Statement from SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews Regarding Payroll Issues

Posted Date

Statement from SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews Regarding Payroll Issues

Press Release

San Francisco (March 15, 2022) - San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews shared the following statement regarding payroll issues.

“In spite of a lot of preparation, there are serious payroll related issues that have arisen since transitioning to a new employee information system. This is inexcusable and should not have happened. It is SFUSD’s responsibility to pay its employees accurately and on time. We deeply apologize to every employee who has experienced a delay in payment,” said Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews. “I have asked our Chief Technology Officer to move to this project 100% until further notice. We are committed to resolving this emergency as quickly as possible. Every staff member will be paid the money they are owed.” 

The District has addressed many of the issues brought to its attention and is working to resolve the remaining issues as quickly as possible. SFUSD has launched a number of efforts to address this urgent matter, including:

  • A support ticketing system that employees may submit claims to via phone call or email to help accurately track and follow up on every issue of non-payment or underpayment;
  • Hosting in-person clinics where employees with payroll concerns can meet with a payroll specialist in person; 
  • Moving 10 more people from other duties to support Payroll and to expedite investigating and remedying all support tickets that have come in related to non-payment or underpayment;  

“By increasing the staffing resources we dedicate to this issue and further streamlining our approach, we are hopeful we will see these critical payroll related issues resolved in the near future. We wish we could move even faster but it takes time for new people to get trained on the systems and processes that need to be understood to correct for any payroll issues. Until we are able to investigate each support ticket, we don't actually know whether help requests are in fact an issue of under-payment or non-payment, or one of a number of other possible issues,” said Chief Technology Officer Melissa Dodd, who as of this week is now working on this project full time until it is working properly. 

Beginning January 3, 2022, SFUSD transitioned to a new system for payroll, time and attendance, and other human resources’ functions. It replaced a number of workflows and processes that have been in place for 17 years, which meant a very steep learning curve for our staff, both the internal teams and end users. 

In the process of shifting from antiquated systems and processes to new ways of working, issues came up that have impacted payments for some employees. 

The majority of the district’s nearly 10,000 employees have gotten accurate paychecks on time since the transition, but SFUSD estimates hundreds have not. 

Staff are 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. 

Some of the most common issues for those who are missing payments appear to be that employees with leaves and varying work schedules and/or concurrent/multiple positions were not migrated smoothly into the new system.

Some of the common issues that could be misinterpreted by employees as under-payment or non-payment include confirming that work time is accurately accounted for on timesheets (if an issue is caused by missing time data, resolution can be initiated by the employee and approved by the manager); updates to tax withholdings and updated tax tables for 2022; and changes to an employee's deduction and benefits.