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Nurses, healthcare workers demand Sutter Health fix payroll problems

SAN FRANCISCO - Northern California registered nurses and health care workers on Friday demanded that Sutter Health correct payroll errors that they say began last month.

Sutter implemented a new payroll system, Workday, that the unions California Nurses Association and Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union (CNA/CHEU) said starting July 1 led to thousands of nurses and workers facing mistakes in their pay, including missing base pay, missing pay for call shifts, inaccurate pay rates for shifts, incorrect paid time off rates and incorrect deductions.

The unions said that employees immediately reported the errors to Sutter, but the medical group has not corrected them, with mistakes continuing through every payroll cycle. The unions said that Sutter has yet to confirm that the payroll system has been fixed.

Amy Erb, a registered nurse at Sutter's California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, has worked for Sutter Health for 11 years and was frustrated that the payroll errors have yet to be fixed.

"We work hard to provide our patients with the best care. The very least Sutter can do is to accurately compensate us for our time," Erb said in a union press release. "It is outrageous that so many nurses are missing pay and Sutter still has not fixed these terrible mistakes."

Carol Hawthorne-Johnson, who works at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, was also concerned that the errors have not been fixed.

"We are incredibly frustrated that Sutter has not corrected all these mistakes. I can't believe that we've gone through multiple pay periods already and the payroll errors are still happening," Hawthorne-Johnson said. "This is not right. The payroll errors must stop now."

The CNA/CHEU unions, which represent about 8,000 employees at 16 Sutter Health locations in Northern California, demanded that all missing funds be returned to employees and that anyone who has dealt with financial challenges due to the delayed pay "be compensated by Sutter Health for fees incurred for overdrafts, late payments, and other penalties."

CNA/CHEU officials also demanded that the Workday payroll system be fixed or that the previous payroll system be reinstated.

Sutter Health officials issued a statement Friday in response to the workers' payroll problems.

"We recently implemented a new system for our human resources and payroll activities. This significant technical upgrade is complex and has resulted in some payroll-related disruptions. We are making every effort to resolve outstanding compensation and payroll issues," Sutter said in the statement. "We regret any impact this has had on our team members. We value our employees and are grateful for their patience during this transition period."

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