Pay problems persist for teachers in Lyons School District 103 as teachers made public some aren’t getting the correct pay for their stipend positions, some are not paid the correct amount, some are overpaid – and some are not being paid at all.
Teachers made the same complaint two years ago.
About 30 teachers turned out for the Sept. 26 school board meeting and stood behind teacher union president Kerry Palider, who is a speech pathologist at Lincoln School. Palider outlined the teachers’ frustrations to the board and urged the district administration to get its act together.
“These payroll concerns have been an ongoing issue dating back to the last few years and teachers are feeling undervalued and extremely frustrated,” Palider told the school board.
Palider said that on Aug. 31, teachers did not get the required district contribution to their health savings accounts. Palider said that the district’s payroll mistakes violate its contract with the teachers.
She said that teachers have to take time out of their day to contact the payroll department about errors in pay and she said that emailed responses from the payroll department are vague and not timely.
“Teachers should not have to take the time out of their day to track down and request explanations for mistakes that should not be happening at all,” Palider said. “Not only do we expect to paid accurately for services provided, but we also expect acceptable solutions when problem situations arise. Responding to multiple people that they will receive their pay on the next payroll is not acceptable. Many teachers rely of this supplemental income to live and should not have to wait an additional two weeks to receive the pay for the services that they have already provided.”
Payroll problems, especially at the beginning of the school year, have not been uncommon since the person who handled payroll left the district a few years ago.
“I acknowledge that our payroll department has experienced turnover in the last few years, but it is not and should not be the responsibility of the teachers to ensure that the district has a payroll department that is competent to do the job that they are hired to do,” Palider said.
After the meeting, school board member Olivia Quintero said that the district would look into the teachers complaints.
When Landmark asked Superintendent Kristofer Rivera about the payroll issue, Rivera said that he couldn’t talk then and told the Landmark to call him the next morning. The Landmark did so and left a message but did not receive a call back. The Landmark made two follow up calls to Rivera but did not hear back from him by press time.