State employees protest pay shortages

July 7, 2008 10:51:30 PM PDT
There are 80,000 state employees to pay and the payroll system is not working.It's causing big issues for some state workers who say they are not getting paid on time and as a result can't pay their bills.

A handful of state mental health workers protested Monday in front of the Office of the State Controller.

They say the new system called BEACON is causing major shortages in their pay.

The new state payroll system has left thousands of state workers short on money in hard financial times.

"I've been short two months in a row with my paycheck. My bills aren't being paid. I'm a diabetic, I'm sick, I don't have any food in my house," said Ricky Cross with Dorothea Dix Hospital.

Officials with the Office of the State Controller responsible for cutting the checks say the BEACON system is functioning fine --the issue is with individual human resources departments having trouble creating accurate employee pay profiles.

"As soon as we get their profile fixed we've been re-running the payroll in off cycle in order to pay what's owed," Director of PA State of NC Office of the State Controller Dennis Patterson said.

Payroll personnel were trained extensively on BEACON, but it's a complex system with a sharp learning curve.

That's not an excuse for a handful of state mental health workers though, they say they want their money now and they want compensation for all bounced checks and late fees for bills they can't pay.

Both the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the State Controller say they are working out the glitches.

It's a slow process --painful for the thousands living paycheck to paycheck.

Eyewitness News has been told by both DHHS workers and the Office of the State Controller that each case is being reviewed and in some cases pay advancements or off cycle paychecks are being issued for employees facing major hardships.


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