Faculty Late Payments, Underpayments, and Correct Pay Calculation
By Diane Walsh, VP Grievances
Hello KFA Members! I hope the fall is progressing nicely for you whether you are in a teaching or non-teaching portion of your schedule.
Late Payments and Underpayments
I have some news to share that may be troubling. It has come to the KFA’s attention that a number of members have been underpaid and/or paid very late for their work. We do have some arbitration settlements or ongoing grievances regarding some of these kinds of errors, and you may or may not have seen or heard the communications about them. I will note them in the descriptions that follow.
First, here are a few examples of what we have seen recently:
Example 1: The Employer currently is vigorously pursuing the collection of overpayments from faculty members. During the investigation of several of these, the KFA has discovered that, in fact the faculty member has been under-paid, not over-paid.
For this member, the original claim was that NR1 contracts had been incorrectly processed in duplicate and the member had been paid in error. When we investigated, we found that in fact the member had not been paid at all for one of their NR1 contracts, and that contract should have taken them over the 32% top-up threshold. The member is in fact owed money and we are trying to resolve this informally for them but may yet have to file a formal grievance.
Example 2: A member was about to go on maternity leave, but her baby was born early. She did not inform the Employer immediately that her baby had been born, and she was paid full wages and not placed on maternity leave for one extra day. The Employer sought to recover this one day of pay from her, and when the KFA investigated, we found that she actually had not been paid the 100% normal salary she is entitled to for the first week after the birth of her child, and she also had not yet been paid her Supplemental Employment Benefit (a top-up for members on maternity/parental leave). This was as of September, for a baby born in June. We hope to resolve this informally but we may yet have to file a formal grievance.
Example 3: Another member who the Employer claimed owed them money due to an overpayment was found instead to have been underpaid. The calculations for a non-standard series of courses were incorrect, resulting in the member being underpaid by several thousand dollars. We have tried to resolve this informally but have had to grieve formally, and we expect to get the member compensated correctly.
Example 4: Another member completed a Guided Studies course in April this year, and they noticed they had not been paid as of late July. When they queried, it took until this September to be paid out for it, 5 months later. The unpaid Guided Studies contract inspired the member to check back on all their other Guided Studies courses, and they discovered another that had not been paid, from three years ago. In the words of the member, “Initially HR claimed they had no record of the guided study until I presented the original signed contract, Dean’s approval, screenshot of the CRN and posted final grade. That was also in late July. So…yes, I did have to wait three years. The parts that bother me are lack of apology for the mistake and there seemed to be no rush (5 weeks) to make things right once it was brought to their attention.”
Example 5: Another member, a part-time regular, agreed to take on significant additional workload for their appointment year, September through August, and received a confirmation memo in July for the additional work. They were not paid for the additional work as of the first pay period, and so they queried. They were told that no one in Payroll had time to put it in yet. They heard back from Payroll that it would be processed and paid on the next pay date. That makes their additional pay (if it arrives when promised) over a month late.
Example 6: A member approached the KFA wondering when they would start to be paid for work they were already doing. As it turns out, they had accepted work as an NR1, but nearly a month into actually teaching the course, they still do not have a contract, and have not been paid anything. We are trying to resolve this informally, and we will get the member paid.
There are also a number of formal grievances already in the works for underpayments that appear to be systemic in nature. (Please see details of those below.) But we are aware of what seems like an increasing number of errors like those I have described above around underpayments and overpayments.
You may now be wondering whether your pay is or has been late, or whether it is or has been incorrect. Please check the descriptions below, and if you think you have been underpaid, let us know!
Is my pay late?
There is a clear requirement in law on timelines for paying wages. The Employment Standards Act of BC in section 17 Paydays says “(1) At least semimonthly and within 8 days after the end of the pay period, an employer must pay to an employee all wages earned by the employee in a pay period.” There is not much room for interpretation there, but we are aware of the Employer making statements suggesting that a 5-week lag in pay processing is acceptable. It is not. Neither is it acceptable for anyone to work without a contract because if that is the case, one of the logical consequences is that they will not be paid in a legal time frame for their work. If you have been working without a contract, please let us know.
The KPU payroll cycle is a two-week pay period that then builds in that allowable one-week lag before payday, so that we are all paid one week after the end of the pay period. For example, if you performed some work this week, it falls within the Sept 15 to 30 pay period, and you must be paid out on the October 6 payday. The maximum lag between performance of work and receiving pay might be almost 3 weeks, and certainly it must not more than that. Here is the payroll schedule for 2023 which lays out all the pay periods and the actual pay date for each pay period. You can find the schedules for previous years by searching on the website. Again, you must be paid by the next payday for all pay earned during any given pay period.
Please note there are two slightly unusual situations for faculty. Over-enrollment fees should be paid out at the end of each semester, by December 31 for the Fall semester, April 30 for the Spring semester, and August 31 for the Summer semester. We are aware of many issues with these payments and we have been told it has been corrected, but please do let us know if you are paid after these dates, as that is when the payment has been earned. Guided studies contracts are the second exception, and they are paid out at the completion of the work in the contract, so please let us know if you are not paid on the payday following when you submit the final grade, as that is the date when the payment has been earned.
Is my pay correct?
Please take special note that all or most of the underpayments we have seen so far are related to:
- changes in workload, and
- changes in the way that overloads and additional work are paid, and
- how NR1 work is being paid out.
If you fall into any of these categories, I would urge you to look closely at your pay.
Please see below a relatively thorough set of guidelines for how each different kind of compensated work must be paid. To check and make sure your pay has been correct, first skim the bold titles and find the category or categories below that describe your work. Then, check to see if your pay has been calculated correctly.
All new faculty members:
Check to make sure your step placement is correct as per Article 9.02 of the Collective Agreement. That lays out the criteria for your placement, and there are often errors in your initial placement. As per 9.03, you have four months to request a reconsideration, after which you will not have your step corrected.
Full-time regular or NR2 faculty:
Your annual pay should match the amounts listed in Article 9.01 of the Collective Agreement for your salary step. Your gross bi-weekly pay as reflected on your pay stub should be 1/26 of your current step. This is a good indication if you are currently being paid at the correct rate. We believe most full-time regular and NR2 faculty are being currently being paid correctly for their normal salary (not some overloads, see below), but I think it’s worth checking.
If you advance on the scale to a higher step (see Article 9.02 for details), then you are paid at the new rate effective the beginning of the first full pay period (you can find the pay period dates here) after you achieve the FTE for the higher step. So, you won’t have a pay period in which you are paid a combination of steps.
General notes re annual salary: If you advance up the salary scale, then your annual salary as reflected on your T4 will be a proportional combination of the two rates for the applicable periods of time. Likewise, when our overall salary rates increase, that increase generally occurs mid-year, so the amount on your T4 should reflect proportionately the applicable periods of time. (In this communication, I am not going to detail how and when this occurred in the past collective agreement periods, but we might provide this explanation in a future communication if people believe it has not been accurately handled for them. If this is so for you, let us know.)
Overload for a full-time regular faculty member who chooses to be paid out:
Note: This is the subject of a current grievance on behalf of all affected faculty members. It will be helpful for us to receive your particular information as part of the evidence, but in the grievance remedies we are asking that all affected members be made whole, or in other words, everyone should be paid everything they should have been paid.
When you choose to be paid out for overloads over 100%, you are paid at the rate for that work for the applicable period of time, plus 25% in lieu of benefits and vacation. Here is the correct calculation:
For a semester-based course overload:
[(Salary step/2/3) / 24] = salary per credit for a single semester
[(Salary per credit x number of course credits) x 1.25] = total salary for the overload.
For example, if you teach a single course overload in a semester and you are at top of the current scale, then it goes like this:
$100 958 / 2/3 = $67 305.33
$67 305.33 / 24 = $2804.39
$2804.39 x 3 = $8413.17
$8413.17 x 1.25 = $10 516.46
The amount the Employer has been paying people for this work is $10,314.24, about $202 short.
Related FYI – You have the right to choose whether to take an overload as payment or as equivalent time in a later semester. Unless you favour receiving some extra money in the short term, it is more advantageous over the long term to take overloads as time. You actually get compensated at your full year-long rate ($12 619.75 per course). Overloads paid out immediately are not pensionable, either, so that also is missing from the compensation. And, you get to teach one fewer section in a future semester of your choice, so that you have a lighter workload. This is entirely *your* choice, however, and that choice is guaranteed in the Collective Agreement. You should not be pressured one way or the other.
The period of time is the number of weeks or part thereof, and salary is paid for that portion of the year.
[[(Salary / 52) x (number of hours / fulltime hours in mode)] x number of weeks] x 1.25
For example, if you substitute for a colleague for one week, four courses in mode 16, you have effectively taught one additional full-time week. If you are at top of the current scale, your additional pay for that week would be
$100 958 / 52 = $1941.50
16 hours / mode 16 x 1 week = 1
$1941.50 x 1 = $1941.5 x 1.25 = $2426.88
If you think you have been paid wrongly for substitution work, let us know.
Overload for full-time NR2:
Note: This is the subject of a current ongoing grievance.
In this situation, you are paid exactly the same as for a full-time regular who chooses to be paid out (please see above), and the current practice is wrong for the same reasons. FYI – Because NR2 appointments are for a single year, there is no option to bank the time.
Part-time Regular, additional work two weeks in duration or more:
Part-time regular faculty members must have additional work that is two weeks or longer in duration rolled in to their annualized workload. This was a grievance outcome from several years ago. What this means is that no matter when a part-time regular faculty member is assigned additional courses or other substantial pieces of work, they must be paid for it as if it was always part of their annual workload, up to 100%.
For additional work, the calculation is:
(Annual salary x workload % including the additional work) = Annual salary
Workload percentage for teaching one 3-credit course is 12.5%. So, for example, if 50% part-time regular agrees to teach an extra section, that means their annualized workload becomes 62.5%. Their salary must be adjusted, retroactively if necessary, to reflect this annual gross salary. Workload percentages for other kinds of courses must also accurately reflect the workload percentage associated with that course.
For additional work less than a full course but the equivalent of two weeks or more full time work, the annualized workload associated with the additional work must be added to the annual salary. One full week of work in each mode is equal to the number of hours in the mode.
For example, in Mode 24, a person teaching 24 contact hours in that mode has taught the equivalent of one full time week of work. In order to have work annualized, a part-time regular must work a total of 48 contact hours in that mode.
Two weeks of full-time work is 3.85% annual workload. The calculation is the same as above, where the additional percentage is added to the annual salary and the faculty member paid on an annual basis for the work.
Additional work taking a Part-time regular over 100% is handled exactly the same way that overloads over 100% are handled for full-time regular members, and should be captured in the same grievance.
Additional work for part-time Regular, less than two weeks:
In this case, the member is calculated in exactly the same way as a 100% regular faculty member for substitution. Please see above.
Additional work for part-time NR2:
This work is paid in exactly the same way as overload for full-time regular and NR2. Please see above.
Note: No NR1 should receive a workload equivalent to 50% as their initial assignment. (4 three-credit courses or more, 18 weeks’ instruction for trades, 50% equivalent of annual workload for faculty who fall under Article 12.07.) This must be issued as an NR2 annualized appointment, and you must be paid substantially more for that work. If this has happened to you, please let us know, and provide us with copies of your contracts. We have a current grievance on this matter headed for arbitration.
Note also: NR1 contracts are in general being paid incorrectly, and we have a current grievance heading for arbitration on this matter. In the grievance remedies, we are asking that all affected members be made whole, or in other words, paid everything they should have been paid. However, it will be helpful if you fall into this category if you can give us all your contracts as well as copies of your paystubs so that we can show how people have been underpaid.
NR1 pay calculations: We can calculate total payment for NR1s in a number of ways:
On the basis of credits, that would be [(annual salary x 2/3) / 24] x number of course credits.
On the basis of workload percentage, that would be (annual salary x 2/3) x appropriate annualized percentage.
Example 1: We would calculate pay for an NR1 faculty member at top of scale teaching a single 3-credit course at current rates as follows.
$100 958 x 2/3 = $67 305.33
$67 305.33 / 24 = $2804.39
$2804.39 x 3 = $8413.17 gross
Example 2: We would calculate pay for an NR1 faculty member at top of scale teaching a 75% semester workload, which is equivalent to 37.5% annualized workload, as follows.
$100 958 x 2/3 = $67 305.33
$67 305.33 x 37.5% = $25 329.50 gross
NR1 additional work taking them to 50% annual workload or more:
NR1s who go over the 50% threshold for all of their work between Sept 1 and the following August 31 qualify for a 32% premium on all their work in that time period.
A recent arbitration award has clarified that NR1 faculty members who go over the 50% annualized workload threshold must be paid out for all their work during that period upon assignment of the additional work. This means a retroactive payment is due and payable immediately as of the assignment of work that takes you to or over 50% (4 three-credit courses or more, 18 weeks or more instruction for trades, 50% equivalent of annual workload or more for faculty who fall under Article 12.07.). Or in other words, you should be paid the retro and for your current work at the rate plus 32% as of the next payday after you are assigned the work.
The calculation would be [NR1 normal salary for all workload] x 1.32 = adjusted salary
For example, if a person taught 3 courses in their first semester, like the person in example 2 above, they would be paid the normal NR1 salary for that work. If they were then assigned an additional course in December for the Spring semester, bringing them up to 50% workload, they would be owed the 32% top-up on all their work completed to that point, paid retroactively and to the end of the semester, as of the next payday. In the following semester, they would be paid at the normal NR1 salary rate for that semester plus 32% from the start. If they have additional work in the third semester, it is paid at the normal NR1 salary rate plus 32%. If they have no work in the third semester, they are paid nothing, as NR1s get no paid vacation, and no PD and accountable time.
Course over-enrollment fees:
Pay for this varies and is not included in annual salary calculations. Here’s how it works:
For each over-enrolled course, the faculty member (all faculty members including NR1s, NR2s and regular faculty) should receive $225 per student for each additional student enrolled above the class size limit. Whether there are students over the class size limit is measured the day of the stable enrollment date, which is the day after the add/drop period ends. Payment for over-enrollments occurs in a lump sum, less required statutory deductions, three times per year. Payments will be made by December 31 for the Fall semester, April 30 for the Spring semester, and August 31 for the Summer semester. This is not a late payment.
Guided studies contracts:
You can find the provisions for this under Article 11 in the Collective Agreement.
Here is how they are paid out (largely drawn directly from the article):
Non-regular and regular faculty members who are part-time or who have a full teaching load may accept a Guided Study Course contract or contracts according to the following payment schedule: $200 per credit for first student and $75 per credit for each additional student.
These amounts are payable upon completion of the contract and submission of a final grade. In the case of an “I” grade, payment would be due upon submission of the final grade.
If a student vanishes or withdraws formally before completing the course, the faculty member will receive 50% of the fee. That amount would be payable upon confirmation of withdrawal or if the student just vanishes, at the end of the semester.
I understand this can seem complicated (understatement!), particularly for those of you who do not work with payroll concepts or suchlike things as part of your normal life, but I do hope this information is relatively easy to use. We do want you to be able to find out if you are owed money, or not.
I want to emphasize that if you believe you have been paid incorrectly, or if you have been or are being paid late, or are currently working without a contract, please let us know. In order to get your pay corrected, and for us have the strongest possible set of facts to bring to the Employer to advocate for systemic fixes, we need to know about these errors.
Please note that this was originally circulated as an email in September 2023, and the information contained above will change with each new Collective Agreement. We are posting this email in our Getting to Know Your Collective Agreement section to keep the information handy for our members. It is also posted in the News and Updates section.