Local News

System Purchased To Fix Raleigh Payroll Problems Stalls

Posted September 15, 2006

— Raleigh officials said the city's new automated time and attendance system could help solve some of the payroll controversy involving sanitation workers. However, the new system doesn't work.

Raleigh officials hired a consultant three years ago who said the city's payroll system was antiquated. The city purchased a new automated system to streamline payroll citywide, but it's never been used.

"It's frustrating that we don't have it in place," said payroll manager Danny Casey. "It's no one's fault. I think the main thing is you get the system right."

City officials said there have been glitches in the system. While those glitches get worked out, workers continue to log their hours the old-fashioned way.

Patricia Peacock, a staff analyst with the solid waste department, said workers use daily maintenance reports as time sheets. All hours are logged on paper and all compensation time drivers earn is kept in written logs.

"Yes, it's a lot of work," said Peacock.

Sanitation workers have complained comp time isn't accounted for properly. But the assistant director of solid waste tells WRAL many of the workers can't read or write and fail to keep track of their overtime.

Tony Wilson said he's been a sanitation truck driver off and on for 5 1/2 years. He also said he was never told to keep track of his hours. He said the supervisors do it for them.

"I've never done it," said Wilson. "I've never done it the first time I was here, and I ain't ever done it this time."

Casey said the new automated system would eventually address some of their concerns.

"They'll be able to account for themselves as opposed to depending on someone else who does that accounting for them," said Casey.

But when the $1 million system will be up and running remains to be seen. Casey said the biggest issue they've had with the new payroll system is trying to program it to work for all the different city departments.


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