May 16, 2008

elevate: Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: Why are clerical staff made to come in on a Sunday during a holiday weekend to sign off on payroll — with no differential pay, overtime or a comp day? It also leaves us unable to travel for three-day weekends.

Answer: For staff members who help process payroll across the Medical Center, we regret that holiday weeks present some difficulties, requiring certain steps to be completed on Sunday.

So, we've tried to make things easier by making the process available through the Web. Since the implementation of Kronos as the time and attendance system at Vanderbilt, those responsible for helping to process the payroll on Sunday mornings can do their part from any Web connection. Having to stay in town is no longer an issue. We have received numerous positive e-mails from employees praising this advancement.

The Medical Center's biweekly payroll process produces paychecks for more than 9,600 employees.

Our staff needs three days to review the information and produce an accurate payroll. On a normal week, this step is usually accomplished Monday through Wednesday. Once our reviews are completed, we need two additional days in advance of the actual payday to ensure direct deposit funds are transmitted through the Federal Reserve system and deposited into employees' bank accounts on Friday morning.

Thus, when a holiday falls during a workweek, the schedule must be moved up a day to allow for the five days of processing required to ensure that employees are paid correctly and on time.

Of course, it's correct that holidays do not count toward hours worked, and so do not enter into calculations of overtime or comp time.

— Terri G. Phillips, manager, Medical Payroll, and Daniel J. Cline, director, HR Processing