WASHINGTON - Some teachers in D.C. are complaining that they still have not been paid yet or having back pay issues, despite the fact that school started almost one month ago.
According to teachers FOX 5 spoke, some are still waiting to get full or partial paychecks for the current school, while others are waiting for back pay from the summer.
One of those teachers, Thomas Northrup, a first grade teacher at Bruce Monroe Elementary School in the Park View area, says his paychecks are coming up almost $1,000 short, and even worse, he knows other teachers who are owed thousands more in back pay.
"I know two people who ran summer school and are owed $8,000 and can’t get in contact with anyone either," Northrup told FOX 5.
FOX 5 learned that this errors like this happen almost every year with new hires due to the paperwork process, but it usually gets solved immediately. This time around, however, teachers have been waiting on their money since summer.
As a result, some say they have been forced to go into their savings to survive. Some are evening considering if a strike is necessary to get the issue resolved.
The Washington Teachers Union (WTU) is stepping in to try and help. The union says keeping teachers encouraged to work has been tough during this period.
"Teachers are feeling like they aren't being respected for what they do when things like this happen," WTU President Jacqueline Lyons. "Especially in this economy and the fact that our teachers haven't had a contract or raise in 3 years, to be patient with concerns like this."
Lyons added, "it's a lot when you depend on something that helps your survival, especially if you have to pay for child care, rent or mortage. Those folks that you owe money to are not trying to hear that you didn't get paid."
D.C. Public Schools released the following statement about the issue:
"D.C. Public Schools greatly values the contributions of our teachers and school staff. This school year, we extended our hiring session and welcomed hundreds of new educators to serve in our schools. In this process, a few employees are encountering challenges as we work to connect them to multiple systems. In these instances, we work to address the issues as soon as they are identified. We are aware of a few compensation issues that some staff encountered due in part to paperwork complications. We’re working expeditiously to resolve these issues and will work to provide back pay to those affected. We deeply regret the delay and will continue to update the impacted teachers."
The school system says about 30 teachers are impacted by the issue, but the teachers union believes way more teachers are dealing with the pay issues.
The school system says it will continue to update impacted teachers about the issues.