Glitches delay pay for school workers (Philadelphia - $36million system, 28,000 workers) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

October 1, 1999


Glitches delay pay for school workers

Bad day at Olney High; fire followed by 6 arrests

by Kevin Haney Daily News Staff Writer

The School District's new $36 million computer system is having problems handling the district's payroll for some 28,000 workers.

But the problem isn't Y2K.

It's why so late?

First, about 500 workers didn't get paychecks on time two weeks ago. Now, the people running the new "Advantage" computer network can't get the computer to pay workers bonuses and raises they were promised earlier this month. Two unions representing more than 4,000 district workers went before Common Pleas Judge Mary D. Colins, asking her to re-program the district's efforts.

Thomas Doyle, president of Local 1201 International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers, said that up to 1,000 school janitors were due bonuses of $500 each on Sept. 3. Another 500 building engineers also were due bonuses of $250, under a contract negotiated Aug. 31, he said.

An undetermined number of bus drivers, bus attendants and school aides haven't receive overtime pay, Doyle said. Some employees on sick leave or worker's compensation received checks for as little as $6, he said.

The School Police Association, with more than 400 members, is still waiting for a 3 percent pay raise, effective Sept. 1, to show up in their paychecks. Andrew Rosen, a district assistant general counsel, said the district expected to have all the problems fixed by Oct. 15.

"There are inevitable start-up glitches in any system," he said. Rosen is expected to give Colins details on the repairs at a hearing today.

-- Homer Beanfang (, October 01, 1999


Fix by October 15? They should talk to these people:

Wrinkle in teachers' paychecks gets a little smoother

Mike Berry of The Sentinel Staff

Published in The Orlando Sentinel on October 1, 1999.

The latest payday for Orange County teachers went fairly well, but some teachers still were paid late or not at all this week under a new payroll computer system.

"A very small number" of teachers and substitute teachers were paid too little or not all Wednesday, school district spokesman Joe Mittiga said. He did not have an exact number but said the employees should be paid in full by the end of the week.

"It was considerably better than previous payrolls," he said.

Other employees, including bus drivers, clerks and maintenance workers, get paid next week.

Payroll problems began in July when the school system went to a complex new computer software.

School district officials have said employees who were shortchanged on payday were cut a special check within a few days to make up for it.

But Kathie Flagg, a resource teacher at Aloma Elementary, said Thursday she was short $980 on each of her Aug. 18 and Sept. 1 paychecks and that she did not get reimbursed until Sept. 3. The following check incorrectly docked her for medical insurance.

One of the biggest issues remains confusing, hard-to-decipher paystubs.

"We don't even know what they're paying us for," bus driver Carlos Garcia said.

Mittiga said correcting that problem is a top priority.

The continuing payroll problems were the subject of a School Board meeting Tuesday that resulted in unusual friction between Superintendent Dennis Smith and some School Board members.

Smith said that employees awarded a pay raise in July would not get back pay reflecting the raise until December. Because the School Board approves its budget in late September every year, employees usually get that back pay in October.

Board member Linda Sutherland said December is too late, especially with holidays approaching. A visibly annoyed Smith said his staff was working as fast as it could to correct the problems.

"I'm not going to sit here, Mrs. Sutherland, and make promises [that back pay can be awarded before December.] . . . I don't want the board to think we're sitting on our hands."

Flagg said she was patient about the problems and willing to give the district the benefit of the doubt. What really bothers her, she said, is that "through this entire situation not a single person has said, 'I'm sorry.' "

[Posted 10/01/1999 0:59 AM EST]

-- Homer Beanfang (, October 01, 1999.

This article says this system was designed to be Y2k compliant.

Station Home Page & More Local Information

School district workers not getting paid PHILADELPHIA, PA - Attorneys for the School District of Philadelphia are in court Friday promising to pay hundreds of workers, many of which havent been paid. The problem revolves around a new computer designed to be Y2K compliant. Its supposedly ready for the new millenium, but it wasnt ready for the beginning of the school year.

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The School District of Philadelphia

It was September 7th that Philadelphia schools opened for business. The students were greeted by teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers - some 29,000 employees in all. But now, with their second check due Friday, some of those employees say the new computer system is bugging them. Im a second-shift operator and we produce the checks, and I just cant see it, said Felix Serrano, Jr., who said theyre not getting the right checks. It should be direct deposit, Serrano said. All of a sudden, Im getting a live check. Serranos problem is simple compared with what some other district employees have been facing: No check at all, or no contractual bonus. That is why Local 1201 went to court Thursday. If this is the way we can get people to wake up and do something, make commitments and get to the top of the pile, then thats what were going to do, said Ralph Teti, a union attorney. And if thats what the lawsuit does then well have accomplished what we set out to do. Thomas McGlinchy, the districts acting managing director, admits there have been computer problems, and he understands the concern. You need to get paid, McGlinchy said. I still remember living paycheck to paycheck so I know how important it is. We are really concentrating on those folks who didnt get anything first, trying to get them a paycheck. Workers should get their bonuses by October 15th. McGlinchy says there have actually been fewer mistakes this September than in previous years. Hes hoping the computer problems will begin to decrease as the computer glitches get fixed.

-- Homer Beanfang (, October 01, 1999.

Homer, thanks for finding & posting all these real-life examples of Longer Than Oh, 2 or 3 Hour Fixes. Very instructive. Gloom deepening!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 01, 1999.

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