Students Still Wait To Receive Paychecks

Human resources office aware of glitches in new payroll system

Nearly a month after many students started having problems caused by the University’s new payroll system, dozens of student employees are still underpaid or entirely without paychecks.

A number of offices that employ students, however, report some of the payroll issues have begun to be resolved in the past week.

The payroll system—developed by Peoplesoft, Inc.—came about as part of the University-wide HR Project, which seeks to improve electronic systems for payroll, benefits processing, time collection and human resources processes.

But the new system also came with multiple glitches.

Hannah E. Wright ’06, who has been working as an intramural athletics referee since September, has yet to receive a single paycheck from the University.

She said that not getting paid has been a major hardship.

“They owe me almost $350,” she said. “I need [the] job to help pay for school.”

Marilyn D. Touborg, director of communications for Harvard’s Office of Human Resources (HR), said she was unaware of the full extent of the problem until a number of student employees called the HR hotline to report paycheck problems following an Oct. 16 Crimson article on the problems student were facing.

“We heard in volumes from people who are having issues,” Touborg said.

She said that getting people into the system, as well as entering their time-worked data, has posed problems for many offices.

Because student workers are temporary workers paid by the hour, they have been particularly affected by the changes in both policy and processing of temporary workers’ payroll data.

In addition to the new task of entering time sheets online into the Peoplesoft system, new University policy requires additional data on temporary workers be entered into the payroll system.

“People [processing payroll] are adjusting to an awful lot right now,” Touborg said.

The Student Employment Office (SEO) has been working in concert with the HR office and Peoplesoft consultants to solve the problems, said SEO Director Martha H. Homer.

“They have created a couple of teams of people who are experts at getting this data through the system,” she said. “We are planning to get everyone paid by the middle of this week.”

Homer said the office has been issuing off-cycle paychecks in order to get students compensated.