Teaching assistants (TAs) at Carleton University are upset money will be clawed back from their paycheques after the school discovered its payroll department has mistakenly overpaid them for the last two years.
Lise Labine, Carleton’s assistant vice-president of human resources, said the university mistakenly gave TAs who started working on or after Sept. 1, 2010, a tuition rebate due to a human programming error.
The assistants shouldn’t have got the rebate because there was no increase in tuition from 2009 to 2010, she said. More than 1,800 TAs are affected.
“The university doesn’t want errors to happen, but when errors occur in pay, under due diligence and under sound governance, we need to go back and recover,” said Labine.
The university will claw back money from TA paycheques over the next five pay periods. Labine said the amounts are not very large and vary by course and faculty.
“There are some that are higher, and for those we will be considering special arrangements,” she said.
Kirsten Francescone, a Carleton TA, said what the university is doing is unfair.
“We are already underpaid as it is, and so, if money starts coming off my paycheque, then there’s things like rent that I have to pay for,” said Francescone.
The union representing Carleton TAs, CUPE 4600, will meet with the university to discuss the specifics of the error on Wednesday.