Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne speaking
Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne speaks at a press conference on Nov. 7, 2022, at the 555 Franklin St. school district headquarters. Photo by David Mamaril Horowitz.

Following 10 months of ongoing payroll errors that have affected more than 3,000 educators and staffers, San Francisco’s teachers union and the school district each chose Monday morning to make a big move. 

The United Educators of San Francisco today filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the California Public Employment Relations Board, according to its president, Cassondra Curiel. 

“We’ve been working on this for months, because an Unfair Labor Practice charge is not something we take lightly,” she said. 

Meanwhile, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Matt Wayne announced a payroll “state of emergency” on Monday morning. With this action, the district will launch a 60-person Command Center to focus on clearing the backlog of payroll issues and instituting long-term fixes to payroll systems to prevent new issues, he said

Curiel, however, said that educators have been asking for a crisis-level response since early in the payroll debacle.

“This crisis center should have been developed and implemented in March, when we were sleeping on the third floor of that district office, when I had a sleeping bag in front of the then-superintendent’s door,” she said. “That should have been the trigger for the kind of response we’re seeing today.”

Rafael Picazo, president of the SEIU 1021 union, which represents the school district’s non-educator staffers, said he’ll wait and see if the command center solves the issues. Picazo said he still believes that the school district needs to admit it wasted more than $16  million (and counting) of taxpayer money on a system that doesn’t work.

“The district needs to sue the firm and get the taxpayers’ money back,” he said. “They need to go back to the old system, which at least paid the employees.”

It’s unclear when the Command Center will be fully operational. 

While the center is being launched today, the district will spend the next several weeks staffing it and making it fully operational, Wayne said. The temporary EMPowerSF call center, launched Oct. 26, will also eventually be merged with the command center, he added.

The team will be composed of reassigned school district staff; staff of Infosys, the company responsible for implementing the payroll system; and staff from Alvarez & Marsal, the management consultant firm hired in September to fix and assess the payroll crisis. Temporary payroll specialists will also be part of the command center, according to Wayne.

It will be headed by SFUSD Head of Staff Marin Trujillo.

Also, the district will publish a public dashboard in the coming weeks to report on progress toward key goals that include reducing the number of help tickets, reducing impacted employees and closing more tickets than open each month.

Wayne told Mission Local that issuing the state of emergency allows the district to “shift resources in a bold and quick manner” to resolve the payroll issues.

“It would have been slower needing to coordinate with a lot more people than just saying, ‘When there’s an emergency, you get pulled in and you help out,’” Wayne told Mission Local.

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David Mamaril Horowitz

David’s one of those San Francisco natives who gets excited whenever City College is mentioned. He has journalism degrees from there and San Francisco State University, graduating from the latter in May 2021. In college, David played five different roles as an editor at student news publications and reported as an intern for three local newspapers, mostly while waiting tables at the Alamo Drafthouse. His first job was at Mitchell's Ice Cream.

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  1. Is this the kind of thing they say up in Administration? Why is this quotation in the story (is it a mis-quote?) What does this even mean?

    “ “It would have been slower needing to coordinate with a lot more people than just saying, ‘When there’s an emergency, you get pulled in and you help out,’” Wayne told Mission Local.

  2. Picazo: “The district needs to sue the firm and get the taxpayers’ money back,” he said. “They need to go back to the old system, which at least paid the employees.”


    In the meantime, it sounds like more money is getting ready to be spent on churning and flailing. The new team’ll get paid, but not the folks who r e a l l y need to be paid up: THE TEACHERS.

    And why is Infosys on the team?? I guess they (ostensibly) “know” their own system and might be able to “help” solve some of the problems, but at this point their time and efforts should be donated.

    1. I am not impressed either. At all. One important aspect is missing: Monitor the system to prevent glitches from getting out in the first place. As an example: Dropping health insurance out of the blue. This should be a flagged, and fixed on the spot, as opposed to getting out and having the affected teacher file a ticket and pull a number.

    2. From what I understand, it was the scope of work that the city provided that was flawed because it did not include all the elements of the system, and Infosys did conplete all they were contracted for.

  3. Seiously – about time. I’m very impressed by their dedication, but these teachers have put up with this BS for entirely too long.

  4. Tax. The. Rich

    SF has more billionaires than any other city in the world; as long as Breed kisses their asses, a billion SF problems won’t get solved.

  5. Superintendent Wayne should resign. And perhaps the state needs to step into take over from the district, which has demonstrated repeatedly that they are not up to the task of fixing this mess.

    1. @Mike The design of this data system predates the Supe’s tenure and he is not personally responsible for it. Someone has to oversee fixing it – who do you propose?

  6. I notice Infosys is on the “Emergency Task Force”. Are they still being paid and, if so, how much? Who at the District selected Infosys and on what basis was the decision made? Does Infosys have any kind of track record for success in a school district payroll environment?