Cambridge staff ‘unable to cope’ with five month pay delay

The university has still not paid some staff hundreds of pounds they are owed for marking exams last Easter

Cambridge University and College Union (UCU) has alleged that the University has failed to pay some markers of undergraduate exams for work completed in Easter term. 

UCU says that they are aware of “at least five” markers who have not yet received payment. A UCU representative told The Tab that the issue “probably involves far more people” who have not come forward. 

UCU tweeted on November 1st asking the University to “follow up and expedite payment ASAP.”

According to the UCU representative, “the usual standard is for payment to be made within 30 days of submitting a formal request, in the form of either an invoice or a claim form.”

The markers affected completed their work in June. However, they have still not received payment five months later.

A University spokesperson commented “The University apologises for the delay in payment to affected colleagues – whose work is hugely important in our education provision. A new system to simplify this payment process is being introduced by HR Services.

“In the meantime, non-employee claims received by the central University in August will be paid on 18 November, while claims received in September and October will be paid on 2 December. Employee claims received in July and August will be paid on 25 November, while claims received in September and October will be paid on 23 December.”

One marker, who is awaiting a payment of £586, told The Tab that they were “unable to cope” with this delay in the “worsening cost of living crisis.” 

The representative we spoke to said that the University had blamed the delays on staff shortages in the finance department, and had been unable to guarantee to markers a timeframe in which they would receive payment at the time of contact. 

One affected marker told The Tab that when faculty members were unable to complete their marking due to sick leave, “the university burden[ed] its casualised workforce” of PhD students and Junior Research Fellows with the extra work. 

This left her having to mark “five Part II dissertations and 28 examination scripts […] in the space of three days between the exam and the moderation deadline due to exam timetabling.”

She said that the “five-month-delayed payment […] from the UK’s richest university” had left her “trying to make ends meet.”

In an email seen by The Tab, the Chair of the History Faculty said that the Faculty was aware that “many CTOs still have not been paid for examining that they did last year. This is obviously unacceptable and I have taken this up at the highest level.”

The Faculty of History has been contacted for comment. 

Featured image credits: Vedika Mandapati