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San Francisco teachers rally against district wide payroll issues

SFUSD teachers still outraged by payroll woes
SFUSD teachers still outraged by payroll woes 02:15

SAN FRANCISCO - SFUSD teachers blocked off Franklin street on Wednesday afternoon in protest of the district's new payroll system. Paycheck and healthcare issues have become a district wide problem, and as the first half of the school year comes to a close, teachers say that little has been done to make things better.

"Yeah, one of my paychecks was 33 days late," said Sarah, on her way out of Burton High School. "My paychecks have been incorrect when they are coming on time."

Like teachers across the city, Sarah left class at 2:25, and went straight to the district headquarters, where she gathered with a street full of other teachers facing similar problems.

"It's crazy," said Andre. "It's absolutely crazy. I know we all have different personal stories related to absolutely everything."

"How long would you expect teachers to work without getting paid," asked another teacher named Sarah. "With getting kicked off their health insurance, with not understanding if their benefits are going through. Without having to take our own time to check our paychecks all the time."

Teachers say they are running out of patience -- and financial options -- as the payroll troubles drag on. They are asking the district to abandon the new system altogether.

"We know this has been very difficult and frustrating for employees with an issue with their pay or a question about the benefits and need something addressed," SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne said in a recorded statement last week. "We've learned it's impacting a significant number of employees."

The district acknowledged that it was still falling behind on clearing all of the problems reported. A call center has been opened so teachers can report their issues directly.

"So we hope that this is a measure that will help our staff," Wayne said. "Be able to know, and trust that we are addressing their concerns so that they can focus on what matters and that's what's happening in our schools."

But for a lot of teachers, the ongoing paycheck glitches are deeply personal, and that frustration is growing as time passes.

"It's insane how long it's taking them to figure it out," Rabin said of the problems. "People can't get help. I don't have time to analyze every paycheck to figure out if there are mistakes.

The EMPower payroll system cost $14 million. A consultant hired to find a fix cost nearly $3 million, and they've just come back with a first round of suggestions. There is no timeline for when the problems might be resolved.

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