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W.Va. state workers protest new paycheck schedule

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State employees stand to lose millions of dollars in wages because of a quirk in switching state pay periods from twice monthly to biweekly, according to the findings of an employee grievance.

The mid-year switch from 24 pay periods a year to 26 is prompting a series of grievances filed by employees who’ve discovered they will receive 25 paychecks in the switchover year, and apparently will not be paid their full salaries, Gordon Simmons with UE Local 170 of the West Virginia Public Workers Union said.

“Everyone I’ve seen is talking about $200 or more of losses,” he said.

“We could be talking about millions in lost wages,” he added.

With the state Budget Office reporting 37,597 permanent state employees in July, an average loss of $200 in wages each could total more than $7.5 million.

One of the first employee grievances over the change was filed by Department of Transportation employee David Harper Gardner Jr., and 23 other division employees, who were in the first “wave” of employees switched to biweekly paychecks in June.

In exhibits accompanying the grievance, Gardner noted that his salary of $33,180 works out to semi-monthly gross pay of $1,382.50, or biweekly pay of $1,276.15.

For calendar year 2015, Gardner stated that he received 10 semi-monthly payments totaling $13,825, and will receive 15 biweekly payments totaling $19,142.25 for total pay for the year of $32,967.25 – or $212.75 less than his salary.

“It was just mind-blowing when I started doing the math…

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