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Dallas Firefighters' Frustrations With Problem-Plagued Payroll System Boil Over 

DALLAS (CSBDFW.COM) - CBS 11 News has learned some of the big problems the city of Dallas is having with its payroll system.

The president of the Dallas Fire Fighters Association, Jim McDade, said it's hitting the city's firefighters particularly hard.
"We have a morale problem with the fire department and this is just an added kick to the head with these guys," said McDade.

McDade said the mistakes in firefighters' paychecks and with their healthcare coverage have become such a big problem, they had to go right to the top and voice their concerns to City Manager T.C. Broadnax.

Their frustration boiled over in a letter to him that they also posted on social media.

McDade said firefighters are tired of feeling ignored.

"Our Dallas Firefighters are held to the highest of standards and we expect them to perform under the most adverse of conditions, yet our own internal departments NEVER held to that standard," said McDade. "Our Firefighters deserve more deserve to be treated better..."

He praised the new Fire Chief Dominique Artis and Jon Fortune, the assistant city manager who oversees public safety for their efforts to try to resolve the problems, but said the issues have remained.

McDade said he believed he had no other choice but to send the letter and make it public.

McDade letter

"I'm not getting answers and I'm not getting responses," said McDade. "A lot of members attempt to take care of this stuff on their own and they hit a brick wall. I have other contacts I'm able to reach out to those people and I'm getting the same response. I'm not getting answers."

Late Friday afternoon, the city manager said this is all part of a big problem the city is continuing to have with its payroll system.

It impacts all employees, but specifically firefighters and police officers.

In a statement, Broadnax said, "These issues are unacceptable. We are engaged with the appropriate parties to address the issues while recognizing that we are still using outdated technology resulting in manual processes due to legacy software systems.  The importance of accurate pay for all employees is something we take very seriously..."

Broadnax said the city is working with third parties to minimize discrepancies, and that the city council approved funding to invest in new technology and a new payroll and human resources system.

McDade said those new systems are scheduled to go online in January of next year.

The president of the Dallas Police Association Mike Mata said the organization's members have experienced the same problems as firefighters.

Before receiving the city manager's statement, Council Member Adam McGough, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said McDade handled the situation well.

"It's frustrating to see anytime anybody in the city is not being what they feel being taken care of appropriately with good customer service especially when it's our first responders and our firefighters in this circumstance," said McGough.

Late Friday afternoon, McGough said he did not know about the extent of the city's payroll issues.

McDade said he'll meet with the city manager Wednesday afternoon.

The city has now set up a dedicated email for city employees to immediately notify human resources and financial leadership of any issues.

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