Payroll State of Emergency Update

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Dear SFUSD Community,

I hope you enjoyed your Fall recess. I remain steadfast in my commitment to rebuild trust and strive to provide SFUSD students with an education that is rooted in excellence and equity.

Fixing EMPowerSF clears the path for us to achieve these goals. Last month, I declared a payroll state of emergency to accelerate our efforts and do right by our employees. I am writing to share an update on our progress.

When I first declared the state of emergency, we were grappling with the magnitude of the issue. Since jumpstarting the Corrective Action Plan, which provides a way forward to address the emergency, we have gained a better understanding of the challenge so that we can tackle it head on. 

In the span of three weeks, we launched our Command Center, an in-person operation consisting of reassigned SFUSD staff, A&M and Infosys staff, and payroll specialists. I meet with the team daily to ensure that we are clear on our mandate and meeting our goals. 

The team worked tirelessly through the recent holiday– they actively resolved tickets, identified system issues, and prioritized fixes that can mitigate future issues and for many employees. In addition to a concerted effort to close backlogged tickets in our system, a few of our recent notable accomplishments include:

  • Successfully implemented the 6% raise for our educators and paraeducators to honor our commitment to our labor partners.
  • Completed a system fix so that employee 403(b) contributions are accurate.
  • Published a public-facing dashboard to improve transparency. 
  • Revise our help desk process to more effectively close tickets and support staff with reported issues by integrating the Call Center and using Zendesk.

In the following weeks, we will be taking steps to more efficiently resolve existing tickets while implementing system fixes to prevent new issues. We will also be assigning case managers to our employees who are experiencing urgent circumstances such as no pay, significant deduction discrepancies, and if their health and vision benefits have been impacted.

As a district, we will keep our promise to make every staff whole so that they can focus their attention on students and not have to worry about their paychecks. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to SFUSD staff who continue to show up in service of our students and families, whether in the EMPowerSF Command Center or in our classrooms, as we navigate these unprecedented times.  

Thank you for your partnership and dedication. 

In community,

Dr. Matt Wayne
SFUSD Superintendent