Garland Independent School District (Garland ISD) includes 85 campus and administrative facilities. With a student population of 58,000, the district is the second largest in Dallas County and the twelfth largest in Texas. Open-enrollment options allow students to choose the school they attend. The district offers traditional learning programs, as well as a variety of magnet programs that blend regular curriculum and specialized courses. With a staff of 8,200 employees, including full-time staff and substitute teachers, Garland ISD is focused on providing students with an enriching learning experience.
Tracking the time of the 8,200 employees at Garland ISD with a paper-based system was an unwieldy and error-prone process. Stacks of timecards piled up at each facility, and handwritten records were inexact. Time-related lawsuits in the industry got the attention of district officials, who wanted to stay ahead of this issue by ensuring Garland ISD could track employee time to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements.
A neighboring school district had evaluated automated workforce management solutions and selected UKG. “We drew on their experience and the UKG solution looked like the right fit for us too,” shared Larry Williams, former Director of Auxiliary Personnel for Garland ISD.
The district’s RFP process reinforced this view, as did the maintenance department’s successful implementation of a UKG® solution a few years prior. Subsequent districtwide implementation has helped Garland ISD improve productivity, reduce compliance risk, and gain better control of labor costs.
The solution rollout began with hourly employees at one facility and progressed to other campuses. Then Garland ISD added an ERP system, stipulating that it interface easily with the district’s UKG solution.
With teachers not yet using UKG, campus secretaries manually entered teachers’ supplemental hours and costing into spreadsheets and emailed them to the payroll director, who uploaded them to the ERP system. Spreadsheet problems surfaced, as did costing and employee ID errors for supplemental hours.
Now, all employees use the UKG solution, which is interfaced with the ERP system, a substitute teacher tracking system to import teacher absences, and a bus driver field trip time-tracking solution.
With all employees punching in and out at biometric time clocks, the possibility of buddy punching has been eliminated. Hourly employee time is tracked for payroll purposes. Teachers, paraprofessionals, and hourly employees clock in and out to track supplemental pay for extra duties, which are tracked by job and pay code and uploaded into payroll and the new ERP projects and grants module. This accuracy has alleviated FLSA and grant compliance concerns.
“To better track and reduce extra-duty supplemental pay costs, our UKG solution captures extra duty at the department and campus levels,” noted David Mouton, the district’s UKG Systems Manager. “With the increased visibility allowing consistency and closer scrutiny, we have seen an almost 40% reduction in supplemental pay costs over three years.”
“To better track and reduce extra-duty supplemental pay costs, our UKG solution captures extra duty at the department and campus levels. With the increased visibility allowing consistency and closer scrutiny, we have seen an almost 40% reduction in supplemental pay costs over three years.”
UKG Systems Manager
Solution creates districtwide consistency
As with any new system, pushback occurred. “Some teachers grumbled, but they adapted to the UKG solution quickly and tend to like it much more,” said Mouton. “Employees like being held to the same rules and standards, especially when they do extra things.”
The UKG solution also has helped settle time disputes, a major problem previously with manual processes. “If an employee has a question now about time, we can quickly show it,” he added.
Payroll processing time drastically reduced
Prior to implementation of the UKG solution, a business department employee collected, catalogued, and retrieved all timesheets from across the district, before checking timesheet signatures. The district spent up to six hours per pay period preparing employee time information for payroll.
“The UKG implementation cut drastically into that time,” said Steve Reeves, a district employee who oversees UKG backend operations. “We get everything completed and over to payroll now within 30 minutes.”
Increased costing accuracy
Public schools need to answer questions about where money is spent. The UKG solution’s costing accuracy is a big benefit in this area, said Mouton, particularly with state and federal grant funds.
“It’s a lot easier now using our UKG solution to justify where these dollars are spent,” he explained. “With the punch of a button, we can tell where the money goes, and reports break it all out and organize the information.”
Robust leave module helps manage labor costs
Having an accurate view of employees’ accrued time is also important to effectively managing costs. When Garland ISD added its ERP system, the district considered moving from its UKG accruals module to the ERP’s solution.
“After eight weeks of analysis, we decided we needed to stick with UKG and further expand our use of it,” shared Reeves. “We chose UKG for all accruals because it is more robust and much easier to use in tracking accruals, leaves, and balances.”
To further optimize use of its UKG solution, Garland ISD is planning to turn on the UKG mobile solution to give employees remote access to their time information, further increasing employee satisfaction.