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Help Guide to Benefits, Payroll and HR

Help Guide to Problem Solving with Payroll, Benefits and Human Resources in BUSD from the Berkeley Federation of Teachers


  • It is best to contact all of these departments using email. We do not recommend using the phone under any circumstances. If you choose to contact these offices by phone or in person ALWAYS follow up with an email that summarizes what was discussed and decided.

  • All BUSD emails are For example,

  • Be sure to KEEP A COPY of any correspondence or forms you turn in to any of these offices. When submitting documents to BUSD, we recommend that you deliver ALL DOCUMENTS to BUSD as a scan into an email.

  • Be sure to always keep your paycheck stubs, copies of timesheets, and copies of all of your absence certificates. These documents are often critical in solving problems.


If you suspect an error (i.e. incorrect stipend amount, incorrect calculation, incorrect deductions, TSA, Section 125, retirement, etc.,) follow these procedures:

1) Call your Payroll Specialist:

For Last names Alpha A-L, email Deanna Woods (, 510-644-6436

For Last names Alpha M-Z,  email Stephanie Linner (, 510-644-6067

2) If you report your paycheck problem to your payroll specialist listed above and receive no response within 72 hours or the problem continues unresolved, email acting payroll supervisor Elizabeth Karam ( or and include:  

            a) Your name and school site

            b) A short written description of the problem, and

            c) The date(s) you contacted your Payroll Specialist and what response you received. 

3) If your underpayment remains unresolved after a week, please contact BFT at with the same information listed above in #2.


The Benefits office handles all matters related to medical, dental and visual (VSP) insurance, in addition to the life insurance all BUSD employees receive and the Employee Assistance Program.  If you believe your benefits deductions are incorrect on your paycheck, or you have a question about your benefits you should call the Benefits Employee Hotline: 510.644.6666. You can also email Courtney King at

If you do not get a reply or resolution to your question or concern within 72 hours, please send an email to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Samantha Tobias-Espinosa   ( with a cc to BFT at  If you talk to a Benefits Specialist in person, be sure to follow up with an email summarizing the discussion.  


If you have a question or concern regarding Workers’ Compensation Insurance you should contact Betty Torrian-Lee ( Workers Comp Specialist.  If you talk to Ms. Torrian-Lee in person, be sure to follow up with an email summarizing the discussion. You can also find Workers’ Compensation procedures information on the BFT website. If you do not get a reply to your email, please contact Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Pauline Follansbee ( Please cc BFT.


Contact Glendaly Gascot-Rios (, Director of Human Resources, via email if you have a question or concern about:

  • Your FTE

  • Your status (Temporary, Probationary I, Probationary II, etc.)

  • Resigning

  • Your step and column

  • Your Employee Information Verification form

  • Submitting transcripts for new courses you have completed

  • Moving over a column on the salary schedule

  • Whether you were placed correctly on the salary schedule when you were hired

Leave of Absence Requests:

If you are requesting a leave of absence, including medical or child-rearing leaves, you should email your request to Glendaly Gascot-Rios, Director of Human Resources. Include a completed Leave of Absence Request form. This form, and a FAQ on leaves of absence, are available on our website under RESOURCES.

Sick Leave Balance

If you have a question about your sick leave balance you should email Sharon Vernae ( in the Human Resources department. If you do not get resolution to your question by 72 hours, email Glendaly Gascot-Rios, with a cc to BFT. Adult School Teachers should contact Mildred Scherr ( for sick leave balance questions.

Incorrect Step and Column

If you believe your Step and Column is incorrect, please contact Betty James at

STRS Service Credit and/or Contributions

If you have a question related to STRS you should contact acting payroll supervisor Elizabeth Karam ( or email

Change of Address

To report a change of address, change of name, etc. to all BUSD departments, including Payroll, complete the Change of Address form (available on the BFT website) and scan it to You must complete, sign and scan this form; a simple email is not enough.  

Turning in transcripts and inservice credits

Send transcripts and inservice credit hour forms to  You no longer need course pre-approval, but transcripts and inservice credit forms must be sent in by November 15th to count for the current year. 


The best way to contact BFT is to send an email to