Garfield County switching from monthly to biweekly paychecks
Starting next year, Garfield County employees will be paid more often, despite some anxiety among senior workers that the change will cause them financial disruptions.
County commissioners approved the change Monday.
County Manager Kevin Batchelder said the move would create a more efficient payroll system, and the majority of employees wanted the change.
Converting would eliminate some problems with the current system, such as wait periods for new hires (up to seven and a half weeks in some instances) and overpayment of terminated employees.
Paying biweekly should reduce the risk of payroll fraud and errors. The current payroll system requires a large number of manual entries and adjustments, which auditors have flagged as a risk for fraud, said Batchelder.
The county will be able to get all its employees on e-timecards and avoid hand entries.
Biweekly pay cycles are also an industry standard and would make the county a more attractive employer, he said.
Still, not everyone was in favor of the switch. Some employees were worried about disruption to their personal finances after having gotten used to paying bills at a particular time of the month. Weighing a survey of county employees and those who approached him personally, Commissioner Mike Samson said the trend seemed to be that employees who’d been with the county longer tended not to want change, whereas the newer employees were in favor of a biweekly cycle.
Their consternation over the timing of their personal bills could be solved simply by changing payment dates, said Commissioner Tom Jankovksy, who crunched the numbers to demonstrate that there would be no loss in pay through the new system.
Samson cast a dissenting vote, noting some passionate objections to the change. But he was outvoted by commissioners John Martin and Jankovsky.
The commissioners stressed that the county is not saving money by converting to biweekly paychecks.
Jankovsky said the county’s total payroll is about $30 million annually.
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