Gaston County Schools continuing to correct payment issues due to new payroll system

On Monday, the district said it issued less than a dozen paper checks during the recent pay period
On Monday, the district said it issued less than a dozen paper checks during the recent pay period
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 7:13 PM EDT
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GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Gaston County Schools employees say they’re still experiencing payment issues.

Several employees contacted WBTV in late January saying they were missing hundreds of dollars from their regular paychecks, missing supplements, or “plug-in” pay from covering other classes.

The district said it started experiencing issues in late January after transitioning to a new payroll system, Oracle.

On January 27, a district spokesperson said there was an issue with the overnight file upload and they were working to correct it the next morning on January 28.

On Monday the district said they are running payroll every two weeks and employees are getting paid; however, they are running an off-cycle pay run to address the issue for any employees who may be experiencing any.

The Gaston NC Association of Educators President Pam Miller says many members of her organization are still experiencing payment issues including not having “plug-in” pay, which are payments teachers receive from covering classes during their planning period.

“There are fewer people that are missing money so that’s a good thing, we’re at least headed in the right direction but it’s really frustrating and disheartening,” Miller said.

In addition, the district said some people have not been entering their timesheets correctly or not at all.

“We have discovered that some employees are putting their time into the system incorrectly or not at all,” a spokesperson from the district said. “When a situation like this happens, it leads to issues with pay accuracy that we have to look into and correct.”

In early February, the district wrote nearly 200 paper checks for employees who were not paid but says they only had to write less than a dozen paper checks during the most recent pay cycle.

“The need to issue paper checks has lessened significantly because we have been able to address inaccuracies through off-cycle pay runs. Our most recent pay run had a run rate of more than 99 percent. When we encounter an issue or a system rejection during a pay run, we are addressing it with an off-cycle one,” a spokesperson from the district said.

Miller says thankfully her checks were correct but many of her members are missing some of their checks.

“They’re not getting paid the right amount, some people have had double deductions like for insurance just because of errors with the software system,” she said.

One employee who wished to remain anonymous told WBTV they were missing nearly $600 dollars and is urging the district to practice better communication.

“I wish they would take the time to actually listen to us and do absolutely everything they can to make this right. Having hundreds of dollars missing from my paycheck for the past few months now is not ok and I am tired of there being no resolution,” the employee said.

Miller says some Gaston NCAE members have reached out to the district for financial support with late fees.

“The county has really stepped up, they have covered people’s late fees, overdraft fees, like if you had a service disconnected,” she said.

Miller says the NCAE advocacy group met with the district. She says they are not pursuing a lawsuit.

“They talked to the county about the need for clear communication and timely communication because people want to know that you’re actually working on getting their pay fixed,” she said.

“Now that we have been able to make progress with the new system, we are focusing on issues that some employees experienced in payroll runs in January and February. I don’t have a total number of employee-related issues to give you as some issues are reported to school-based financial secretaries and addressed at the school level and some issues are reported to our finance and human resources specialists and addressed at the district level. However, we are facing far fewer issues than we did when we first implemented the new system. For employees who encountered an issue in January and February, we have been working to correct these issues and will continue to do so,” the district said.

Gaston County Schools told WBTV the following:

“In early April, we plan to issue any unpaid amounts or excess deductions from prior pay periods (net of any paper checks issued) in an off-cycle payroll run.  If you are due payment for any unpaid hours (hourly pay, plug-in pay, etc.), you should work with your financial secretary to make sure these hours are correct in Oracle.”

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