October 22, 2018

Webster payroll system browser issues cause student employee frustration

Correction: There are 931 student employees at Webster University. The story originally stated there are 55,000 students employees, which is incorrect. 

Before winter break, more than 931Webster University student employees said goodbye to the old, handwritten time sheets. They were introduced to a two-year project called “My Webster”: the launch of an online payroll system called Automatic Data Processing (ADP).

ADP eliminates paper time sheets, allowing employees to see their benefits online and change their personal information for tax purposes.

The program launched in November with Information Technology (IT) service staff on standby for any problems or questions.

“It was horrible when I first had to use it,” said Office of Admissions student employee Alyssa Hegwood. “I downloaded the app for my smart phone and there was just so much confusion. I couldn’t log in, other people couldn’t log in, we couldn’t pull it up on browsers  it was a train wreck.”

Terri Jones, director of IT support services, said IT phones have been ringing frequently with questions involving difficulty logging in, Java not allowing browsers to open the system and training for supervisors who have more than 10 employees.

Jones explained that there are certain browsers that correlate with certain Java applets that allow the system to work. If a student is having trouble logging in, it may be because the desktop has an outdated version of Internet Explorer, or they might need to update their Java programs.

Employees who hold several positions on campus had difficulty recording the correct hours and receiving the correct pay using the ADP system. Webster student employee David McDonald has two positions on campus.

 Clerical Assistant David McDonald works in the Student Affairs Office add. He will use the My Webster to clock his work hours.  PHOTO BY MEGAN FAVIGNANO

Clerical Assistant David McDonald works in the Student Affairs Office add. He will use the My Webster to clock his work hours. PHOTO BY MEGAN FAVIGNANO

The ADP system flip-flopped his pay rate between his two jobs, which resulted in a 25 percent loss in payment for this pay period. He will have to wait until next pay period to be compensated.

Jones said the reason some students with multiple jobs are having difficulty with ADP is because the program is still being uniquely tailored to Webster. Public Relations Director Patrick Giblin said he is aware of the difficulty experienced by students with more than one job. He said he is in the process of communicating with ADP to find a solution.

“In the meantime we are sending out memos to all the managers telling them what to do to rectify that,” Giblin said. “In some cases we have people still filling out the time sheets until we can get ADP to recognize this.”

With the new system, the payroll department will no longer manually transfer or track time sheets. The ADP system also keeps up to date with new IRS requirements and files taxes for Webster’s payroll. This will allow the university to record information over time, which has led to a new vacation day policy for employees. With the old system employees were allowed only ten but are now granted 25.

Ken Creehan, director of process approval and project management at Webster, said the program should pay for itself with savings in mailing, labor and the cost of paper.

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