SFUSD Teachers Unpaid Since January Pay-On-Demand – NBC Bay Area

San Francisco Unified School District teachers said Monday that the district has failed to pay them and other staff, some of whom have been waiting for payment since January.

At a rally outside the SFUSD headquarters, teachers called on district officials to address the issue, which has affected employees’ livelihoods as many are unable to pay rent and other bills.

The payment issues come as the district and the San Francisco school board plan to lay off hundreds of teachers to balance the budget for the upcoming school year, with the district facing a projected budget shortfall of $125.

SFUSD officials admitted that hundreds of teachers and other staff had not been paid since January, but attributed the mistake to a recent district change to a new payroll system. Previously, the district had been using the same system for 17 years.

“We have hundreds, if not thousands of teachers, paraeducators, counsellors, social workers, nurses and other staff who we owe thousands of dollars. Retirement accounts, health benefits, bank charges, eviction notices, mortgages have all been affected,” said Leslie Hu, SFUSD social worker and secretary of United Educators San Francisco, at the rally.

The UESF is the union representing teachers and other staff.

“We can’t live like this,” said UESF President Cassondra Curiel. “This problem is not the computers. It is not a software problem. It is the problem of the decisions that were made at the highest level of management and which continue to persist until March. We have a pay date coming up, and the rest of us teachers are waiting. We’ve exhausted our patience.”

She added: “It’s absolutely obscene the kind of neglect we’ve seen and we don’t take it anymore.”

During the rally, dozens of teachers showed up chanting “Pay us now”.

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin and Supervisor Myrna Melgar also showed up at the rally in support of SFUSD teachers and staff.

During the rally, several UESF members entered SFUSD headquarters and went to the third floor administrative office, demanding to speak with Superintendent Vincent Matthews. The band said they were prepared to stay the night unless Matthews agreed to pay them the money owed.

In a statement, Matthews said the district is working diligently to correct the issue, including adding at least ten more staff to its payroll department to help investigate and resolve the issue.

“Despite much preparation, serious payroll issues have arisen since the transition to a new employee information system. This is inexcusable and should not have happened,” he said. “It is SFUSD’s responsibility to pay its employees accurately and on time. We deeply apologize to each employee who has experienced late payment. I have instructed our CTO to move on to this project at 100% until further notice. We are committed to resolving this emergency as soon as possible. Every member of staff will receive the money they are owed.”

Melissa Dodd, Chief Technology Officer of SFUSD, said, “By increasing the staff resources we dedicate to this issue and further streamlining our approach, we expect these critical payroll issues to be resolved in the near future. We wish we could move even faster, but it takes time for new people to be trained on the systems and processes that need to be understood to fix payroll issues.”

SFUSD officials said that although hundreds of staff were affected, the majority of the district’s more than 10,000 employees were properly paid.

District officials also said the employees who were affected appear to have holidays and variable work schedules or multiple shifts, which may have caused confusion when integrating the new payment system.

To help staff members who owed money, the district set up a ticketing system so they could submit complaints by email and phone. Additionally, the district will be hosting in-person clinics so affected employees can meet with a payroll specialist.

UESF officials said they plan to take legal action if the payment issue is not resolved.

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