Detroit EMS protest payroll problems

Men and women of Detroit EMS took to the streets Monday morning in downtown Detroit to protest what they say are ongoing payroll issues.

Union representative Jeff Gaglio says the issues have been happening for the past nine months. He says some workers have been getting the wrong wages and the city has offered no resolution. 

"We have a lot of people here who are just above the poverty line, making maybe $12-$13 an hour and they get shorted routinely, two to three hundred dollars a paycheck. They've had their hourly rates scaled back for no specific reason," he says.

Now, they're demanding a response from the city. He says they've met with officials before and even offered resolutions, but nothing's changed. 

"We need the city to take this situation serious," Gaglio says. "We want the federal government and the state government to step in and launch an investigation as to why we cannot fix these payroll issues with the city of Detroit."

Gaglio says in 2013 50-60 workers left, and the department is getting ready to face that again. He says a handful of new hires are considering leaving because of all the issues. 

"The city, for years, has had an antiquated system where we've had one HR system, one payroll system and they didn't really "talk" to each other. We're moving to an integrated system right now, so that's created some challenges as we're trying to program new changes," says the mayor's chief of staff, Alexis Wiley. "But - we're absolutely aware that we need to make sure that we're paying our employees fairly and they're getting what they deserve."

She says there's a meeting this week with officials, and that everyone is committed to resolving this. 

"There's no reason that anyone should be paid less than what they deserve," Wiley says.