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BBC WM Reports: October Payday leaves staff and students in uncertainty over pay, with some not being paid at all [New Core]

Today is the October payday at the University of Birmingham – yet another unpredictable one. Once again, staff and student workers have not been paid correctly or at all. The problems with payments (and New Core) are escalating. UoB introduced NC in June and since then, 

  • Hundreds of student workers have not been paid at all, or paid incorrectly/overly taxed on payday;
  • Many have been overly charged for car parking;
  • Now staff who’ve been here for years haven’t been paid.
Today we’re hearing about more & more issues. It seems that New Core has been deducting pay randomly from staff (?!). We’ve received reports that former members of staff have had their state benefits affected due to UoB not reporting their wages for September on time. Staff and students are fuming and asking who is responsible for all this mess? We have received reports that the queue in Payroll has been very long and staff who visited the office in the morning has still not had a penny in their accounts by the end of the day. There are many other horror stories that members have shared with us privately. But you can imagine all the complex issues that can emerge when one of the biggest and wealthiest employers of the region does not pay its staff, students, suppliers … To read more about previous paydays, click on the links: July, August, September.

BBC West Midlands visited our campus today to report on the financial issues that staff members and student workers have faced yet again (for the 5th month in a row) due to problems with the University of Birmingham’s problems with its processes and the new payroll/ HR/ finance system called New Core (a system that cost the institution dozens of millions of pounds!). The main issues faced are wrong, delayed, or no salary payments, overcharging car parking fees, not paying for overtime work, removing previous salary increments, not managing to access external services due to suppliers not being paid, and more. Since early morning, long queues were seen in the Payroll office, with many staff being left in tears knowing that the next day their mortgage and bills would need to be paid. The BBC interviewed a full-time security staff member who has worked at UoB for 9 years – today he did not receive his salary and was left with £14 in his bank account. Tomorrow, his mortgage is due to be taken out of his account. Other interviewees were undergraduate and postgraduate students who have undertaken research, teaching, and events management jobs over the summer but have not been paid correctly and as a result they have struggled to make ends meet. One of the postgraduate interviewees (and UCU rep) has been both underpaid for one role, and overpaid for another – when we thought that the messiness of the system couldn’t get more strange!

BBC Midlands Today’s video coverage can be found below: 

The BBC article is to be found here:


‘Security guard Adrian Naylor, who has worked at the university for nine years, said his salary did not appear as expected on Wednesday morning, leaving him with just £14 in the bank and a mortgage payment due on Thursday.

“I’ve said ‘I’ve got no money to fill my car up to actually get to work’,” he said.

“They told me then initially if I wanted to go home, I could. But I was already halfway here, so I thought I might as well come in, so I can talk.”

Graduate teaching assistant Darcy Luke said he had been both “overpaid and underpaid at the same time”.

He said: “I’ve been simultaneously underpaid for work that I’ve done months ago… [and] overpaid for a job that I no longer have that ended months ago.”

Student and part-time worker Emily Adams said she only received £1,000 of the £1,500 she was owed and “it took a lot of fighting” to get the extra £500.

A university spokesperson said it took the issues raised “very seriously”, and would be investigating how it happened.

“We know that ensuring people are paid on time and correctly is something that we must always get right and we would like to once again apologise to those affected.”

He said the university was making arrangements to cover any additional expenses people may have incurred.’



This is the poorly thought through email sent by the head of finance, Erica Conway, to all staff today (as an “apology”):

‘Dear colleagues,
We are aware of a number of staff who have had errors or adjustments to their pay in recent months, our sincere apologies to anyone who has been affected and please be assured work is ongoing to correct and address these as quickly as possbile.
October’s payroll will be paid today and your payslip will be available to view via Core. Please review your payslip closely and consult our updated FAQs and guidance online. This includes information on how to understand your payslip, if you have received a faster payment and how this will be shown in your payslip and how to check your tax code is correct.
For all other queries please contact us via 0121 41 43030 or log a query.’

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