City employees: Not on strike, but some aren't working

Emergency workers providing services as usual

 

September 11, 2019

David Stevens

About a dozen city vehicles were parked outside City Hall on Friday morning.

CLOVIS — Dozens of city employees packed into Clovis City Hall on Friday, upset they weren’t paid as usual and that payroll problems have been ongoing for months.

Fire Chief Mike Nolen said city emergency workers — fire, medical and police — are providing services without interruption, but that some sanitation workers said they were going home until the payroll issues were resolved.

The city landfill was closed Friday morning, forcing the city of Portales to also close its center for trash disposal because of the “unforeseen temporary closing of the Clovis landfill.”

Portales trash is hauled to the Clovis landfill but could not be transported on Friday, City Clerk Joan Martinez-Terry said.

More than a dozen trash trucks and other city vehicles were parked outside Clovis City Hall and dozens of workers were inside talking with City Manager Justin Howalt early Friday.

The city issued a brief news release on Friday afternoon saying deposits were being made throughout the day on Friday. It said the problems were caused by recent employee pay raises, which the payroll system software had trouble incorporating.


The city has been having software issues for months that have resulted in delayed pay and other pay-related issues.

Nolen said employees are usually paid on Thursday nights every other week, but had not been paid by noon Friday, resulting in the workers’ concerns.

Nolen said he remained optimistic employees would be paid sometime Friday.

“It’s this new (computer software) system we put in place. It’s not up and running right. I’m not taking up for anybody, I just know these are system errors,” Nolen said.

“I’m not speaking for the people in finance, but I know they were here last (Thursday) night very late (working on issues).”

Nolen said Friday was only the second time in three months employees were not paid on time, but that several employee pay checks had been short and the city had to issue separate checks to make up the difference.

Employees have also complained about 401(k) contributions.

No one answered the phone at the city landfill late Friday morning.

Workers outside Clovis City Hall insisted they were not on strike, but said they weren’t working until the pay issue had been resolved.

More than a dozen trash trucks and other city vehicles were parked outside Clovis City Hall and dozens of workers were inside talking with Howalt.

Howalt did not return messages seeking comment on Friday morning.

 
 

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