right of the decimal is rounded up to the next cent.

An employee returning from a leave of absence on March 17 would be the same as the above calculation.

An employee who begins a leave of absence effective March 17 would be calculated as follows:

$3,000 / 31 = $96.78 x 16 = $1,548.48

C. Summer Payments

Persons employed on an academic year basis shall be compensated for additional assignments during the summer session at the rate up to the equivalent of 2/9 of the previous academic year salary rate for a full work load for an eight week summer session. All summer payments, whether summer session and/or summer service, are counted in the 2/9 rule. If the institution determines that there are differences in summer session work load from a full time work load, then an appropriate compensation level shall be established. (Additional employment periods during the summer may be determined by the institution.) Compensation received in the summer period may not in aggregate exceed 2/9 of the academic year salary of the person appointed unless an explicit exception is granted by the Chancellor or designee, regardless of source of funds.

Summer payments are not subject to the $12,000 limitation imposed on a calendar year basis by SYS 165, Academic Year Definition And Assorted Derivatives, UPG-4 and Section 16.417(2), Wisconsin Statutes.

D. Calculation of Overload Payments

In accordance with SYS 165, Academic Year Definition And Assorted Derivatives and UPG-4, overload payments may be made for work of an “…unusual, short-term, or non-recurring nature.” Specific advance approval of the Chancellor or designee is required. Overload is generally calculated at the current monthly rate of pay. Overload payments may be subject to the $12,000 limitation imposed on a calendar year basis by SYS 165, Academic Year Definition And Assorted Derivatives, UPG-4, and Section 16.417(2), Wisconsin Statutes. Violations of Section 16.417(2) must be repaid by the employee.

E. Pay Basis Conversions

When an unclassified appointment is converted from one pay basis to another, the following calculations shall be used:

“A” to “C” = Rate * (9/11)”C” to “A” = Rate * (11/9)

“A” to “H” = Rate / 2088

“H” to “A” = Rate * 2088

“C” to “H” = Rate / 2088 * (11/9)

“H” to “C” = Rate * 2088 * (9/11)

(The conversion denominator of 11 takes into consideration the one-month vacation granted annual appointments.)

F. Salary Advances

Institutions may offer new unclassified employees a salary advance to cover living expenses during the first month of employment. Advances up to 35% of one month’s gross pay may be granted. A repayment agreement must be signed by the employee prior to the advance being made. (Salary Advance Request and Payroll Deduction Form pdf can be downloaded.) Salary advances are to be repaid in full via payroll deduction from the employee’s first regular payroll payment. The Salary Advance procedures are as follows:

  1. New unclassified employee submits a Salary Advance Request and Payroll Deduction Form through appropriate institution channels;
  2. Approved Salary Advance Request and Payroll Deduction Form is vouchered by institution Accounts Payable Department, and a check or ACH payment is issued to the employee;
  3. In coding the expenditure, the institution may use any string of chartfield coding it chooses, but must use ACCOUNT 6160 (“Salary Advances”);
  4. Institution Payroll Department enters a one-time payroll deduction for “Salary Advance Repayments” on the employee’s first regular payroll. It is expected that the Salary Advance will be repaid in full from this first payroll;
  5. The Payroll Calculation will result in a one-time payroll deduction and produce a check payable to the institution. This check will be sent to the office the institution designates to handle repayments;
  6. The Institution Business Office will deposit the repayment check as a refund of expenditure, using the exact same coding assigned to the original Salary Advance expenditure;
  7. The Institution Business Office will reconcile all Salary Advances issued against repayments to ensure compliance with UW policies.

G. Calculating Wisconsin Retirement System Service Credit

For full-time employees, 22 days, or 176 hours, of work per month shall be reported to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). One year of creditable service is equal to 1,320 hours except for employees in the executive retirement plan where it is equal to 1,904 hours. For part-time employees (and partial payments), the percentage to be used is to be determined by the relationship of the gross pay for the month or pay period to the full-time rate for the month or pay period, i.e., based on the percentage of full-time.

Periodically employees are paid on a Lump Sum basis (“L”) for short-term or special project assignments, where payment based on an hourly rate of pay is impractical. For purposes of tracking potential Wisconsin Retirement System creditable service, hours need to be assigned to the lump sum payments as required by Wisconsin Statutes s.40.22(2m) and (3).

At the beginning of each fiscal year the Human Resources Information Services Department will determine an hourly rate which shall be used in the absence of a reported hourly rate. This rate will be based on the average monthly salary for unclassified instructors, using the calculations identified in Section IV.E. of this policy document.

H. Sick Leave Conversion Value

As required by ETF 10.01(1m), Administrative Code, in determining the hourly rate of earnings for computing the value of accumulated sick leave for unclassified employees upon retirement, layoff or death, the highest monthly full-time rate of pay shall be divided by 174. (See Section IV.A. to calculate the monthly rate of pay.)

I. Leave of Absence Without Pay

The same methodology as outlined in Section IV.B. above should be used in cases of leave of absence without pay. Deductions shall not be made from an exempt staff member’s salary for time off of less than one full work day.

J. Calculation of Vacation upon Termination/Transfer or Overdrawn Leave Credits

When it is determined that a lump sum payment of accrued vacation is appropriate, it will be calculated as follows:

full-time monthly rate / 22 days (176 hours) * number of days of accrued vacation = lump sum payment

The same calculations should be used to determine any overdrawn leave to be repaid. Executive Pay Plan vacation and leave calculations are governed by OSER rules.