Montgomery school employees not paid, district working to resolve issues

Montgomery school employees not paid, district working to resolve issues

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's been a long day for the nearly 4,700 employees of the Montgomery Public Schools who didn't receive their scheduled paychecks Wednesday.

In an email to all MPS employees Wednesday, Superintendent Margaret Allen called the issue a "human error" and said "we take full responsibility."

According to MPS Communications Director Tom Salter, no employees received their scheduled pay, including the superintendent. He said he anticipates many employees will receive their pay sometime Wednesday, but it depends on which banks employees are working with. For instance, Salter said his credit union let him know he won't receive his pay until Thursday.

With Thursday being the first of the month, many will have rent due. Salter said MPS is hoping to get the message out to as many people as possible so different payment collectors will be made aware and hopefully make allowances.

"We're working with the banking association," Salter said.

Scott Latham, president and CEO of the Alabama Bankers Association, said Allen reached out to the group Wednesday afternoon.

"Superintendent Allen asked for our help in notifying the banks of an error that the Board of Education had made in transmitting moneys into a bank account that funds payroll deposits," Latham said.

Latham said ABA's roll is limited, but the group did notify all of its members. Allen sent ABA the same letter she sent out to MPS employees, and ABA passed it along to the participating banks.

"The superintendent asked that all banks extend any courtesies that they can to their customers, understanding the error that the department had made," Latham stated.

While Latham could not disclose a list of banks that are members of ABA, he could say around 98 percent of banks across the state are members.

In her email, Allen indicated three steps MPS is taking to get the delayed paychecks out to employees:

  1. The solution to the identified problem was applied as soon as the error was found.
  2. We are contacting all banks to request that they expedite the processing so that funds will be available no later than September 2, 2016.  The expectation is that most will be available today or tomorrow.
  3. We have asked banks to waive overdraft fees; however if fees are assessed to any employee regarding this error, please send a copy of the documentation to me – via email or pony.

The superintendent reiterated she was sorry for the delays, explaining "Again, I heartedly regret the major disruption this error has caused for the MPS family and your own."

A check with the Alabama State Department of Education indicated the state department doesn't play a part in the payroll of any school system, not even their own department.

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