UWI denies three-month delay in paying staff

The University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus, Antigua. (Photo courtesy The UWI)
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By Elesha George

[email protected]

The UWI Five Islands Campus is refuting allegations that it had not been able to pay its adjunct professors for three months.

In an internal document obtained by Observer earlier this week, the university had apologised for a delay in payments for the week, attributing its inability to pay due to extenuating circumstances.

Insiders told Observer then that the professors had not been paid since September.

However, in a statement addressing Observer’s article published earlier this week, The UWI Five Islands explained that “since January 2020, all submissions received from adjunct faculty for payments have been settled, except where there are discrepancies with bank account information”.

It said that the only outstanding obligations are those that were submitted in November 2020.

“The November submissions were received by the Finance Department on November 17, 2020. Our payroll was run on November 25, 2020. So, practically, it would have been impossible to meet the November 2020 payroll for those submissions approved on November 17, 2020,” the letter read, adding that “the November submissions will be processed and payments made for the December payroll, which should be run by December 21, 2020”.

The university, however, admitted that delays do occur with its adjunct faculty because of untimely submission of their invoices for payment each month.

“Under the existing arrangements, the Campus cannot make payments to adjunct faculty unless a time sheet is submitted,” it noted.

The UWI Five Islands has therefore approved a new strategy that it said will come into effect in January 2021.

“Come January, the Campus will abandon the process of adjunct faculty submitting time sheets before payments can be made. Instead, the adjunct faculty will be paid based on their contractual obligations to the institution without the need for monthly submission of invoices,” it explained in the letter.

As part of this strategy, the verification of their teaching load, along with all other payment commitments, will be agreed at the beginning of each semester and signed off. Payments will then be made monthly to their bank accounts, The UWI Five Islands said.

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