When Paychecks Go Wrong, Workers Strike

Philadelphia union leaders announced last Wednesday that they would hold off filing suit against the Kenney administration regarding widespread inaccuracies in payroll.

Philly.com reported on their website that Philadelphia city leaders, including Mayor Kenney, met privately with the leaders of AFSME District Council 47 and Firefighters local Number 22 on Friday and has vowed to make good on monies that are owed to those workers. The attorney representing the two local unions, Deborah Willig, said in a statement that the city is taking the steps needed for workers to get accurate paychecks as quickly as possible.

The One Philly project is being blamed for producing serious glitches which have resulted in thousands of paycheck discrepancies. The project which cost $40 million was supposed to link payroll, pensions, and benefits in one system. When One Philly started issuing paychecks in April of this year, workers found there were several inaccuracies in their paychecks including shorted standard pay hours, overtime and holiday pay. Some workers reported receiving no pay at all, and others reported being paid more money than they were owed.

Because of the widespread errors, recently the city had to issue more than 5,000 supplemental paychecks to make up for the errors. The Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Jim Engler, said in a statement on Tuesday, “Our focus this entire time is to get people paid what they are due on time or as quickly as possible.” Officials say that they expect to have the payroll issues resolved by the end of the week. The city gave workers affected a hotline number to call in case there were any further problems or questions regarding their pay. This request was made by the unions.

The unions have also requested that modifications to One Philly be made so that anything other than regular hours, such as vacation or overtime, would have to be manually entered into the system. Engler said that part of the payroll issues has stemmed from human error.

The city has requested workers fill out a claim form if they have incurred fines, penalties or other charges stemming from their payroll being shorted. If approved, those fees would be reimbursed by the city to make things right for its workers.