Schools pay educators, summer workers late

Administration issues 407 emergency checks

July 24, 1999|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF

Emergency paychecks were issued yesterday to hundreds of Baltimore summer school teachers and other school employees as administrators scrambled to fix problems in the payroll system.

Robert Booker, chief executive officer for Baltimore schools, said he learned yesterday that paychecks were not being issued to all summer school employees and immediately ordered 407 checks to be handwritten and delivered by the afternoon.

"My main objective was to get as many people as we were aware of paid," said Booker, adding that he has ordered an investigation into the mix-up. "Whoever was not paid, we ask that they contact school officials on Monday."

Booker said one possible reason for the problem was an accounting practice in which teachers during the normal school year have to be re-enrolled on the school payroll to teach in the summer months. That process could have caused a lapse between checks, Booker said.

The school chief said all payroll discrepancies would be fixed before the next checks are issued in two weeks.

Some teachers complained that the emergency checks issued yesterday did not include proper withholdings and paid them less than wages owed.

"I got about $200 less than what I was due," said Karen Zipp, who teaches math to students about to enter the ninth grade at Dunbar Senior High School. "Overall, teachers were having a fit. Some have been working a month, and this is the first paycheck. It's really a mess."

Zipp said she was told to drive to Lake Clifton High School in Northeast Baltimore yesterday afternoon to get her check.

Zipp, who is being paid about $22 an hour to teach summer school, said: "When I got there, I had to wait an hour and a half to get the check. Somebody's not doing their job, that's all I can say."

Pub Date: 7/24/99

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