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Posted on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:50 p.m.

EMU President Susan Martin promises payroll glitches will be fixed

By Danielle Arndt

Payroll problems continue to plague part-time lecturers of Eastern Michigan University, in spite of an apology from EMU President Susan Martin for the college’s failure to issue proper paychecks.

Martin apologized on behalf of the administration and the Board of Regents Thursday, calling the payroll glitches “inexcusable.”

“Please be assured we are meeting weekly to make sure this never happens again,” she said.

Several union members and representatives addressed the Board of Regents Thursday, after dozens of part-time lecturers received late paychecks or paychecks without scheduled raises or stipends in the fall.

Sonya Alvarado, president of EMU’s Federation of Teachers, said she received her paycheck for December on the morning of the regents meeting. But the check did not contain the bonus she regularly receives at the end of the semester.

“I had plans to use that money for my children for Christmas,” she said.

Likewise, other union members began calling and emailing Alvarado when they opened their paychecks, complaining they were notified their January checks would not come until EMU's second pay date in January, rather than the first.

“If anyone here needs more examples (of payroll problems), perhaps they could spend a day with my BlackBerry,” Alvarado said lightheartedly to regents.

Dave Woike, newly appointed vice president of academic affairs, acknowledged the errors and delays, stating the problems are actually two separate issues. He said the first is "almost 100 percent procedural."

He said department heads also get behind in their paperwork, causing some of the delays in issuing bonuses or stipends.

“We will be addressing this with the departments tomorrow,” he said. “We have a plan to get employees their money in time for the holidays.”

Woike said the only reason lecturers would not receive their January paychecks until the second week is if they were hired after an existing payroll deadline.

Martin said the university is looking at ways to clean up procedures and deadlines so it may provide paychecks in a timely and accurate fashion to part-time and full-time lecturers.

She added EMU also intends to be “more progressive” in the near future and will implement electronic paths to reduce the backlog of paperwork that is contributing to the payroll problem.

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Mumbambu, Esq.

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 6:12 p.m.

:) Bob Porter: I looked into it more deeply and I found that apparently what happened is that he was laid off five years ago and no one ever told him about it; but through some kind of glitch in the payroll department, he still gets a paycheck. Bob Slydell: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch. Bill Lumbergh: Great. Dom Portwood: So, uh, Milton has been let go? Bob Slydell: Well, just a second there, professor. We, uh, we fixed the *glitch*. So he won't be receiving a paycheck anymore, so it'll just work itself out naturally. Bob Porter: We always like to avoid confrontation, whenever possible. Problem is solved from your end.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

Pres Martin, You could best help fix the glitch by not insisting on signing off on every paper that relates to finances. One more signature = one more barrier and delay.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4 p.m.

Sounds like the movie "Office Space".....fix the glitch.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

As clarification, the "bonus" that Alvarado spoke of is not actually a "bonus." It is regular pay for a course that she taught in Fall semester through EMU's extended programs office. What's outrageous is the idea that pay for work completed would come, not in the semester when it was done (as has always been the case in the past), but a month late, and with no prior warning so that people could plan and budget accordingly.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

Glad to hear teachers will get their pay before the holidays. Also glad to see union members standing together on this issue - way to go EMU Federation of Teachers!!