SFUSD Superintendent Announces Significant Addition to Support Services for Staff Experiencing Payroll Issues

SFUSD Superintendent Announces Significant Addition to Support Services for Staff Experiencing Payroll Issues

Press Release

San Francisco (October 25, 2022) - San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne announced a significant addition to the district’s customer service for staff experiencing issues with EMPowerSF, SFUSD’s new system for payroll and other human resources functions. Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 26, SFUSD is launching a Call Center for SFUSD staff that will be open from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, five days a week excluding district holidays. The Call Center will be staffed by central office employees who have been temporarily reassigned to support EMPowerSF. 

“We know the importance of being able to speak with someone directly about their questions and concerns, even if they are not able to immediately resolve the issue,” Superintendent Wayne said. “This is one of a number of measures we have recently taken to help accelerate our efforts to stabilize EMPowerSF, and it remains our top priority. We will continue to work diligently and transparently to resolve outstanding payroll issues.”

SFUSD has relatively small payroll and information technology teams and as with many job sectors, it has been especially challenging to fill vacant positions in payroll, human resources, and technology right now. SFUSD hopes to recruit and onboard dedicated full-time staff to expand capacity to sustainably support the EMpowerSF program as well as various functions within payroll, human resources, and technology as soon as possible. In the meantime, efforts are underway to build additional capacity to resolve payroll issues.

In September, SFUSD engaged the services of management consulting firm Alvarez & Marsel (A&M) to assist in clearing the backlog of critical employee payroll issues, stabilize the overall EMPowerSF platform, and build the necessary capacity within SFUSD to provide ongoing support. SFUSD has also contracted with a temporary staffing agency to fill some of the vacant positions in payroll, human resources, and technology. In addition, district office departments have identified staff to temporarily reassign to dedicate their time to EMPowerSF. These functions include customer service, data management, documentation, issue tracking, case management, task/workstream management, and administrative support.

A&M has identified key performance indicators for the integrated corrective action process. These include reducing the overall number of tickets, reducing the number of impacted employees, and closing more tickets than are opened each month. A&M is also helping to redesign SFUSD’s case management process to improve response times. 

SFUSD transitioned to a new system for payroll, time and attendance, and other human resources’ functions on Jan. 3, 2022, which replaced a number of workflows and processes that have been in place for 17 years. In spite of a lot of preparation, shifting from antiquated systems and processes to new ways of working has resulted in issues that have affected payments for employees. Staff have been working to investigate and remedy each individual issue of non-payment or underpayment and to identify any error patterns caused by a new process or system configuration so that corrections are made for subsequent pay periods. 

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This page was last updated on October 25, 2022