Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) currently employs over 680 sworn firefighters in 30 stations and 64 non-sworn civilian personnel. Staff is spread out across the City of Portland, which sometimes can make bureau wide communication a challenge. Especially when it comes to changes in employee’s paychecks!
Just this year, the City of Portland completed implementation of a new accounting, financial, and human resource system for city bureaus called “SAP”. This new system began generating paychecks in early July 2009, and employees discovered that the paychecks had a different look and layout. Employees also noticed variances in tax withholdings, net pay, overtime and premium hour year-to-date totals, and benefit deductions.
To tackle and troubleshoot payroll SAP questions and concerns throughout the fire bureau, Portland Fire & Rescue’s Payroll Staff composed and distributed several bureau-wide memos. The Payroll Staff also video-tapped an internal television segment to address paycheck changes and provide general information.
Members of PF&R’s Payroll Staff, including Jay Guo, Onessia Elliott, and Luiz Vasquez, are continuing their quest to answer and resolve payroll, deduction, and accrual questions and issues relating to the SAP system. They have begun scheduling time at each of the 30 stations to meet with firefighters and other staff to discuss the SAP system’s bi-weekly pay rates, FLSA hour and pay calculations, and online pay statements. Firefighters are able to openly ask payroll questions, and receive solid answers in return from the team.
Onessia Elliott and Luiz Vasquez meet with firefighters at Station 8 in North Portland
With such a large number of fire bureau employees spread throughout the City of Portland, face-to-face communication is not always easy. But PF&R’s Payroll Staff realizes that this type of communication is vital to reduce fire employee’s misinterpretation and misunderstanding of changing payroll issues.
PORTLAND FIRE & RESCUE Always Ready, Always There
June 3, 2010