New Telus Payroll System a ‘Nightmare’ for Employees, Says Union

The United Steelworkers Local 1944, representing over 5,000 Telus technicians and clerical staff across the country, has reported significant disruptions due to a new payroll system from the company.

According to Donna Hokiro, the union’s national president, the past two months have seen members grappling with underpayments, overpayments followed by clawbacks, and miscalculations in benefits and overtime.

The union has drawn parallels between these errors and the notorious federal government’s Phoenix payroll debacle, which disrupted pay for thousands of federal workers.

“It has been a nightmare and that is not hyperbole,” Hokiro stated to CBC News. She estimates that at least 1,000 workers have been impacted, potentially affecting up to half of the union’s members employed at Telus.

These payroll issues have spanned four pay periods, leading to severe financial distress among the affected employees. “This is causing real, real harm. People are missing rent payments, mortgage payments. They are seriously in dire straits,” Hokiro emphasized.

In response, Telus acknowledged the transition to a new payroll software, intended to streamline processes for employees. The company has vowed to address individual cases swiftly, including manual adjustments where necessary.

Cory Anderson, a Local 1944 union representative from southeast Alberta and a Telus technician, shared his personal experiences with the system’s failures, including discrepancies in work hours and statutory holiday pay. “We’re seeing issues ranging from members missing half their paycheques … We’ve had several members that haven’t been paid at all, which is quite concerning,” Anderson remarked.

Approximately 300 grievances have been filed with the union over these payroll issues, and many more are expected. Both Anderson and Hokiro urge Telus to resolve these problems expeditiously, especially with the holiday season and year-end tax preparations approaching.

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