By ERIN ROLL
The district is on schedule to start awarding staff their full paychecks, reflecting the 2019-2020 salary amounts, starting on Oct. 31, said Interim Superintendent Nathan Parker.
But it will take longer before the staff receives their retroactive pay for the salaries they should have been receiving at the start of the school year, he said.
On Tuesday, Oct. 15, teachers held a rally on Valley Road and Church Street to protest ongoing delays in receiving their contracted pay for 2019-2020, which has been delayed due to problems with the contracts that were supposed to have been approved over the summer. Teachers have been working at their 2017-2018 pay rates while the district determines the correct pay for staff.
The rally also coincided with Montclair teachers having a delay in paycheck deposits on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 15, and then some receiving two paychecks in their bank accounts on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Parker said that the bank issued duplicate deposits to staff accounts in error. The bank began recalling the duplicate checks once the mistake was realized, he said.
The delay in direct deposits was due to not scheduling the payments far enough in advance, including not taking into account the banks being closed for Columbus Day, he added.
In a letter interim HR director Paul Arilotta sent to MEA staff, he said that the district expects salary and contract issues to be resolved by Oct. 31. The auditors have made corrections to the teachers’ salary guides, and staff members have been asked to verify that the updated numbers are correct, or to notify the district if not.
“Retroactive salary adjustments will be made at a later date. We would like to inform you of a specific date however, given the complexity and our desire to be accurate, we are unable to do so. Again, I regret any hardship and inconvenience this may have caused so many of you and appreciate your cooperation and patience,” Arilotta wrote.
Board of Education President Eve Robinson apologized for the payroll mistakes.
“We all agreed they needed immediate solutions by district leadership. We have been updated and informed about all situations and have been assured that each is being remedied as quickly as possible,” she said.