Unforeseen salary reduction


Dear all,

I have just received a message from the Head of Finance of the University of Oxford asking me to pay back 466£ per month (ie 2800£ for the first sic months of my Fellowship) and reduce my next salaries accordingly. I’m devastated (as well as extremely disappointed) by this piece of news which puts me and my family in a very difficult situation. I’ve re-read my contract (which gives sums in euros with a conservative exchange rate of 1.55 € for 1£) over and over again and see no mention of these rather opaque ‘technicalities of MC Fellowships’ the person refers to. My net salary today is 3.100£ net (including NI, living, family and mobility allowances which are all taxed but without pension which I still pay in France). I moved to the UK with my family in June and based on my first three salaries (which I had discussed well in advance with the MC national contact points, HMRC, the European teams, payroll as well as other MC Fellows), I took up a rent and registered with a nursery for full time childcare. How I am supposed to carry out my research project now if my salary if reduced by almost 20%? May I also add that this comes on top of another problem which emerged last week concerning my research expenses and which may also be of interest to you: I learnt that I was only entitled to approx 12.000£ for the two years of my Fellowship as the University applied the same conservative exchange rate of 1,55€ for 1£. Except that I may not be paid the difference at the end of the project as the funds need to be spent in the course of my Fellowship. With the current exchange rate this could mean up to 4.000£ difference (i.e. a conference, a research trip to the US…all which I planned in my application). Could you help me out with this? Thank you very much for your precious feebdack,

Very best,

Charlotte Ribeyrol (Marie Curie Fellow, Oxford)

PS: sorry if you have received this message twice but I wasn't too sure how best to post this message