Professors Want Audit After Late Paychecks

Minnesota’s Metropolitan State University apparently paid its summer teachers a week. The college says the delay was “one of several steps the university is taking to deal with a payroll crisis that erupted this month.”

But the faculty’s union isn’t satisfied with the explanation and, according to an article in the Pioneer Press:

[The] Inter Faculty Organization, the collective bargaining representative for faculty at Metro State, voted on a series of demands Thursday morning.

Among the motions that passed, the IFO “demands that HR provide detailed enumeration on our paystubs (line items that reflect the multiple duties and activities which faculty perform, e.g., independent study, overload courses, etc.) as previously requested and as is done by other state agencies and other MnSCU Institutions.”

More specifically, the demands include

asking internal and external auditors to verify the past six years of all faculty compensation and benefits. They also want weekly status reports from the auditors and compliance with a series of recommendations issued by the state Legislative Auditor’s office in a report that noted payroll problems in January 2012.

It’s an understandable request, since people want to be assured their employers can pay them consistently. Still, it smacks of a slightly desperate measure. If an institution can’t meet payroll, the crisis has already gone pretty far. Is a weekly status update really going to fix the problem?

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer