An Update on NHFIRST (Lawson System)

President Lacey and Jay Ward are continuing to meet with the state’s key representatives of the NHFIRST personnel module. These meetings have been facilitated by Gov. Maggie Hassan’s staff and are being conducted in an effort to resolve difficulties employees have experienced with the transition to the new personnel module and to work together toward overall improvement in its use.

Through these efforts, the ability for employees to see job postings within their own agencies has been temporarily restored, via a paper process, in those agencies or worksites that do not have sufficient hardware (desktops or kiosks) in place that would otherwise allow employees to see this same information electronically. These employees are also able to access an index of statewide internal job postings. We emphasize this is a temporary solution.

The long-term solution for better accessibility to the NHFIRST system, for all employees, is to ensure that all worksites have sufficient hardware installed. The timeline for this to be achieved is by 2015 year end. The agencies most in need of new hardware are currently being identified and will be similarly prioritized. Agencies already identified as in need of such equipment include the Parks (barring electricity and connectivity issues) within DRED, Liquor Stores within the NHSLC, Corrections worksites wherein desktops are not currently in place, and DOT sheds.

Additionally, the timeline for applicants to respond to in-house postings has increased to 10 days and paper job applications are being accepted. Thanks to SEA members reporting concerns, a job application “counter” that would appear to hiring supervisors and reveal the number of times an employee applied for a new state position, has been hidden from view. The counter was part of the “off the shelf” product and served no state purpose.

The state is developing revised instructions/guidance with respect to the credentials employees must submit for new job applications, based on concerns expressed by SEA members. These should be released soon.

The state reported there is a decline in the number of help desk tickets being submitted. This is good news as long as it is reflective of operations/experience improving. Please write to us and let us know if you are still experiencing difficulties with the system. Specificity, including date/time and a simple explanation of the problem is needed for us to effectively address the issue in these meetings.

With respect to remote access – meaning logging into NHFIRST from your personal computer or at a public computer; the state is developing instruction/guidance for those users that have an internet browser other than the optimum one NHFIRST works on, Internet Explorer. Numerous members have reported that they cannot log into NHFIRST from Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome. There is a workaround, the details of which should be released soon. Another accessibility issue reported is a security warning to disable your personal security settings. If you experience this, please send us an email, and if you can, please take a “screen shot” or picture of the error message when it is displayed on your screen.  Again, there is a workaround and it is important for the project team to be able to address each individual situation accordingly.

If you are experiencing a payroll problem, please remember that your first line of action should be to inform your Human Resources payroll person and then to contact an SEA steward if you are not satisfied with the response and resolution timeline.

Lastly, more than 800 employees were paying inaccurate membership dues or agency fee amounts. The state has corrected the error for more than 600 of these employees and is in the process of addressing approximately 200 more that will require specific agency assistance or clarification. The vast majority of these errors occurred because employee pay was changed due to a promotion or step increase. A minority of these employees were overcharged and will be reimbursed by the SEA, once the state and SEA complete reconciliation of the applicable files.

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