Author Topic: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one? Angry post #15  (Read 7799 times)

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sarahj21

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So my contract states that I either work on public holidays for overtime rates, or get paid my ordinary rate and don't work. It is explicitly stated that my days of work can't be swapped away from a public holiday to avoid paying this overtime or normal rate. However the company decides whether I work or stay home.

We recently had a public holiday. My days of work were swapped - I worked an alternate day and not the public holiday. I told my supervisor two weeks before this that I saw she'd swapped my shifts and although I'd work the alternate day, it would be in addition to my ordinary rate while I didn't work on the holiday.

I got paid the other day and saw that I hadn't been paid the extra, as per my contract. My manager happened to be working and I spoke to her about the shift swapping and how I hadn't been paid. She said I should leave a note with the lady who does the pay and she'd see that it was fixed up next pay day.

Apparently she wasn't happy with my supervisor - IMHO she was right to be upset that the supervisor was violating my contract. We have a union and this is a legal contract which we can go to court over. Today my supervisor insisted that she'd spoken to the pay lady in advance and it was the pay lady's fault for not paying me.

The issue is that my supervisor puts into the computer all the shifts she wants me to work. When I work them, I log in and off through the computer. The pay lady then goes through and make sure all the logging in and out matches the assigned shifts. She can add log in/out data for sick leave, vacation and public holidays, but only for shifts that the supervisor enters. So if the supervisor deletes my public holiday shift, there's no shift in the computer for the pay lady to change to a public holiday rate.

So, anyway, I think I was right in speaking to the manager. This isn't the first time that my supervisor has deleted my shifts when I should be paid sick or public holiday/overtime rates. My supervisor is really nice and friendly. We're facebook friends and chat a lot while we work. But I just can't get through to her that my pay is really important to me and I want it to be correct every time, so she needs to stop deleting my shifts when I'm sick or on vacation because I need the pay lady to pay me! As a side note, the supervisor is paid a salary, and the pay lady doesn't take care of her pay, it comes from a different office. So her pay is always correct. Mine is shift-based and annoying to check every single week.

What do you think? Am I an annoying minion or do you think I've just solved my pay problem? Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 09:37:31 AM by sarahj21 »

MrTango

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 08:26:02 AM »
You mentioned that this is a union job.  In that case, I think after speaking with your supervisor and your payroll person, I'd probably go to a union steward/representative to ask for advice.

There's a good chance that they've had this issue come up and know how to get it fixed.

deadbody

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 08:27:27 AM »
After the first time I'd have gone so far over my bosses head that he/she couldn't even have seen my feet.

I'd talk to your union.  Screwing up your pay is a big big big big deal.  Deleting shifts and stuff is not OK.

I'm totally serious that I would not be OK with this.  Your boss may be a nice person but she is messing with your money and thats totally not cool.

JenJay

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 08:31:28 AM »
I think you were fine because this has happened before and there's a good chance it would have happened again. Whether it's a deliberate attempt to save the company money (hoping you won't notice or won't challenge it) or an accidental oversight, Supervisor needs to get it together and stop messing up your pay. I'm sure she doesn't like that she was spoken to by the Manager but maybe it was the correction she needed to finally force her to pay more attention to this aspect of her job.

FlyingBaconMouse

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 08:39:38 AM »
It doesn't sound like you did any of this belligerently, so I think you're okay. It can be hard not to get emotionally invested in your paycheck, for obvious reasons! 
I don't kill threads, but I do seem to stun 'em pretty good. :-)

rashea

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 09:09:39 AM »
I think you did exactly right. And next time, I think I'd be making a call to the Union. Does she often move your shifts around, or is it just around holidays? Because if it's just around holidays that makes it far worse in my eyes and I'd be pushing for a "do it again and you won't be a supervisor".
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 09:48:41 AM »
I think your supervisor needs retraining on the time management system. Your description doesn't sound like someone who would intentionally short pay someone.

bopper

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 09:56:35 AM »
Either the supervisor is doing this deliberately or cluelessly, and either way her manager should know.

sarahj21

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 10:00:08 AM »
We get our shifts two weeks in advance, so in the past she might have forgotten to give me a particular shift, but she fixes it right up as soon as I tell her. She rosters a huge department so I don't mind, as long as she fixes it. I don't have a problem unless I'm sick - and I just solved that with the manager (the sick leave thing was no one's fault, just paper shuffling).

Today my supervisor told me she'd written an official change of shift form for me last week. She'd written a note about the holiday and apparently specifically said that I needed to be paid for it. However, the employee needs to sign this form as well, and I didn't see it, so I didn't sign it, obviously. That's usually not a problem but the pay lady can be pedantic about signatures, and she doesn't like me. The problem is, as I said before, even without the note, the shift should be in the system for the pay lady to take care of. And the manager told me she checked with the pay lady about taking care of everyone. I knew my shift had been deleted two weeks ago and the pay lady can't just add in shifts off the top of her head.

I usually work every holiday so this exact thing hasn't happened to me before. It just made me so angry that I spoke to her and wrote her a note two weeks in advance, and then I check my payslip and it didn't go through properly. It's not a great deal of money but I hate the endless chorus of "oh, pay lady messed it up!" and "supervisor deleted your shift!" They always fix it up the week after but it feels like jumping through hurdles for the money I worked for already.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 12:07:23 PM »
You should not have to go through all of this hoop jumping to ensure you are paid correctly.  If this isn't resolved after getting the manager involved your next step would be to go to the union.

bopper

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 02:37:12 PM »
Even if it turns out to be a communications issue, it merely points out that the communications procedure may need to be improved.

blarg314

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2013, 10:15:46 PM »

For a first time mistake, it would have been better to talk first to your supervisor.

But it sounds like this has happened before, and your supervisor has not corrected her approach, so it keeps happening. So in that case, going over her head is definitely appropriate. You shouldn't need to keep chasing after your employers to pay you according to your contract.

And if she gets mad, then that's her problem - paying employees properly for the work they do is a very important part of her job. If it happens again, I'd go to the manager again  and make a more formal complaint - this has happened repeatedly, you've spoken to her repeatedly, manager has spoken to her, and it is still happening.  It sounds like the manager is appropriately concerned about this, and recognizes the potential consequences.

Getting the union involved would be the final step, if neither your supervisor nor your manager is able to fix the problem.

Margo

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 08:37:11 AM »
I think you were fine to go to the manager. It does sound as though this may be due to the supervisor not clearly understanding how how the system functions - the fact that she is getting forms filled in suggests to me that she perhaps doesn't know how to input stuff into the system to show you have a paid-but-not-working shift.

As it sounds ads though your relationship with her is generally reasonable, is it possible for you to suggest to her she ask for some refresher training on the system, to focus on non-standard inputting?

If this wouldn't be feasible then I agree with the suggestion to speak to your union rep. They may be able to ask about retraining / training updates without is being so personal

postalslave

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2013, 09:25:53 AM »
I'm a manager of unionized employees and I think you were very justified.

Cynical postalslave has a theory on why your supervisor did that and cynical postalslave thinks this will be an on going issue :(

If it happens again go to your shop steward.

sarahj21

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Re: Was I justified going over my supervisor's head on this one?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 09:52:18 AM »
Margo - standard procedure is to fill in this form. We do one everyday to note down shift changes so pay lady can get it later and make sure that day's logging in/out was correct. My supervisor can only put in shifts on my contract plus whatever hours she wants me to work in addition to that. She would unfortunately be out of line making any other changes on the system, including adding in overtime rates. I used to work for pay lady on this system so I know how it works. For a while, I was the one checking to be sure all the logging in/out was correct, however only pay lady may change rates of pay for overtime and holidays.

Bopper - I hate that we have these forms. They are awful. Sometimes staff members forget to fill it in and then I have to remember what extra hours they worked and leave their signature section blank. My signature is enough to get them paid but I'd feel awful if I didn't write in their shift right. There should be one central form but sadly each department has their own, and if they forget to submit it first thing in the morning, they have to wait for the next day to get their shift record sorted. Pay lady only does payroll once per day.

Blarg314, I did speak to my supervisor, two weeks before the public holiday. I told her in person and left her a note in the official notebook of supervisor notes that I saw she'd changed my shifts and I wouldn't be tricked out of the pay I was entitled to. I may not have written "tricked" but it was implied. We constantly have payroll budget cuts and I keep my eye on my payslip very closely as a result.

Thanks everyone for your replies! At the time, I had a private moment with the manager (rare!) and it felt right to discuss my pay. The last thing I wanted to do was throw my supervisor under the bus and I felt awful when she told me the manager had spoken to her but then I felt good that I'd stood up for myself because now that the manager knows, my supervisor will/should be more aware of pay changes when she swaps my shifts. JenJay said this well.

Postalslave - I'm cutting my work hours soon to start studying so it will be a while before this comes up again. Plus we don't have many public holidays through the middle of the year here. :) Pay lady is usually the penny pincher. She once told me off in front of a customer (and I posted about it on here) because I didn't get something done for her the night before. She doesn't ever pay even five extra minutes on a shift so I always leave on time. She can have one but not both!