The City Council voted unanimously today to move forward on a cost-cutting proposal that would eliminate paper pay stubs for the city's 16,000-plus employees who currently receive the hard-copy documentation every two weeks in addition to electronic pay stubs, officials said.
“By eliminating paper stubs, Boston could potentially save between $125,000 and $795,000 per year," said District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley, who proposed and filed the resolution the council approved 13-0.
He attributed the range in savings to figures his office researched about average cost of printing a pay stub for one employee during one pay period. O'Malley said his office found the most conservative figures to be around 30 cents.
Meanwhile, the National Automated Clearing House Association says the average cost of printing a pay stub for one employee is $1.90 per pay period.
"That’s real savings that could go back into the classroom, police stations, and delivery of city services. It’s good policy and the right thing to do,” the councilor said.
The resolution passed today was "non-binding," but affirms the council's desire to see the idea implemented, O'Malley said. City officials now plan to work alongside payroll and other administrators to iron out any potential resistance toward eliminating paper pay stubs, with the hope of eventually carrying out the measure in-house.
"I haven't heard a compelling argument against this," O'Malley said, adding that he's optimistic that the city's issuing of paper pay stubs could cease as soon as, "within a matter of weeks."
He said there's a caveat in the resolution that would allow employees, like those who do not have consistent access to a computer, to opt to continue receiving paper pay stubs. But because all employees already have accounts where they can check their pay stubs electronically and because they can access those electronic stubs from City Hall's computers, he does not expect that to be a popular option.
By eliminating paper stubs, Boston's payroll and other administrative personnel will spend less time folding, stuffing, addressing and delivery pay stub envelopes, O'Malley said. That will allow them more time to complete other tasks. The city will also reduce how much it spends on paper and envelopes, and the city's costs associated with printing pay stubs will be eliminated, he said.
“This proposal makes both fiscal and environmental sense and I look forward to working
with the administration on implementation,” O’Malley said.
E-mail Matt Rocheleau at firstname.lastname@example.org.