Delaware News

Some bus drivers owe money after paycheck snafu

Route changes, other factors led to Delaware drivers being overpaid

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The Delaware City School District is working to fix a payroll issue that affected the district's bus drivers.

Due to mistakes on their time sheets, about 18 district bus drivers were paid more than they were supposed to be paid in their November and December paychecks.

Jerry Stewart, director of human resources for the district, said two factors caused changes in pay and mistakes on the time sheets.

At the start of the school year, bus routes were altered, which changed the number of hours certain employees were working. Some were working more hours and some less, he said, and some drivers had marked on their time sheets more hours than they were to be paid for.

In addition, the United Electrical Workers contract with the district, which included a 1.25 percent pay increase for employees, was not approved until Nov. 5.

The payroll department was responsible for retroactively paying the drivers for their hours at the beginning of the school year in order to reflect the increase.

Stewart said those factors combined led to some employees receiving their retroactive pay twice, while other employees actually were not paid enough.

He said route schedules are adjusted every year, but a new contract goes into effect only once every three years.

"Since both of these things happened at once, we are making changes to make sure that we don't have to go through this again," Stewart said.

The human resources department scheduled meetings with the affected employees to make sure all their time sheets are filled out accurately and that they are paid accordingly, he said.

The employees who were overpaid will have to pay back the district the amount in full. Stewart said there are different ways to do this.

"Some employees have opted to pay it back in one lump sum," he said. "Others have asked to pay it back over a period of time. All of the employees will pay back their overage within a reasonable time."

Stewart said the district is making sure all of the time sheets and paychecks are accurate in every way, as well as working to ensure the situation never happens again.

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