Clark County School District teachers whose paychecks were shorted by a glitch in a new $17 million payroll system will not receive the money they are owed until Feb. 10.
The possibility of an additional paycheck to make up for the shortages was raised by the district’s chief financial officer, Jason Goudie, at a Clark County School Board meeting Thursday at which teachers complained about the problem with the district’s new Human Capital Management System.
The teachers said the system was not crediting them for work done outside normal hours, such as teaching night school or picking up work during prep hours, which many teachers rely on to make ends meet. District support staff members have reported issues of their own with the system.
But district officials said in an email sent to all staff members Friday that a special paycheck run to make up for the shortages “is not feasible at this time,” because the payroll department is facing a Jan. 31 federal deadline to produce W-2 tax forms.
Any outstanding errors will be corrected in Feb. 10 paychecks, the email said.
“We understand these issues are impacting our employees and we want to assure you we are working diligently to resolve them,” the email said. “As always, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to address the payroll issues.”
Old system dated to ’70s
The CCSD received $17 million from the state Legislature in 2017 to update its human resource management system, parts of which had been developed in-house in the late 1970s.
In October 2017, the district awarded a $14,258,328 contract to CherryRoad Technologies, a company that “modernizes, optimizes and manages” back-office processes for public sector organizations, in order to implement the Oracle software platforms for payroll and hiring. The district also indicated it would spend $1.46 million annually on the project for up to 10 years.
Representatives for Oracle and CherryRoad did not return requests for comment.
With the new system in place, the district expected to save $3 million annually in labor costs associated with data entry of paper HR forms, including the 500,000 leave request forms that staff filed each year.
A timeline provided to the School Board in May 2019 showed that the district worked to implement the new system from January 2018 through June 2019, then ran the old and new systems concurrently from July 2019 to January 2020.
That trial did not reveal the paycheck problem, however.
CCSD teachers, substitutes and staff members began to report issues with the system during the first round of paychecks processed through the new Oracle platform known as PeopleSoft in early January.
For teachers, the lingering issues stem from what the district describes as an improper routing and approval of extra hours associated with teaching night school and a practice known as prep buyout, in which teachers take additional work during their preparation periods.
Teacher shorted over $950
Teacher Ryan Fromoltz said he was shorted $950 on his work teaching night school in December — about half of what he should have been paid — and received nothing for a prep period buyout. He added that the district puts in these extra hours manually.
According to the district, a fix was implemented Jan. 20 and will apply to any reported time beginning Jan. 21, with the district “working to get the previously reported time that was not routed properly approved and paid on the Feb. 10, 2020 paycheck.”
For support staff, on the other hand, any errors reported by Jan. 23 were set to be corrected by the Jan. 29 payday. But on social media, staff members said they were not alerted to any potential issues until after the Jan. 23 deadline, and that by Tuesday, they still could not view their total earnings in the new software.
Bus driver Michael Williams said he’s had payroll issues before, but the switch to the new system has created additional problems, including one paycheck in which he was overpaid.
He said he plans to try and meet with CCSD representatives in person after having no luck getting answers via a hotline set up to handle complaints. For some CCSD staff, the issues amount to going more than a month without a full paycheck, Williams said.
“To me, they shouldn’t be going to work, because if they stopped going to work I bet this would get fixed fast,” Williams said of his colleagues in that situation. “I know administration is not having issues with their paycheck.”
After staff reported wait times of over an hour on the hotline set up to handle payroll concerns — 702-799-5351 — the district created an email address to field concerns. Staff are asked to report payroll issues to email@example.com.
The district said in a separate email that it expects to have an update on the issues with the Oracle hiring platform, Taleo, on Wednesday. Problems with that system have prevented the district from making new hires since the beginning of the year.
Jara deletes ‘groceries’ tweet
Over the weekend, Superintendent Jesus Jara came under fire for what some social media users saw as a tone-deaf tweet amid teacher pay shortages.
In the now-deleted tweet, Jara recounted a conversation with his daughter, who asked Jara to transfer money so she could “buy groceries and eat.”
Trustee Danielle Ford was one of the first to reply, saying she’d heard from over 20 teachers who were expecting grocery money in their paychecks.
“But since transferring is easier I will find out if they prefer Venmo,” Ford’s tweet said.