School bells started ringing across the Santa Ana Unified School District five weeks ago, following 17 months of virtual learning.
But teachers say since the day they welcomed students back, some of them have yet to get their first paycheck.
"I have heard numbers of anywhere from 100 to 300 that could have been affected," said Shayna Lathus, a sixth grade science teacher and a teacher's union representative. "At the end of the day when somebody shows up to do their job it’s absolutely vital they get paid for the job they are doing."
District officials blame it on a back log, saying they are in a hiring frenzy. They need more teachers, counselors, maintenance workers, even bus drivers, because so many did not return after the shut down. Some are worried about COVID, others found other jobs.
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The district is hiring more employees to process the paychecks.
Fermin Leal, a district spokesman, said this has not happened before, at least not in recent history.
District officials say everyone will be paid but there may be delays based on when they were hired.
"I understand we are short staffed but paying people is one of the most important things an employer should be doing," Lathus said.