Despite Pawtucket City Administration & Media assurances to the contrary, it appears that a wide swath of Pawtucket School Department Employees remains unpaid as of this writing, Saturday November 18th, at approximately 12:45.


Pawtucket City Hall normally closes on Fridays at 12:30. Teachers & Staff have been unable to contact anyone for additional information since then.


Apparently, the City of Pawtucket utilizes TD Bank for payroll processing. For folks who do not bank there, a separate transmission must take place from TD to the employees personal bank account. Banking experts agree that a transaction issued Friday morning would typically take an entire business day to finalize, making it extremely unlikely for employees to receive their funds until Monday, the next business day. 


The City of Pawtucket is responsible for generating payroll for Pawtucket School Department Employees. Questions have arisen about whether the failure to generate payroll was simply human error: a City of Pawtucket operators’ error to authenticate a second approval for data transmission, or the City of Pawtucket’s seeming inability to migrate to the modern State Munis System


The Coalition’s Pat Ford spoke on the record with Kimberly Grant, Deputy Chairwoman, Pawtucket School Committee:


“As a Pawtucket School Committee Member, a resident of Pawtucket, and importantly, as a Parent, I feel terribly. The Pawtucket School Department Family simply deserves better. Our dedicated staff works tirelessly on behalf of families & their children. For this to happen in the days before Thanksgiving, a celebration of Family, is especially frustrating. Instead of focusing on the celebration & reflection that Thanksgiving Day presents, our team members will instead experience unneeded financial stress. Please know that the Pawtucket School Committee is working continuously with Pawtucket School Administration to ensure that everything possible is being done to reach out to the City Administration to resolve the situation.”


Pawtucket School Committee Chair, Jim Chellel weighed in:


I have spoken with and/or have seen the communications from other Members of The School Committee, and just like them, I am as frustrated and angry, as the hardworking men and women of the Pawtucket School Department that has been affected by this payroll issue.


There has been constant communication going on between the School Department to the City side to rectify this as soon as possible./ From what I have been told, some banks have started processing/paying some of the employees, depending what banks the employees bank with.


I would like to see this horrible situation rectified by the end of the day today. I’m not sure if that’s possible, because again, at this point I am being told it is a bank by bank issue.


Even though this is no fault of the School Committee or School Department, from what I am being told, I am truly sad & frustrated that this is happening to the Staff of the Pawtucket School Department. With that said, just like the Winters Elementary School issue, today is not the day to point fingers and place blame just yet. Until every employee is paid, we are to work together to resolve this issue. After every employee has been paid, that is when it’s time to find out the “why and how” this happened.


The Coalition will continue to monitor/report on this situation.

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