Month after month the State continues to make errors processing pay for their workforce. Our Union is fighting back on many fronts.
- Communicating with the Department of Administrative Services (DAS): Since these problems began in January, we have highlighted problems to the Department of Administrative Services; our main goal has been to get people paid the correct amount of money as fast as possible. Recently, we met with DAS management to give frontline feedback on the problems workers are facing. While DAS agreed there are ongoing issues, they say they have worked to reduce them. They agreed to meet more regularly to update workers on the progress and to communicate with agency directors about resolving issues workers are facing.
- In January, DAS indicated that 10% of state workers were paid incorrectly. According to their tracking, that number has dropped to 5% as of March. We communicated that this was still not acceptable. Workers had reported their pay stubs were confusing and difficult to read; DAS management has agreed to offer more training to workers to better understand their payslip. They released this training a week ago and it can be found on Workday. You received an email on March 17th from DAS with information to register.
- Grievance Process: As of this email, our Union has filed four grievances on payroll issues stemming from the Workday transition. Through our grievances, we are demanding that workers that were underpaid are made whole, not only for their pay, but for any late fees caused by late paychecks. We are also demanding that they follow the contract on overpayments. We continue to file grievances as they violate the contract. Since it is clear they have violated the contract, they have expressed interest in settlement conversations. We will proceed to arbitration if we cannot reach a settlement.
- Demand to bargain: Our Union issued a demand to bargain over DAS’ decision to no longer withhold taxes from all checks. Most State employees were unaware that Workday would not withhold taxes from some paychecks, at least in the same way that ePayroll withheld taxes. Our Union has asked the State for clarity on the impacts for workers and have received the same vague responses that you have been emailed. We are demanding to bargain over the impacts to ensure workers are not facing unexpected tax bills next year. In our meeting, DAS said they were working to provide a tax training and brainstormed ideas for how we can help people answer questions about their taxes.
- Bargaining proposal: Our union bargaining team is proposing new contract language to address the length of time workers are waiting to get future underpayments addressed. Specifically, we are proposing that workers should receive penalty payments for each day that they are underpaid for reasons that are not their own fault. We do not believe the State is purposefully making errors; we also think that the State needs an incentive to make sure pay is correct and that affected workers should receive a payment for having to deal with that.
- Lawsuit: Since the start of this problem, SEIU and AFSCME have been coordinating with Bennett Hartman, LLP, one of the private firms that filed a lawsuit against the State of Oregon on behalf of a State worker impacted by the Workday payroll change. The law firm is asking for workers to share their experience as they identify the scope of the issue.
- It’s important to note that litigation moves slowly through the court system. When Multnomah County had similar issues with Workday, the lawsuit workers filed took two years to resolve.
Here is how you can take action on this issue:
- If you believe you were affected by the Workday payroll transition, please make sure you communicate the issues you have experienced here.
- Sign the bargaining petition to show we need a solution, so this never happens again! Sign the petition online here.
- If you have been affected by these issues and want to join the lawsuit, please share your experience here.
Ever since the state transitioned to Workday and began having issues with payroll, our Union has worked diligently to address the many problems with the system. Our collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the state requires them to pay workers on time and correctly, yet the issues with Workday continue pay period after pay period. And members are being grossly affected by the payroll errors: workers whose paychecks have been shorted, been stuck with overdue bills, had vehicles repossessed and have lost their housing.
SEIU 503 has filed four group grievances against the state over violations of our CBA and will continue to do so after every pay period if problems persist. While these grievances will take a few weeks or months to resolve, we are confident that our efforts will force the state to make members whole.
Additionally, our bargaining team is proposing new contract language that would make the state pay substantial penalties to workers affected by payroll errors. If you have been affected by the Workday issues and have not yet submitted your information, please fill in this form. We will continue to keep you updated as this issue progresses.
It is clear from February paychecks that State agencies are continuing to struggle with their transition to Workday. Each pay period brings yet another set of issues compounded by old issues that have still not been resolved. This is unacceptable.Workday Payroll Issue Tracker.Not only are we addressing these issues through our grievances, but your elected union bargaining team is also proposing new contract language that better protects workers from pay mistakes. Collective bargaining is our opportunity to address issues like this and much more. Our Union is also coordinating with the law firms that have sued the State on behalf of an affected State worker. They are currently collecting information from other State employees whose paychecks contained errors to find out how widespread the problem is, and to prepare for a possible class action lawsuit. We encourage you to share your experience with them at this form. If you are struggling with an economic hardship from a payroll error, please reach out directly to your organizer or our Member Assistance Center at 1-844-503-SEIU (7348) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Our Union has filed two grievances over the Workday transition thus far and will continue to hold the State accountable to the language they agreed to in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The State has communicated that they will respond formally to these grievances shortly. (We look forward to that moment and will update affected workers as soon as possible.) If your pay was affected by this process, please share your experience with us, so we know to keep you updated.
February 1, 2023
We have been working with the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to resolve numerous issues with its transition to a new payroll system, Workday. These problems (overpayments, underpayments, no payments and other issues) are still happening and a grievance we have filed declaring state management violated our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is in process.
In addition, a class action lawsuit has been filed in Multnomah County Court over DAS’ inability to quickly fix issues with its new payroll system. SEIU 503 is coordinating with our union partner, AFSCME, and lawyers to ensure members who have been impacted will have their day in court.
This is a quickly changing situation and we will continue to provide you with timely updates as soon as we have news. We urge you to review your pay stubs carefully and contact your payroll office about next steps if you notice any discrepancies.
If you have experienced pay issues and you’ve not yet contacted us, we want to hear from you. Fill in this form to let us know.
January 30, 2023
As you know, there were errors in many state employees’ December paychecks. Some of these issues have been addressed and some of the problems are ongoing. Our Union is working with state agencies and the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to address these errors, especially underpayments or people who received no pay. As we have already shared, we also filed a grievance on January 4th. This process will take some time to finish, but we believe the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has been violated. Please make sure you keep a record of late fees or overdraft fees that you have incurred from this process. We will share updates on the grievance as it moves forward.
We were recently made aware of a new issue which is that Workday automatically recoups overpayments in their entirety on the following paycheck. Employees that received mid-month paychecks (or were supposed to) experienced recoupments of all or a portion of their overpayment from their December pay. For people that did not receive mid-month paychecks, that issue will occur on their February 1st paycheck.
The CBA stipulates how overpayments should be handled and for overpayments of $50 or less, they can recoup the overpayment in its entirety. So, the process that happened is in alignment with the contract.
For overpayments of more than $50 there are different processes outlined in the contract that must be followed. Recognizing that the processes were not followed, management has agreed to pay back the money that was recouped or will be recouped on February 1st in a lump sum. Those checks were cut on January 24th and should reflect the full amount of the overpayment. That money still needs to be paid back, but DAS agreed that was not the best process to recoup overpayments and for many workers a violation of the CBA.
Many overpayments were due to workers that were on leave without pay being paid for their full month and workers that were hired mid-month being paid for a full month.
The CBA stipulates that any overpayment of more than $50 requires the employer to meet with the worker to discuss a mutually agreeable repayment plan. If the overpayment amount is more than 5% of the employee’s regular monthly base salary, the overpayment shall be recovered in monthly amounts not exceeding 5% of the employee’s regular base salary.
One exception to the above rule is if the worker was overpaid due to leave without pay. If that is the case, then the repayment plan should not be longer than three months. The CBA does specify that this timeline can be extended by mutual agreement if there are extenuating circumstances. If you were overpaid to due leave without pay, make sure to reach out to your agency’s human resources department and request a payment plan of more than three months, if that is what you need to repay the overpayment.
If you have any questions or need support on this process please contact us at (844) 503-7348 or by email so we can help you directly. Below is a copy of the email that was sent to workers that DAS has identified as being overpaid. This email reviews what people can expect if they were overpaid:
You are receiving this email because the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) identified that you had an overpayment on your December payroll, paid on January 3, 2023. This error is a result of a schedule change after time was entered for the week and was discovered during DAS’ payroll review process after payroll closed. Unfortunately, we were unable to correct this overpayment prior to the completion of December payroll and ask that you work with your payroll office to develop the appropriate repayment plan depending on your collective bargaining agreement or statewide or agency policy. The total amount of the overpayment has been communicated to your human resources and payroll office.
To correct the resulting overpayments, DAS systematically adjusted for this overpayment in the December mid-month payroll which may have resulted in a reduction in pay if you had a payment coming to you for this period. If you did not have a mid-month payment coming, the reduction of this overpayment will reduce your January pay, to be paid on February 1. In an effort to afford you the opportunity to setup a repayment plan in accordance with your collective bargaining agreement or policy, DAS issued you a payment on January 24 to offset this reduction. This is to allow time for you and your agency to work on a repayment plan. The dollar amount in your January 24 payment is the dollar amount you will need to reference when coordinating with your payroll office in determining a repayment plan.
Below is a timeline of steps taken in this overpayment:
- January 3 payment – Employees received pay, which included an overpayment due to a work schedule change.
- January 13 payment – Some employees received no pay or reduced pay due to the systematic recovery of the overpayment paid out January 3, 2023.
- January 24 payment – DAS paid employees to offset the recovery of overpayment January 13 or the reduction coming out of their February 1 paycheck.
- February 1 payment – Employees will see their pay reduced by the systematic adjustment in early January and has already been offset by a payment on January 24.
The overpayment scenarios below are examples of the overpayments impact to employees:
Scenario 1) You were overpaid on the January 3 paycheck. You had enough earnings on the mid-month check to cover the overpayment amount and your pay was reduced. You are receiving a payment for the full overpayment amount on January 24 and money will not be deducted from your February 1 paycheck. The payment you received on January 24 is the full overpayment amount you originally received on your January 3 paycheck, and this is what you will owe back at a later date.
Scenario 2) You were overpaid on the January 3 paycheck. You had some earnings due on the mid-month check but did not have enough earnings to cover the full overpayment amount, so you received no pay. You are receiving a payment for the full overpayment amount on January 24. Your February 1 paycheck will then be reduced by the full overpayment amount but will also include any earnings you should have received on the mid-month check. The payment you received on January 24 is the full overpayment amount you originally received on the January 3 paycheck, and this is what you will owe back at a later date.
Scenario 3) You were overpaid on the January 3 paycheck. You had no earnings mid-month. You are now receiving a payment for the full overpayment amount on January 24. This will offset the amount that will be deducted from your February 1 check paycheck. The payment you received on January 24 is the full overpayment amount you originally received on the January 3 paycheck, and this is what you will owe back at a later date.
We understand that this is a complicated and confusing issue, but this solution is the most expedient way to resolve this issue. We have implemented a solution to prevent this error from happening again in the future and apologize for any inconvenience this causes.
DAS Workday Payroll and Time Tracking Team
In the meantime, if you have been affected by the state’s changeover to a new payroll system, please let us know by taking a minute to fill in this form.
January 13, 2023
SEIU 503 continues to work with state management to ensure problems with December paychecks (most of which were overpayments, although some experienced underpayments or no pay at all) do not recur. These issues were likely caused by the state’s transition to a new payroll system for most agencies. For those who were overpaid, the process for repaying excess amounts is outlined in our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Details and full CBA language can be found here in Article 29, Section 9 (pages 30-31).
We encourage you to review your pay stubs after every pay period and promptly report any discrepancies to your supervisor or payroll office. We would like to hear from you as well: State Worker Payroll Transition Report.
If you still have not received your paycheck at all (or are experiencing any other urgent issues related to this payroll change), contact us at 1-844-503-7348 or by email at email@example.com so we can help you directly.
Our union filed a grievance with the state about this pay issue last week and we will keep you up to date on its progress.