Discretionary Equity or Retention Adjustment -Classified Staff (AP-06-107)

UW-River Falls Administrative Policy
Policy ID: AP-06-107
Effective: June 30, 2013
Last Revision: August 21, 2014
Review: 3 years

Discretionary Equity or Retention Adjustment -
Classified Staff
Maintained by: Human Resources
Approved by: Chancellor
Next Review Date: May 1, 2017

Printable PDF version


This policy establishes compensation guidelines for eligible classified staff members who seek Discretionary Equity or Retention Adjustment as stated in University of Wisconsin System Discretionary Equity or Retention Adjustment (DERA) Criteria and Guidelines policy of June 30, 2013, the 2013-2015 Compensation Plan, and Chapter 552 of the Wisconsin Human Resources Handbook.


The UW-River Falls Chancellor issues this policy in accordance with the Administrative Policy process.
The Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance is responsible for the administration of this policy. Request an exception to this policy by writing to

Sanctions and Appeals Process

Failure to adhere to the provisions of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary action as provided under existing procedures applicable to students, faculty, and staff, and/or civil or criminal prosecution.


DERA will be available to address equity and/or retention issues.  Permanent or project classified (except Crafts Workers and Crafts Worker Supervisors) no longer serving a probationary period and who have had a satisfactory-or-above performance evaluation during the previous fiscal year at UW-River Falls in a broadband pay range are eligible for a base pay increase, lump sum payment, or a combination of both.  Employees who are eligible for broadband pay upon appointment within the previous twelve months should be considered for DERA only in exceptional circumstances. DERAs will generally be awarded as a base pay increase but lump sums may be requested if applicable.

Except in extraordinary situations, the maximum base pay adjustments and lump sum payments granted to an employee in a fiscal year is greater than zero and up to two within-range steps.

Employees are not eligible to receive a discretionary equity or retention adjustment for two consecutive years.

Equity and Retention Adjustment Criteria:

Pay Equity: The employee's salary has been determined to be lower than that of other state employees performing the same or similar duties at the same level of proficiency and who have comparable years of relevant service; or there is significant pay compression between the employee and his/her immediate subordinates; or established labor market data identifies a need to award market adjustments in order to achieve equity with external public/private employers.

Retention: The employer is aware that the employee is actively seeking other employment, or the employee actually has a job offer in hand and the resultant loss of the employee's knowledge and experience would be a detriment to the agency; therefore, requiring a pay adjustment be made in order to retain the employee.

1.  Requests will be submitted utilizing the Justification for DERA form as prescribed by the University of Wisconsin System.

2.  Equity requests will include supporting documentation and must include source data from:

3.  Supervisors of eligible classified staff will complete and/or accept requests beginning with the first Monday of August and ending on the first Tuesday of October annually. Employees may self-nominate for DERA no more than once per fiscal year within the designated period.  The "Recommended by (Supervisor)" signature must be obtained from the immediate supervisor.  If the supervisor approves the request, he/she must complete the Justification Narrative section on the Justification for Discretionary Equity or Retention Adjustment (DERA) form to support the request.  If the supervisor denies the request, the employee may petition to the next level supervisor for review of the request.  The next level supervisor must review the request and respond to the employee, in writing, with his/her decision within seven days or by the first Tuesday of October, whichever comes first.  Employees may self-nominate for DERA no more than once per fiscal year within the designated timeframe.

4.  Within seven days of receipt but not later than the first Friday in October, supervisors will forward the signed Justification Equity or Retention Adjustment (DERA) forms to Human Resources for verification of eligibility. Human Resources will date stamp the form(s) and verify eligibility of the employee(s).  Human Resources will notify the employee and supervisor if ineligible.  Requests for eligible employees must be returned to the appropriate Division Head by the third Tuesday in October.

5.  Division heads from the following areas will review requests and submit recommendations to the Office of Human Resources by the fourth Friday in October:

Administrative Services
Business and Finance
Chancellor's Office
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Business and Economics
College of Education and Professional Studies
Technology Services
Enrollment and Student Success
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Student Affairs

6.  Requests will be reviewed by an advisory committee comprised of the Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance, two division heads from the list under Item 5, and the HR Director (non-voting).  The division heads will be appointed each year by the Chancellor on a rotating basis.  The advisory committee will review the DERA requests, recommend approval or denial, and recommend award amounts by the fourth Tuesday in November.  Forms will be routed for the Chancellor's approval, appropriate Office of State Employment Relations (OSER) reports completed, and documents to OSER for approval.

7.  All DERAs must be approved by OSER before being granted.

8.  Under no circumstances will the effective receipt of a base building adjustment be earlier than the first Monday of August annually.

9.  A retention request for a special situation where the employee actually has a job offer in hand is an exception and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

10. Within five (5) business days of receipt, retention requests for a special situation must be reviewed by the Director of Human Resources and the Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance, and once approved, will be forwarded to the Chancellor for approval and forwarding to OSER.

University Responsibilities

The Office of the Assistant Chancellor of Business and Finance will maintain this policy on the Administrative Policy website, and the Office of Human Resources will share this policy with employees inquiring about classified pay equity or retention Discretionary Equity or Retention Adjustment.

Department/Unit Responsibilities

Human Resources


Equity and retention were previously included in Discretionary Merit Compensation.  It was removed and the Discretionary Equity or Retention Adjustment was established in the 2013-2015 Compensation Plan.

Related Documents


Please direct questions about this policy to