(Memphis) Another bump in the road as the biggest school merger in history is now just 17 days away.
It turns out Memphis and Shelby County Schools have different ways of handling payrolls, and merging the two has Shelby County workers more than a little upset.
Getting everyone on the same pay schedule means some Shelby County workers might have to go a month without a paycheck.
The unified school district’s superintendent says they should have made a decision about payroll this December, but they didn’t realize they hadn’t made a decision about payroll until last week.
The 3,000 SCS teachers have now been given just a few weeks’ notice about a possible big financial crunch when they have bills to pay.
The two systems will have synchronized teacher pay periods.
Teachers now will be paid for the full weeks they worked, not advance work.
“Had they told us at the end of May when our pay checks are free of deductions and they said we could spread it out over five pay checks, it would have been a little less shocking,” said Renee Baum, a teacher with Shelby County Schools.
She got an email last night saying she wouldn’t get her check August 2, when she normally would.
It will then be almost an entire month since receiving her last pay check.
“If I were a single parent like a lot of my friends and colleagues, they may have already planned vacations to be covered by that August 2 paycheck,” said Baum.
“I’m the superintendent now so this falls on me. I take responsibility for it,” said Superintendent Dorsey Hopson.
Hopson says Shelby County’s pay schedule wasn’t fair.
“The way it would have worked would have been teachers show up on July 29 through August 5 and then they get paid for two weeks. So they get paid for a week even if they didn’t work. That’s just not best practice,” said Hopson.
There is an option for SCS employees.
They can choose to get less money in their July 5th and 19th checks and then get a pay check August 2.
If they want to do that, they must fill out a payroll adjustment form and send it to the district by June 26.
Or they can do nothing, and wait for a check August 16.
Hopson says the district will be working over the weekend to come up with more options.