Police, firefighters and other town employees in Windham said they were not paid when they expected their checks.
Town employees are fuming over a payroll snafu that has already prompted some to take action against their employer, the town of Windham.
Firemen, police, office staff; there are 175 employees on the town payroll. Last week, none were paid when they expected the money to be there.
“It’s unacceptable,” Willimantic Police Sgt. Alex Coriarty said.
Coriarty said generally has his check cleared through direct deposit bi-weekly on Wednesdays. The checks are due on Thursday.
Last week, a last minute change, there was no direct deposit. Instead employees had to pick up live checks at the office. Some had checks bounce and were hit with fees, there were others who were out of town.
“I was away on a training venture out of state,” said Paul Hussey, who is the vice-president of the union for Willimantic Police Department. “My wife, who has access to my bank account, can't access that money because the check is sitting at the police.”
Several town employees said they haven’t been told what caused the problem, so Eyewitness News spoke directly with Windham Town Manager Neal Beets.
“Around 830 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday evening, I told our finance people, the Direct Deposit process isn't working,” Beets said. “You stay and you get everybody a paper check, so we distribute paper checks Thursday morning.”
Beets said perhaps the primary reason for the payroll problems last week is a software system called Munis. That's been at Windham Town Hall for a year, but has not worked out well for all of the departments.
Eyewitness News asked Beets if a year’s time is enough time to have figured out the problem.
“It's not a matter of figuring it out,” Beet said. “It's a matter of changing a large number of practices and policies and procedures and doing a fair amount of training with lots of different staff.”
While the finance department handles payroll, Beets has taken responsibility and offered to help employees, who incurred any fees, if their bills were paid late.
“We’ve apologized,” Beets said. “We've taken steps to address the situation. Nothing is error free and fool proof. We hope this doesn’t happen again. I’m confident it won’t.”
But police said the previous pay period, numerous officers had the same thing happen. They and those in other departments worry about what’s next.
“There’s a lack in confidence in whether or not you are going to get paid in two weeks,” Hussey said.
Eyewitness News has learned at least five grievances have been filed against the town by unions representing multiple departments.
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