The new system, EMPowerSF, is available to all SFUSD employees. Employees can access additional information and log into EMPowerSF by signing into the staff portal.
SFUSD is committed to providing transparent, timely, and accurate information to the public. Please see the information below about SFUSD’s efforts related to EMPowerSF.
EMPowerSF Resolution Dashboard
The EMPowerSF implementation has been challenging for SFUSD and disruptive for our employees. The district has called a payroll state of emergency to take extraordinary corrective action to make employees whole. In response to this payroll emergency, the district is developing an EMPowerSF Resolution Dashboard to transparently communicate our progress in fixing the system.
District Leaders Discuss EMPowerSF Updates
Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne and Board of Education President Kevine Boggess discuss SFUSD's progress in addressing the payroll state of emergency.
The Corrective Action Plan
As we move from Triage (organize the problems) to Stabilize (fix the problems) we will need a fulltime, cross-functional, integrated team to work through the backlog of tickets, EMPowerSF platform issues, and address the root causes of both to stem the flow of payroll incidents; This requires a coordinated, cross functional effort to implement the immediate actions within the plan.
Update from SFUSD Leadership on EMPowerSF
SFUSD Continues Effort to Stabilize Payroll System
The latest public-facing updates on EMPowerSF, including press releases, Board of Education meeting presentations, and announcements.
3/13/23 - Update from SFUSD Leadership on EMPowerSF (Video)
3/13/23 - SFUSD Continues Effort to Stabilize Payroll System
2/22/23 - EMPower SF State of Emergency Superintendent's Update (Board of Education Presentation - Regular Meeting)
1/24/23 - EMPower SF State of Emergency Superintendent's Update (Board of Education Presentation - Regular Meeting)
12/13/22 - EMPower SF State of Emergency Superintendent's Update (Board of Education Presentation - Regular Meeting)
12/8/22 - SF Board of Education Approves Expanded Services to Expedite Stabilization of SFUSD Payroll System
12/1/22 - Payroll State of Emergency Update
11/15/22 - EMPowerSF State of Emergency Superintendent's Update (Board of Education Presentation - Regular Meeting)
11/7/22 - SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne and SF Board of Education President Jenny Lam Shares Updates on Payroll Issues (Video)
11/7/22 - SFUSD Superintendent Declares Payroll State of Emergency Over EMPowerSF Issues (News)
11/2/22 - November 2022 EMPowerSF Update (Email)
10/25/22 - SFUSD Superintendent Announces Significant Addition to Support Services for Staff Experiencing Payroll Issues (News)
9/14/22 - EMPowerSF Update (Board of Education Presentation - Special Meeting)
9/13/22 - SFUSD Superintendent Seeks to Engage with Consulting Firm to Address Payroll Issues (News)
5/11/22 - EMPowerSF Update (Board of Education Presentation - Augmented Budget and Business Services Committee Meeting)
4/6/22 - EMPowerSF Update (Board of Education Presentation - Augmented Budget and Business Services Committee Meeting)
3/15/22 - Update Regarding Steps Being Taken to Resolve Payroll Issues from Superintendent Matthews (News)
3/15/22 - Update Regarding Steps Being Taken to Resolve Payroll Issues from Superintendent Matthews (Video)
3/15/22 - Statement from SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews Regarding Payroll Issues (News)
Check here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). This section will be updated on a rolling basis.
Last update: November 18, 2022
What is an overview of the issues with EMPowerSF?
In January 2022, SFUSD transitioned to a new system for payroll, time and attendance, and other human resources’ functions called EMPowerSF, which replaced a number of workflows and processes that had been in place for 17 years. Despite extensive preparation, shifting from antiquated systems and processes to new workflows has resulted in issues that have affected payments for some employees.
As of fall 2022, SFUSD is working on two critical issues. The first is to fix long-standing structural payroll issues related to legacy systems and processes. The second is to address individual payroll issues as they emerge. Working to address both issues simultaneously is a complex undertaking that requires a substantial investment of resources.
What is SFUSD doing to fix these structural and emergent payroll issues?
Here is an overview of recent updates:
November 2022: The District has dedicated extensive resources to address all EMPowerSF issues. In November 2022, the District declared a payroll state of emergency and reallocated significant resources to fixing underlying and emergent payroll issues.
October 2022: The District launched a call center for affected employees to contact with any new payroll-related issues, or to receive updates on previously-reported issues.
September 2022: The San Francisco Board of Education approved the District's request to hire consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) to help clear the backlog of critical employee payroll issues, stabilize the overall EMPowerSF system, and build the necessary capacity within SFUSD to provide ongoing support.
Where can I get updated information about the District's progress towards fixing these issues?
To enhance understanding of progress, SFUSD and A&M will regularly publish progress towards key goals via a public dashboard.
Status presentations will also be provided at every Board of Education meeting until issues have been stabilized. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings. All recordings and related public documents are available here.
Why did the District declare a payroll state of emergency? And what does it mean?
Through the payroll state of emergency, the Superintendent reallocated significant resources to fix the EMPowerSF issues. This became necessary once new information was provided by consultants A&M, which made clear that the underlying payroll challenges were far more substantial than originally known. In response, the District has developed a Corrective Action Plan, which details the next aggressive phase of the District's response to fix payroll issues.
Why didn't the District declare a payroll state of emergency sooner?
The true scope of the issue was not understood until a recent A&M audit update. This is when it became clear that additional resources would be necessary, which is when the District declared a payroll state of emergency.
The payroll state of emergency includes a corrective action plan. What is in the plan?
The District's corrective action plan includes four key components:
- Creating a new Command Center with a 60-person Corrective Action Team. This team includes reassigned SFUSD staff, additional A&M and Infosys staff, and additional contract payroll specialists. The Command Center will focus on clearing the backlog of tickets, and institute long term fixes to our payroll systems to prevent new issues.
- Identifying Key Goals, which will include reducing the overall number of help tickets, reducing the number of impacted employees, and closing more tickets than are being opened each month.
- Tracking Progress towards these key goals by monitoring the number of new tickets, whether the overall backlog is increasing or decreasing, how long tickets are open, and the average number of days it takes to resolve tickets.
- Creating a Public Dashboard that will be updated frequently with the District's progress towards meeting these goals.
Will the payroll state of emergency impact the Board-approved timeline for fixing these issues?
While the full scale of the emergency is still being determined, SFUSD, with the support of A&M, will continue to investigate the root causes of systems failure and take preventative measures.
What is the progress on closing EMPowerSF tickets?
Please see the dashboard for updates on the current status.
Why haven't the EMPowerSF issues been resolved?
Unfortunately, some of the problems related to payroll processing and posting pay have existed prior to EMPowerSF and were exacerbated by the system transition. The fixes are not simple and will require more time than the District would like given current staffing challenges. The District is working with A&M to institute a Corrective Action Plan to address individual employee cases and to permanently fix the root cause of widespread issues so that all employees are made whole. The District would like to thank the staff who are working diligently to address every support request that comes in as quickly as possible.
How many people are currently experiencing payroll issues?
Please see the dashboard for information about impacted employees.
What kind of support is available to employees who are being impacted by EMPowerSF issues, including for those who are missing paychecks?
Employees can alert the District to any payroll issues by filing an electronic ticket or by reaching out to the Call Center. As soon as an employee ticket is received by the District, SFUSD prioritizes and triages the ticket to ensure those related to non-payment are addressed first. The District has added staffing resources by temporarily re-assigning District staff to ensure these issues can be addressed as quickly as possible.
This page was last updated on March 14, 2023