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A reader e-mailed The People’s Reporter this morning with a question and a complaint. Here’s the question:

Can you find out how much will it cost the city of San Diego to train its employees on the new time card system? They are scheduling all staff for mandatory two-hour sessions to train for this purpose. First, why does it take two hours?

I called Rachel Laing, a spokeswoman for the mayor, to get more information about the transition and help explain the process. The city is moving to a new custom electronic system and each department will be conducting its own training. Laing said it wouldn’t be productive to create a computer training program for the new time card system because each department has its own accounting requirements. The two hours will include a general overview from staff and enough time for questions.

Laing wasn’t aware of a cost estimate for training of the new payroll system because it would be part of each department’s normal expenses.

Then the reader, a self-identified city employee, had a complaint about how the new system is being implemented.

Lastly (and making this even more laughable), the new system kicks off during the last two weeks of December and they are strongly encouraging employees to “be on the job.” This coincides with the same period when employees want to take advantage of the unpaid furlough. 

Laing said the transition would begin at the end of December because it’s the end of a financial quarter and the payroll system runs on the calendar year (as required by the IRS). It’s also a good time, Laing said, for the technical staff to log and vet all the data before it’s moved to the new system.

Please don’t hesitate to keep sending questions to the People’s Reporter today. I will keep reporting into the early evening and any unanswered questions may be forwarded to the most appropriate reporter in the newsroom for further investigation.

— KEEGAN KYLE

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