Back pay issues still not resolved

Within recent weeks, many employees who went unpaid all semester began receiving paychecks, but some of the checks have either not been the full amount or were less than the number of paychecks owed. Because of this, those employees are still awaiting back pay.

The problem resulted from a University-wide financial crunch that affected many of the employees paid through the Other Personnel Services budget.

Atavian Whiteside, 19, a freshman graphic design student from Atlanta, said she has been working for the Writing Resource Center since October. Initially she was missing three paychecks, two from the current semester and one from the fall.

“I got a paycheck before we went on strike, and I think it was the strike that helped us get the money,” Whiteside said.

After receiving one check before the WRC strike and another the Friday before Spring Break, Whiteside has received most of his money.

“Right now I’m just missing one check (because) since Spring Break, they have been catching everyone up,” she said. “But they still owe me one from when we came back from Christmas break.”

Whiteside added that receiving the check she is missing will be easy to resolve; she just has to report it to her supervisor at the WRC.

Christopher Wan, 20, a sophomore business student from West Palm Beach, has been working as a lab assistant in School of Business and Industry.

After not being paid the whole semester, Wan just received an OPS paycheck March 16.

Wan said the lack of pay has affected his financial state and morale.

“I pay my own bills so any debt I incur from rent and my light bill is on me,” Wan said. “Working all these hours, which is like 20 something hours a week, while going to school full-time and not have anything to show for it is disappointing.”

Without enough money to cover his bills, Wan had to resort to credit cards for his light bill, school supplies, gas and various living expenses.

“I definitely put myself in some debt waiting on money from FAMU,” he said. 

Wan also said he is aggravated about the lack of communication regarding late check disbursements.

“The frustrating thing is, I can never get an explanation when it comes to my money,” he said. “When you ask either they don’t have any helpful information, they tell you go to Foote-Hilyer or say they just don’t know.”

If someone told me we’ve switched to a new system or the University doesn’t have the money yet I would be a little more understanding,” Wan continued. “It would help a lot if they actually gave us reasons instead of just the ‘you’ll get it when you get it’ attitude.”

James Yarborough, associate director of human resources and the University official over payroll refused to comment about the back pay owed to many employees. Jacqueline Steed, assistant director of human resources, directed official queries to Leslie Sabin, the University controller. Sabin declined to respond citing improper protocol and directed queries to University Spokeswoman LaNedra Carroll.

No new information was given from University officials at time of print.