Student workers have missed out on hundreds of pounds because of incorrect payments from the uni
But now the University is offering to cover expenses incurred as a result of the errors
UoB student workers have been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket due to missed, late, or incorrect payments from the University.
Following a switch to a new payroll system called NewCore, some students have said that they will refuse work for the University in the future as a direct result of the issues they've faced.
The impact of the switch to this new system has been most accurately expressed in an open letter penned to the Vice Chancellor by the student-led pressure group, University of Birmingham Student Workers (UBSW) :
"Reports of Worklink, Payroll, and New Core ignoring calls and emails (or taking over ten days to respond), rude responses to students and false promises of payment, inaccurate 'emergency' taxation of over £100 on wages of only £300, failure to set up New Core accounts, failure to update students on the status of their wages, blaming students for Payroll not having bank details when students have correctly submitted this information, and pay from over two months ago not being received with no explanation are currently widespread. This has resulted in many of us having to repeatedly call the different parties involved, often to no avail."
Although over 200 student casual workers were affected by the problems last month alone, this has been an ongoing issue for several months, with some students still waiting on payments from June.
One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, told The Birmingham Tab that the situation is "ridiculous".
"I was grossly emergency taxed – I think about £600 so far – and Payroll and Worklink staff were quite rude when I went to them to resolve it. Having done everything asked of me correctly but not being paid the right amount and being treated rudely by University staff is ridiculous.
"It makes the situation far worse because we typically don't have the finances to support ourselves without regular pay from our employers."
Another student described to the Birmingham Tab how she couldn't input her "hours for half my work because they didn’t set me assignment numbers.
"I got paid for work in June at the end of August. I get that it was a new system and they were overloaded. But equally I rang three times, and they still hadn’t sorted the issue. It was just frustrating more than anything and obviously stressful.
"I know people had it worse because people couldn’t pay rent," the student said. "I had to be more careful for that month than I would to have liked to be but ultimately I was lucky in that I got paid some."
Although The Birmingham Tab has been told that the university have released a new statement to Worklink employees directly, apologising for the errors and offering to cover any expenses they may have incurred as "a direct result of the payment errors" – a move that has been praised by many student workers – they released a statement earlier in the week denying any fault in the new payroll system.
In the statement, the University claims that they are "committed to ensuring that these issues are resolved quickly and do not recur", stating that the issues regarding payment are the result of "processing and input errors" as opposed to "significant system issues relating to our new system".
Guild of Students President, Joshua Williams, stated that "the biggest issue throughout this is that students were not updated with what was going on. This has led to students not knowing when, or even if, they will be paid, the reason for this, or where to turn to."
He says the university have accepted this is "unacceptable" and are going to rectify it.
The Birmingham Tab has reached out to UBSW for comment.
A spokesperson for the University has spoken directly to the Birmingham Tab about claims of rudeness towards student workers and said: "Student welfare is a high priority for the University and we recognise the concerns the students will have regarding these issues. We are encouraging students who are affected to raise any issues immediately so we can take prompt action".