What's new
Carbonite

Welcome to Carbonite! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Legal advice needed. Student not paid by University for work done.

Zaggermeister

Member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Joined
Sep 3, 2015
Messages
333
Reaction score
55
Points
845
Age
22
Location
Potchefstroom
Hey all.

So I think the title is clear of what exactly my predicament is, but here's the long version of the events:

I'm currently studying at a university (I'm not going to name them, but they're situated in Potchefstroom, Mafikeng and Vanderbijl ;)) , I'm currently doing my honours and besides for the heaps of work, I was asked to help assist in some of the modules for 1st and 3rd years, I managed my time quite effectively and clocked about 100 hours for the 3 months I assisted.

Originally, we were supposed to be paid on the 25th of August, but the majority of us never received any payment and thought it would come through closer to the end of the month. The 28th of August comes, nothing shows yet and we start to investigate. Turns out, our (the whole lot of us) forms were not digitally signed, yet the forms have been in the possession of the HR departments since the 20th of June 2019 and they fail to alert us of this issue. I can't say that there wasn't an error in the forms, but the process is something along the lines of - we send the signed and filled in time sheets to the secretary, she checks it and sends it to get signed off by management, they send it back to the secretary and the secretary once again checks everything before sending it to the HR people in Mafikeng - which really makes it difficult to believe that the forms weren't signed by us, the student assistants.

Around the end of September some of us receive payments, however a few of us only receive a part of what we were due. We make sure that the secretary is aware of the matter and she once again makes contact with HR. It's now the 13th of October 2019, no feedback from HR (as per word of the secretary) and no money in our accounts.

The secretary went for an operation on Thursday (03/10/2019) and probably won't be back until Monday (14/10/2019). I have spoken to the lecturers who form part of the management team and one's response was something along the lines of 'write a soppy email, feel free to exaggerate and then we'll forward it to HR and the highest person we can to make them aware of the problem', but I really can't see the benefit of that if they can just send HR an email to inquire for us.

HR is a bit of a black box, we don't have any numbers or email addresses to contact and nobody feels comfortable sharing the information with us.

I'm really not that panicked about the money, but I do have friends who really got themselves into a tight situation and I'm hoping that the Carb community can advise me on how to approach this matter from a legal perspective. I have access to the legal clinic (so free lawyers?) but I don't know if the matter is worthy of pursuing legally?
 

Adoxographist

Well-Known member
Rating - 100%
61   0   0
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
545
Reaction score
59
Points
1,505
Location
Johannesburg
Legal should be last resort. It can delay and take up even more time.

Talk to your SRC.
Get lecturer to send email to HR on your Behalf.
Escalate things step by step if things don't work. Lecturer -> HOD -> Dean -> uni exuctive branch. Etc

But your SRC should be EFF so if you can get those guys on your side. You will probably get your payment in the next pay out cycle.
 

waz

Junior Member
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
128
Reaction score
16
Points
345
Age
29
Hey man, sorry about the current situation. From my experience with universities in Durban the payment is always a hassle especially when doing it on a contract and not a full time basis. The main aspect is to have your hour sheets updated with registers (make sure they signed by the coordinator as well) and bring it to HR, they always super busy and take a while to answer. The best would be to go physically to the HR department and talk to someone there, don't go through the secretary or anyone else.

In my experience they usually always end up paying but there's so much of process and delays that it will never be immediate or close to on time. Literally waited over 4 months for one of the payments that were "delayed".

Hope this helps in some way,I never went the lawyer route.
 
Last edited:

Zaggermeister

Member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Joined
Sep 3, 2015
Messages
333
Reaction score
55
Points
845
Age
22
Location
Potchefstroom
Legal should be last resort. It can delay and take up even more time.

Talk to your SRC.
Get lecturer to send email to HR on your Behalf.
Escalate things step by step if things don't work. Lecturer -> HOD -> Dean -> uni exuctive branch. Etc

But your SRC should be EFF so if you can get those guys on your side. You will probably get your payment in the next pay out cycle.
Called a few friends in the SRC, they can't help because they have no control over a faculty/school's finance stuff. Lecturers were all well aware of the problem, they received no feedback from HR. Went to the highest administrative office of the faculty, called around for 2 hours just to be told that they can't really help me with the matter.


Update: Went through a very tedious 2 hour phone session, got absolutely no new information from HR. Went to the HR department on campus after a lady told me that there's no need for our payments to go through HR in Mafikeng. Finally got hold of a manager, found out that I am loaded onto the system to be paid end of October, however a few of my friends weren't on the system at all (however their paperwork is there) and when I inquired about that I was asked to come back on Monday.

Really useless HR department TBH.

Hopefully they'll add interest, I mean if I need to pay interest when I miss a payment on my fees, it's only fair for the reverse?
 

Adoxographist

Well-Known member
Rating - 100%
61   0   0
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
545
Reaction score
59
Points
1,505
Location
Johannesburg
Called a few friends in the SRC, they can't help because they have no control over a faculty/school's finance stuff. Lecturers were all well aware of the problem, they received no feedback from HR. Went to the highest administrative office of the faculty, called around for 2 hours just to be told that they can't really help me with the matter.


Update: Went through a very tedious 2 hour phone session, got absolutely no new information from HR. Went to the HR department on campus after a lady told me that there's no need for our payments to go through HR in Mafikeng. Finally got hold of a manager, found out that I am loaded onto the system to be paid end of October, however a few of my friends weren't on the system at all (however their paperwork is there) and when I inquired about that I was asked to come back on Monday.

Really useless HR department TBH.

Hopefully they'll add interest, I mean if I need to pay interest when I miss a payment on my fees, it's only fair for the reverse?
If you want to piss off people and make enemies than you could always get a small claims court order against the university HR department. It's not that hard to do.

Or you could go to Uni central executive and lay out your complaint about them.

The hierarchy in uni is like:
Lecturer-HoD-Dean-Directors-Directors in central executive- Excutives- vice Chancellor - Chancellor.

In the executives/directors you will find CFO, COO and other people with funny titles. There are vice chancellor of treasurer. Vice of Student affairs etc.
Try look them up online and arrange a meeting with a secretary for vice chancellor of xxxx and lay out your complaints.

Won't make you any friends tho.
 
Last edited:

Adoxographist

Well-Known member
Rating - 100%
61   0   0
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
545
Reaction score
59
Points
1,505
Location
Johannesburg
And your Dean and staff can get pissed off because those are the people they report to and the executives will come back to them and chastise them on their poor work.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

Top Donors

$301.00
$200.00
$155.00
$113.00
Top