Thousands of personal support workers took the time to complete a bargaining survey earlier this year. One of the clear messages we heard from workers was to push for improvements to the payroll system.
Over the last three months of negotiations we have secured some meaningful improvements to the system:
- Agreement that workers will be notified if there is an error on their timesheet or voucher, and given an opportunity to fix it in order to get paid on time. This is a big win for our those of us who have had a pay delayed due to a small error like forgetting to initial a change on your timesheet.
- Right now if a worker submits their timesheet/voucher correctly but isn’t paid on time due to an error by the Local Office, PPL, etc, they sometimes have to wait until the next pay period to get paid. We secured language that an out-of-cycle check will now be run within 24 hours of the late pay error being discovered.
- If a Local Field Office is unexpectedly closed during any of the days Workers have to submit their timesheets/vouchers, the submission deadline will be extended proportionally to give Workers more time.
- Comprehensive language regarding what processes will be followed when any new system is being implemented that impacts Workers’ pay including daily out of cycle payments during the first two pay periods following any payroll transition.
We also know that getting paid on a regular basis is incredibly important. As we’ve shared in previous updates, the State’s bargaining team has proposed moving to an every-two-week pay period starting in October. This would move us from pay periods that are the 1st-15th/16th-end of the week to a 14 day pay period.
We know that anything that changes how we are paid should only be done after careful consideration—and that recent transitions, like the change to PPL, have been very stressful for many of us. As we are narrowing the issues left at the bargaining table we wanted to get feedback one more time about this proposed change and more clearly get a sense of whether or not PSWs are interested in this change.
Current 1st-15th/16-end of month cycle:
- Two pay periods fit into an exact month, which makes reconciling the Consumer’s monthly allotment of hours easier.
- Avoids another system change
- Workers could continue to bill once a month vs twice a month if they wanted to.
- Would maintain current payroll schedule, where the dates paychecks are cut can be impacted by a weekend. For instance, if the pay period ends on a Thursday, timesheets aren’t due until close of business the next Tuesday. After that, the State needs eight business days to process (because of local office process, ODDS approval and PPL processes). So paychecks aren’t cut until 15 calendar days after the pay period ends.
- Confusion around overtime will continue, since the work week (Sunday-Saturday) will not match the pay period.
Proposed 14 day/2 week pay cycle
- Would allow for a consistent schedule for when pay checks are cut. The pay period would always end on a Saturday. Timesheets would be due by close of business Wednesday and we’d push for a consistent every-other-Friday pay processing date.
- For workers eligible for overtime, it would align your work week with your pay period. This would speed up how quickly workers would receive their overtime pay and make it easier to understand which weeks of overtime pay you are receiving. Currently, when a pay period ends mid-week, it can be very confusing because workers don’t receive their overtime payment for the first part of that week until a month later.
- Workers could choose to bill once every four weeks, instead of once every two weeks if they wanted to.
- Consumers’ hours are allotted on a monthly basis. It could be confusing for both workers and Consumers to have hours allotted on a monthly basis, but the pay cycle running every 14 days.
- Requires workers and Consumers to go through another system change, which can be stressful.
Our next bargaining session is August 7th. We’re getting close to a final agreement… stay tuned in the coming weeks.