BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Dozens of prison employees say they are being shortchanged by the staff. It has sparked outrage and protests across Baltimore.
Correctional officers are demanding justice outside the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center, claiming the state is withholding weeks of overtime and pay.
“Car payments, rent to pay, I have children I take care of… It’s putting me in a hardship because my bills are being late,” said Towanda Kearney, former correctional officer.
Dozens of state employees are upset, feeling they have been cheated out of their hard-earned paychecks. Some are missing 50 to 60 hours.
“The problem is they should not have changed this payroll system if it didn’t work,” said Glenard Middleton, AFSCME union.
The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services tells WJZ they are working around the clock to get the issue resolved.
“Anytime you have human involvement in something like this you are going to have people make mistakes. Somebody hits the wrong keystroke, you are going to have a problem,” said Gary McLhinney, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
Now, elected officials are being called on to step up.
“Governor Hogan has to stand up and do his job. He has prided himself on being the business governor when he was elected, well, this is no way to run a business,” said Patrick Moran, president, AFSCME.
State officials are hoping to get the new payroll system up and running properly, but acknowledge it will not be perfect.
“Our goal is to get to 100 percent. But I think realistically, with over 10,000 employees, we might always have a couple here and there,” said McLhinney.
Prison officials tell WJZ getting the payroll system working properly is a top priority, and hope to get it solved by the next pay period, December 14.
The state says it takes time to verify the miscalculations and ask for employees to be patient.