Saturday, June 14, 2014

Direct Deposit Proposed for City Employees

Mandatory direct deposit of paychecks, described as "commonsense legislation" when signed by Gov. Chris Christie, did not make sense to all City Council members Tuesday.

The bill mandating direct deposit for all state employees as of July 1 also provided for municipalities and school districts to follow suit, but council members were reluctant to force it on city employees, saying many do not have or may not be able to get bank accounts. The proposed ordinance would apply to all part-time and full-time city workers and seasonal employees would have the option of requesting direct deposit.

Only one speaker, a firefighter, spoke against the proposal in public comment, but Councilwoman Vera Greaves said she wanted it to be transitioned and Council President Bridget Rivers raised the issue of workers not being eligible to get checking accounts.

City Administrator Rick Smiley said it costs about 51 cents to issue a paycheck and the city has 500 employees. He said the city would set up meetings with banks so employees could get accounts. Councilman Cory Storch said credit unions should also be considered, as they do not charge fees for transactions.

Poor credit is one reason why a bank might deny a consumer a checking account, according to this FDIC article which offers possible options such as a 'second chance" account.

Council members agreed to consider an ordinance, but instead of it taking effect July 1, the council favored a Jan. 1, 2015 starting date.

The ordinance, MC 2014-14, is on the agenda for first reading Monday. The meeting is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.



  1. The State law allows for the governing bodies of municipalities that adopt similar legislation to offer exemptions under "such terms and conditions as the
    governing body may deem necessary". If some employees can't get accounts this should not be a factor to reject what otherwise is a cost-saving measure. If the ordinance needs to spell out the exemptions, add them in. If they can be handled separately, clarify what they are, and get on with it. One other thing; the State law designating a July 1st start date became effective in March 2013, fifteen months ago. A January 2015 start provides a reasonable lead time for roll-out.

  2. Once again the Council will major on the minors. Discuss the rapid slum look around town? No. Let's talk about the legal bills again.

  3. Credit Unions would be a good idea for employees who for one reason or another can't get bank accounts.

  4. The ordinance has been amended to specify a 1/1/15 implementation date.

  5. Thank you Doc..Bernice you even stated how high bank fees are, you gave a reference to your son getting a high surprise bank charge, now you criticize the council. You are such a phony.

  6. People should have a choice. What is wrong with that, the statement is rhetorical. Please no comments from the Peanut Gallery, because sometimes you all can be nuts.

  7. Bernice, I apologize I read it wrong and took it wrong. I have conformed to the climate of the city. I now think everybody is negative. Sorry for calling you phony.I was dead wrong.

  8. Most people now have direct deposit from their jobs. Social Security has been direct deposit for years now. There is no reason not to have direct deposit. It saves money for the tax payers and saves the employee time because they don't have to take the time to stand in line at the bank.

    1. There is also a security aspect to having direct deposit. When my employer instituted direct deposit, we were giving two choices, either direct deposit or get your check in a credit card until you can open a bank account. They made no exceptions. Change is not always easy for some but in the end I love direct deposit.