UC Student-Workers Union protests payroll system UCPath

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Members of the UC Student-Workers Union, or UAW Local 2865, protested Thursday in Riverside outside the office for the payroll system UCPath, which is being implemented throughout the UC system.

The protest involved about 30 UC employees — represented by UAW Local 2865 — picketing and marching outside the UCPath office, according to Teamsters Local 2010 communications coordinator Christian Castro. Employees are troubled by the problems present in UCPath that affect hundreds of UC employees.

“Employees are not getting paychecks — some are getting kicked out of medical insurance,” Castro said. “These problems are not getting fixed.”

UCPath is currently being used at UCLA, UC Riverside, UC Merced and UC Santa Barbara. A transition to this new system is expected to begin at UC Berkeley and UC Davis on Friday, with the first UCPath payroll set for April 1.

Some UC employees have reported inaccuracies in their paychecks, received them late or have not received paychecks at all. Certain UC Berkeley employees have expressed concerns that the problems with UCPath at other campuses will also affect them once the system is implemented on campus.

Members of UAW Local 2865 delivered a letter to UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ on Feb. 6 demanding changes to the UCPath payroll system. Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in an email the campus plans to work with UAW Local 2865 to prepare for the transition to UCPath.

“Campus representatives are meeting with the UAW today regarding UCPath and the concerns that have been expressed,” Mogulof said in an email. “We intend to work collaboratively with the Union as we prepare for the UCPath transition that begins March 1.”

But Castro said UAW Local 2865 is also concerned with the understaffed UCPath office, which could result in worker fatigue and cause mistakes to occur.

UC spokesperson Claire Doan said in an email that only a small number of workers at UC Santa Barbara and UCLA were affected by problems with UCPath. According to Doan, the UC Office of the President is taking measures to ease the problems including expanding the use of loaded pay cards, meeting with student leadership to come up with solutions and informing employees on how to report payroll problems.

“Ninety-nine percent of UC employees have been paid accurately and on time,” Doan said in an email. “We have extra staff and resources on both campuses to help address these problems.”

As part of a deal reached Monday between UAW Local 2865 and the UC, employees with paycheck issues of more than one month will receive $150 after taxes, employees with issues of two months will receive $300 and those with issues of three months will receive $450.

“I’m excited UAW 2865 was able to stand with workers at the affected campuses, and we will remain vigilant as this error-prone payroll system is rolled out at my workplace in March,” said Alexandra Bush, a campus graduate student instructor and the financial secretary of UAW Local 2865, in a press release.

Contact Leon Chen at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @leonwchen.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Christian Castro is a communications coordinator for UC Student-Workers Union. In fact, he is a communicators coordinator for Teamsters Local 2010.