A technical error in Durham University’s payroll system has resulted in delayed salary payments for 80 academic staff members.
Internal emails sent out to those affected explained that they would receive only 75% of their due wages at this time, and apologised for the natural impact this would have on individuals.
It has been reported that some staff members failed to receive any explanatory emails, and discovered the error only upon checking their bank account.
Staff were advised to contact the University Finance Department in order to receive the ‘advance payment’ of just 75% of their monthly salary. The remaining 25% will be reimbursed at the end of November.
Regularly hear stories of not being put on payroll and partial 'advance' payments for student staff too. Simply not good enough for the University to treat its staff with such neglect and complacency. https://t.co/KnMbfGrCIc
— Seun Twins (@DurhamSUpres) November 3, 2018
Pay for both October and November will be transferred to staff who do not apply to the Finance Department at the end of this month.
This is reportedly the second year in a row that such a delay in payments has occurred.
Several users took to social media to express particular concern about staff members employed on hourly contracts. Such employees face greater financially difficulties as a result of pay delays, especially during the expensive Christmas period.
Many Durham academics and Students Union members have voiced support online for affected staff, and have criticised the university for failing its employees.
DurhamCasuals, a group of academics which speaks out against employment practices in higher education bodies, tweeted: “While most staff got paid as usual for October, Durham Casuals is hearing from a number of people who haven’t. This is not on.”
On Twitter, UCU also wrote: ‘Durham Uni seem to think that paying staff is optional.’
George Walker, DSU President, took to Twitter to say; ‘Regularly hear stories of not being put on payroll and partial ‘advance’ payments for student staff too. Simply not good enough for the University to treat its staff with such neglect and complacency.’
Denise McConnell, interim Chief Financial Officer commented: “We apologise profusely to the 80 valued colleagues who have been impacted by this error in our systems.
“We can confirm that all those affected have now been paid.
“We have reviewed our current processes, and identified the fault in our system which allowed this to come about. We will now be able to ensure a mistake like this will not happen again, as we fully appreciate the difficulties that late payment can cause.”
Photograph: Maddie Flisher