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University want me to pay back over half my salary: UPDATE

(11 Posts)
MollieCoddler Thu 07-Apr-16 15:29:05


Not sure if anyone will remember this but I had my thread deleted because i identified the University (whoops!) and possibly myself. I said I'd update though so here I am.

Background: Teaching assistant job running tutorials for undergraduates. paid on a formula by hourly rate plus extra for preparation, marking, attending lectures etc. I'm on a crap casual contract but I've been doing it for years. very insecure. no rights etc. But it suited me as much of the work can be done from home - apart from the actual teaching of course.

This year the university changed the formula for calculating pay. it wasn't clear at the time but the changes involved massive cuts. However, no-one saw anything amiss because the job offers we all received in Sept 2015 were similar to previous years e.g. around £4k for a terms work. i accepted the offer, did the work, got paid.

in january this year the university sent us all a letter (about 20 of us are affected) asking for around £2k of the money back because they had miscalculated the formula. ie the had somehow forgotten to implement their own massive pay cuts. They wanted the money back this term ie. within 10 weeks.

Cue much panic and me posting on here.

Got some amazing support.

my particular favourites were....

MollieCoddler Thu 07-Apr-16 15:30:58

Eh? So . . .

They gave you a contract for x hours.
You signed it.
They signed it.
You worked said hours
You were paid for said hours
They were happy with your work
Now they are saying the contract was supposed to say fewer hours and you shouldn't have worked x hours
And they want their money back


Are they mad?

MollieCoddler Thu 07-Apr-16 15:31:30

As a lawyer, but not an expert in this field, I don't think they have a leg to stand on.

WannaBe Thu 07-Apr-16 15:32:02

I remember your thread. Iirc someone posted on it that universities are renouned for this sort of thing....

Eastpoint Thu 07-Apr-16 15:35:33

So what has been resolved?

MollieCoddler Thu 07-Apr-16 15:36:10

Sorry I have quoted direct from other people there as I kept a copy of the thread as it contains some helpful wording for letter writing purposes.

Anyway, as suggested by lots of you we contacted the UCU. My coworkers were unbelievely flaky to begin with. for the first meeting with the Union only three people turned up (out of 20) and I was the only one who was not late or had any relevant paperwork. So that was frustrating and I began to see why casual PhD staff get treated so badly. But we got more organised as time went on and after another nasty and demanding letter from the head of the school our Union lawyer sent what can only be described as a strongly worded letter back. I can't reproduce it here but it was very satisfying.

The University then went Very Quiet.

I'm hoping that is the end of the matter.

So thanks again to all who contributed. you were great.

i will post any juicy updates but hopefully it is all over.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Thu 07-Apr-16 15:36:16

Is there an update? Or are you just posting posts from the original thread?

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Thu 07-Apr-16 15:37:15



KP86 Thu 07-Apr-16 15:51:27

Great news! I remember your thread too.

Enkopkaffetak Fri 08-Apr-16 23:06:28

Good news.. I too remember your original thread.

VertigoNun Fri 08-Apr-16 23:11:34

I remember too. I hope things carry on calm for you.

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