AUSTIN (KXAN) — Employees with the Austin Independent School District have been reaching out to KXAN for the last four months claiming they have not been getting paid correctly, and asking for help.
The first email came on August 1, 2016:
Austin ISD has not paid its summer employees on time, or at all. I have spoken to AISD payroll on six occasions and they tell me they are working on it… I have not gotten paid for hours I worked in June and payroll tells me I will be paid by September! We are supposed to be paid each month, for the previous time worked. Myself and many of my coworkers are stressed. PLEASE look into this. Many teachers like myself are missing out on thousands of dollars that AISD owes us, but says they will pay later when they figure out their new system.”
KXAN reached out to the district for answers. At the time, AISD said it was not a widespread problem, and a spokesperson told KXAN’s education reporter Erin Cargile they supplied paper checks for those who had an issue. Employees said this was not true.
Another email was sent to KXAN on September 12, 2016:
There are dozens of classified Austin ISD employees who have not been paid this school year. AISD is using a new payroll accounting system. These employees include food service workers who are some of the lowest paid employees in the district and go all summer without work or pay. They are in jeopardy of losing vehicles and housing.”
Turns out, one of the food service workers did lose their car and their home. Speaking anonymously, she tells KXAN the problems started during summer school when the district rolled out their new payroll system.
“I was not receiving pay for all hours worked, and there were times the pay was wrong,” said the employee.
While payroll employees said “we’re working on it” she says she lost her car and was eventually evicted forcing her to move into her mother-in-law. She lived in Round Rock at the time, so her husband had to help her make the long commute into work each day.
In September, AISD gave the following explanation via email about the payroll problems:
There have been some isolated glitches as Austin ISD continues to move from its 15-year-old payroll systems to its new business platform—Business and Operations for Learning and Teaching or BOLT.
The specific issues the district has seen are some delays processing employees’ supplemental pay, which is compensation for additional hours worked outside regular jobs.
This has not affected the regular pay for employees. Any Employees who feel they have not received their appropriate pay are encouraged to let their supervisor or district personnel know so any issue can be prioritized.
We continue to share updates with principals and managers to help ensure employees are paid in a timely manner, refine the system and address employee questions and feedback.”
Since that time KXAN has learned of paycheck problems within the AISD police department as well.