Monday, March 18, 2019

UC PATH Senior Management Scapegoat Lower Level UC Employees for UC PATH Payroll Problems.

The UC Regents Finance Committee had a ten minute section where they discussed UC PATH - it seemed a pretty blatant blaming tactic was used...

Beginning at time mark : 1:54:00

Regents asked about some of the problems raised in various negative public comments about UC PATH (at their meeting, at campuses, in addional news accounts).

Regent Cohen started by asking how UCPATH could continue to maintain a project bench mark "green light" notification on their program when they were in the midst of serious delays on UC Davis and UC ANR rollout of UC PATH.

Regent Lieb made an observation of the failure of communications, expression of empathy, by UC to those who "have been screwed " when IT projects become problematic, fail in some way as in the switch to UC PATH and those employees negatively impacted-by it. UC Management did not comment back to his suggestion for better communication from UC .
Lieb also said he was not sure UC had the resources or was putting the resources to the problems and the UC PATH senior leadership did not provide UC Regent Lieb with any assurance, info on the questions or comments he raised.

Then UC Regent Designate Simmons asked some precise good questions but got the run around from UC PATH project sponsors and from the project director who were there to respond.

Simmons asked:

1- if there has been any assessment or a financial projection made for the costs of additional training that will be necessary now that the program leadership has discovered the training thus far on UC PATH was not adequate, needs refinement. She did not receive a direct answer on the cost.

2- Simmons asked a basic question requesting to know the total number of still unresolved occurences - counting each individual employee experiencing problems with getting a paycheck, accurate pay from UC via UC PATH. How many - number total- of issues with paychecks as result if UC PATH? The project director said he 'did not have that number and would have to get back on that later'.

It was kind of disturbing to watch how they tried to reframe her questions or narrow the scope of her questions even after she clearly reiterated them.

That doesn't sound like a question that UC or UCOP staff should have been unprepared for, -- they really should have expected that more than one Regent would ask and want to know the answer to that question.

Why doesn't the UC PATH Center or their project leadership have that number of total problems they are aware of at this time?

This raises again a concern UC Regent Designate Um brought up at the November UC Regents meeting, he asked if any UC internal audits were being conducted to find the problems with UC PATH, locating each error occurrence instead of just relying on those who experience payroll errors to notice and report the problems with their pay back to multiple parts of UC and also to UC PATH. Some general assurances were made to him on his question in November, but it looks like it is still an important question that Regents et al still need to ask...

There was one key thing the UC PATH senior leadership said about the UC Nurses payroll problems : the leadership said the problems were identified and known because the NURSES were keeping a catalog of the incidents and reported them to UC and only received acknowledgement of the incidents/ issues once they also notified their union who in turn notified UC Labor Relations and then Labor Relations went to UC PATH staff and then the issues/ incidents with payroll problems were acknowledged by UC kinda, sorta. The problems were not found by any internal audit of the system as part of UC management of UC PATH. The nurses found and catalogue at least 22 instances and informed UC.

With regard to the public comments at March 2019 UC Regents meeting:
In the morning session of the opening of the UC Regents Board: timemark 40:15 here
A representative from UC nurses said they have multiple cases of payroll problems resulting from switch to UC PATH. They gave one example of a nurse who lost $7000+ of wages because UC PATH restarted old spousal support deductions - those deductions ended in 2014 but UC PATH restarted them in 2019 in error- that resulted in the nurses' ex-spouse receiving those funds and the nurses representative said that UC' response was for the nurse to go ask the ex spouse for the pay and UC offered no other solutions for the UC error.

The final day of the UC Regents Meeting on Thursday included multiple public comments from UC PATH lower level staff , and some of those employees are represented UC Clerical employees -- their comments centered around concerns over being made scapegoat by UC PATH senior managers , and their concerns over understaffing, , they said 33% of their staff left UC just before UCLA and UCSB switched over to UC PATH and the 33% of staff were never replaced with new hires, they said UC PATH staff find themselves distraught, crying over intake of calls where they can't fix the problems UC employees are experiencing because the problems are happening in the programming of the system,, they said upper UC management use tactics of deny, minimize, ignore, blame lower level employees, or blame the employees whose payroll has been negatively impacted-, , they also said the system itself is floundering, and there were additional claims of mistreatment of UC PATH workers at the UC PATH Center. The staff representatives also said UC claims it doesn't have to play by the same rules as other employers with regard to how it addresses problems with processing UC payroll accurately, or addressing any damages UC employees suffer as a result of things like UC PATH etc.
You can watch their comments beginning at : the 26:30 time mark on the final session of the UC Regents board.

It now is a long list of excuses from UC management for why UC PATH is so over budget, delayed and faulty, some of them:

-Didn't appreciate biz transformation aspect to project

-Taken advantage of by vendor UC first contracted with

-Training of transaction processors was bad training

-User error by employees on their own data

- 100 earn codes and UC PATH staff don't understand them

- aligning timing of reports to Regents meetings is something UC staff persistenly can't/ won't / don't don't know how to do it

- campuses were/are resistant to the project since inception

-Bad original project leadership

-Misleading news reports

-CSA audit of UC PATH misunderstands the project so their audit recommendations are flawed or not applicable

-Staff expertise is on the old PPS system and doesn't convert translate over easily to UC PATH

-Wrong timing, bad month for launches picked

-Didn't take into account intricacies of grad students and professional student attributes

-Didn't consider how start of school dates might not be good go live date for launch.

That's just some of them.

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