SFC rectifying payroll mistakes

    A disagreement over the interpretation of the Student Fee Committee’s guidelines on stipend distribution policies could prevent two members of the SFC from receiving pay for months away from work in the committee this summer.

    The committee met Monday to discuss stipend issues for three of its members who were not present for committee responsibilities this summer. It was previously decided that Makerus Portotesano and Briana Tagupa would not receive pay for the months of July and August, as they were out of the country during that time.

    The committee discussed stipend pay for Meaghan Mayeda, who was ill for the month of July. It resolved that she would receive her full stipend. The individual cases for Portotesano and Tagupa will not be decided until next week’s committee meeting.

    Dean of Students Wendy Endress said in an e-mail to committee Chair Madeline Enos that she “will not sign paperwork that provides them with a stipend when they were not in Oregon and/or not engaging in SFC member responsibilities.” She said that the committee would have to come up with a rationale for wanting Portotesano and Tagupa to receive their full stipend.

    Portotesano, who visited family in American Samoa for two and a half months, said that he received pay for the months of July and August, but that it was a human resources accident and he does not want the money.

    ”If it was up to me I won’t get the money,” Portotesano said. “I chose to go home. I just said, ‘I feel like I don’t deserve it.'”

    Human resources deposited $525 directly into Portotesano’s account for the month of August, and $1,050 for September, $525 of which was for July. He said he has not spent the money because he expects it to be taken back by human resources. Portotesano is also the coordinator of the Pacific Islanders Club, a position funded by the SFC. The committee has not yet determined the salary he will receive for that position.

    Portotesano said that there should be a precedent set for future committee members. He said he was alerted through word of mouth that he and Tagupa would get paid for time spent away in the summer.

Tagupa was home in Hawaii from the end of June until mid-September. She said that she expected to be paid when she got back, and was surprised when Enos told her that she would not. Tagupa said that before she left, Enos told her she would receive full pay and said “‘Have fun, see you in September.'”

    She said that it was Enos’ decision to talk about it during the committee meeting Monday and that she told her, “If it was up to me you’d be getting the money.”

    Tagupa said that she attempted to call Enos at the end of July to double check that she had money waiting for her, but that Enos never called her back. She said she hopes that she will receive her back pay to cover bills and her airfare to Hawaii.

    ”It’s kind of critical I get this money,” Tagupa said. “I would have made other plans if I knew I wasn’t going to get paid.”

    Enos said that she would like to see the guidelines revised so that they are clearer. “It is time for us to decide what the SFC responsibilities are during the summer,” she said.

    Endress said that ultimately it is the committee’s decision whether or not to pay Tagupa and Portotesano, but she still will not sign off on paying them for the time they spent away from work this summer.

    ”If they made a decision that was counter to what I was willing to do we would have to figure that out,” Endress said.