ASUCD Passes Resolution on Hardships of UC Payroll System, UCPath

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On January 23rd, the ASUCD Senate voted to pass a resolution addressing the recent hardships that the new UC Payroll system UCPath brought to our undergraduate student employees. We as the elected representatives of the UC Davis undergraduate student body strongly condemn the negligence of the University of California during the rollout of UCPath, as it left students with months of incomplete or missing pay, resulting in delayed rent payments, the inability to purchase food, pay off credit card bills, and manage other expenses that rely on timely paychecks.

ASUCD RESOLUTION

An ASUCD Senate Resolution to condemn the consistent disregard for student employee welfare that has been demonstrated by the University of California Office of the President’s (UCOP) careless and haphazard implementation of UCPath across several UC campuses, call for UCOP to take public and unequivocal responsibility for the immense hardship caused to student employees as a result of the UCPath system, call for UCOP to compensate the student workers who were affected by the system’s issues, and to urge the UC Davis administration to return payroll autonomy to ASUCD.

WHEREAS, in 2014, the University of California greenlit a plan to implement a new financial system called University of California Payroll, Academic Personnel, Timekeeping and Human Resources (UCPath) to standardize payroll, human resources, documentation and relevant paperwork of University employees across all UC campuses and medical centers1; and,

WHEREAS, UCPath was developed to centralize all employee hiring paperwork, and ensure that all employees transition to Direct Deposit, so that central campus payroll offices become the sole site of all employee payment; and,

WHEREAS, beginning January of 2018, UCPath was implemented at several locations, including UC Riverside, UC Merced, and the Associated Students of the University of California, Los Angeles (ASUCLA)2; and,

WHEREAS, following the implementation of UCPath at these campuses, numerous student employees reported problems such as missing or late paychecks, paychecks with incomplete amounts, and paper checks being mailed to their home address instead of their local one3; and,

WHEREAS, the aforementioned issues regarding late or missing paychecks have led to numerous hardships for students such as being dropped from classes, incurring late fees4, facing eviction, and being forced to take out loans5; and,

WHEREAS, in November of 2018, the UC Student Association released a list of demands to the University of California regarding UCPath, calling for the system to provide restitution for students who had not been paid and to halt the rollout of the system until problems have been addressed6; and,

WHEREAS, in February of 2019, the University of California came to an agreement with the United Auto Workers Local 2865 (UAW Local 2865) to compensate the student employees affected by
UCPath’s implementation by granting every impacted student $150 after taxes, and up to $450 in additional compensation for employees with paycheck issues that spanned more than one month7; and,

WHEREAS, in March of 2019, UAW Local 2865 staged a protest on the UC Santa Barbara campus with the goal of pressuring the university into agreeing to a list of demands the workers had compiled in light of UCPath’s failures8; and,

WHEREAS, as of March of 2019, UCOP was to pay out more than $162,000 to student workers who had received missed, delayed or less than expected paychecks as a result of faults in UCPath system9; and,

WHEREAS, despite the numerous problems caused by UCPath at the UCLA, UC Riverside, UC Merced, and UC Santa Barbara campuses, the University Office of the President continued its deployment of the UCPath system, taking effect on the UC Davis campus in September 2019; and,

WHEREAS, on October 3, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 69810, which went into effect on January 1, 2020 and eliminated the exemption of UC workers from Section 204 of the California Labor Code, which guarantees workers the right to be paid on time11; and,

WHEREAS, California law recognizes late paychecks as a form of wage theft, and due to Senate Bill 698 going into effect, the UC will no longer be exempt from most state wage theft laws, which had previously prevented affected employees from pursuing legal action against the UC12; and

WHEREAS, ASUCD was forced to transition to the UCPath system in March 2019, despite its inadequate implementation on other campuses; and,

WHEREAS, prior to ASUCD’s implementation of UCPath, ASUCD HeadQuarters (formerly ASUCD Student Services Office) had full autonomy to issue payment to its employees, perform onboarding for its new employees, assess and issue reimbursements, and was the central location for student employees within ASUCD, the largest student employer on campus, to pick up their paychecks; and,

WHEREAS, with the implementation of UCPath, the onboarding and payroll process was centralized to the UC Davis Shared Services Office, which significantly delayed the onboarding of Unitrans employees and Coffee House employees, which, in addition to providing crucial services for students, have the highest volume of student workers and the highest turnover rates; and,

Office of the President, claimed that their “top priority is a smooth, successful implementation, which drives [their] commitment to continuous improvement throughout the deployment process” in regard to UCPath13; and,

WHEREAS, student employees filed complaints due to their inability to pay rent, purchase food, unable to pay off their credit card bills, and other expenses that they utilized their paychecks for; and,

WHEREAS, in the beginning of October, complaints arrived from ASUCD Coffee House employees regarding missing, late, or incomplete paychecks, demonstrating a lack of commitment on UCOP’s part to improving the deployment process; and,

WHEREAS, on November 7, 2019, student employees at UC Davis staged a walkout and marched from the Coffee House to Mrak Hall to demand payment and explanations from the administration; and,

WHEREAS, ASUCD has previously released a statement of solidarity with UC student workers demanding that action be taken to address the problems with hiring, processing payroll, and missing
and incomplete wages, and that the University of California take responsibility for their actions and monetarily compensate students14; and,

WHEREAS, student employees with the aforementioned payroll issues had to provide proof of their hours worked, and calculate missing amounts within their paychecks, a task that should be otherwise the responsibility of the UCPath and Shared Services personnel; and,

WHEREAS, ASUCD representatives had spoken to administrators in the Finance, Operations, and Administration (FOA), where they were told that they will not regain ASUCD’s autonomy from the University with respect to onboarding, payroll, and hiring processes now managed by UCPath; and,

WHEREAS, despite the multitude of ways ASUCD student employees are paid, including bi-weekly and one-time stipends in addition to hourly wages, ASUCD HeadQuarters was fully equipped to issue paychecks in a timely process before the implementation of UCPath; and,

WHEREAS, given that ASUCD allocates annually its own budget, decided for students, by students, the ignorance of UCPath in ASUCD’s internal operations have rendered them unable to adequately meet the payroll, onboarding, and hiring requirements of the Association; and,

WHEREAS, the negligence of the UC Davis administration has placed undue hardship on both ASUCD’s payroll personnel and its student workers.

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT, ASUCD demands that UCOP publicly acknowledge full responsibility for the hardship and suffering inflicted upon student workers as a result of the
implementation of UCPath; and,

THEREFORE LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the UCOP must go beyond merely correcting the paycheck issues experienced by UC Davis student employees and further compensate them in a similar model as had been arranged with UAW Local 2865 in February of 2019 at UCLA; and,

THEREFORE LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, ASUCD calls for UCOP to delay the deployment of UCPath at UC Hastings, UC San Diego, and UC San Francisco until such time as they can guarantee to the UC student community that there will be no problems affecting the pay of student employees; and,

THEREFORE LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the Office of Finance, Operations, and Administration must provide ASUCD with the ability to process payroll, onboarding, and hiring
processes for its student employees; and,

THEREFORE LET IT BE FINALLY RESOLVED THAT, copies of this resolution shall be sent to the California Aggie, Chancellor Gary May, Vice Chancellor Kelly Ratliff, Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Sheri Atkinson, the Office of Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, the Office of Senator Bill Dodd, the Office of Congressman John Garamendi, the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), leadership at UC Hastings, UC San Diego, and UC San Francisco, the Davis Vanguard, the Chair of the UC Board of Regents, Senator Connie Leyva, the Sacramento Bee, and the University of California Students Association (UCSA).


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