Assessment boycott suspended
As you may know, some members of staff at the university have been involved in an assessment boycott since the 7th November, over changes to lecturer’s pensions. In the last few hours, UCU (the University and College union) has agreed to suspend the current industrial action until the 15th January.
We know that this is a complex dispute, and we want to make sure that you aren’t kept in the dark about what’s going on. Here are some of the most common questions, answered.
Why is the boycott suspended?
UCU has suspended the boycott because this will mean that any staff who have taken part in the boycott will not have their pay docked. It will also mean that students face less inconvenience from not having their assignment marked. Between now and 15th January, UCU and UUK (who are responsible for the change to lecturer’s pensions) will continue to meet to negotiate an end to the dispute.
Why is the boycott only suspended until January?
The date of 15th January has been chosen because that is the next time UCU’s Joint Negotiating Committee will meet. This body will decide UCU’s final position. Depending on what they say, UCU may call off the industrial action, or may continue with it.
What does SUSU think about all this?
SUSU has a policy on industrial action which you can find here: http://blogs.susu.org/policy/2014/05/21/industrial-action-by-university-staff/#content
At a meeting of Education Zone on 5th November, SUSU voted not to support the industrial action. This means that SUSU will not be assisting lecturers who chose to boycott. You can find the minutes of this meeting here: https://www.susu.org/representation/minutes/998
In line with the policy, the decision made by Education Zone not to support the action lasts until the next meeting of Union Council on the 8th December. If Union Council is free to accept this decision, or to make its own decision.
What do I do about my January exams?
We would recommend that you prepare for, and sit, your exams as you usually would. If you do not sit your exams, you will not get a mark for that portion of your module.
How will this affect me?
For any questions that are specific to your faculty, course or module we would recommend that you contact the relevant member of staff in your department.