UCU calls for marking and assessment boycott starting on 20th April
The union has warned since term one of actions that ‘strategically target the summer finals’
The University and College Union (UCU) announced on Twitter that university employers have been warned of marking and assessment boycotts (MABs) beginning on Thursday, 20th April.
This is the latest escalation in the union’s ongoing disputes with university employers over pay, working conditions, and pensions.
It also came after the union renewed its national mandate for strikes and action short of strikes (ASOS) at 150 UK universities, including 31 in London, on 3rd April. While this suggests the latest call for MABs will apply to all London universities involved, there have been no confirmations from any London UCU branches so far except for several of them sharing and supporting the original tweet.
The UCU represents academic staff like lecturers and tutors at UK universities and colleges. Over the past few years, it has called numerous strikes, action short of strikes, and MABs over two disputes with their employers: one for better pay and working conditions, and the other against cuts to pensions and benefits.
In addition to calling fifteen days of strikes so far this academic year, the union warned since October that they plan to call MABs that “strategically target the summer finals” if a settlement is not reached by April.
A MAB would mean participating staff will not grade coursework or invigilate exams, but it will not affect the assessment of postgraduate dissertations and theses.
The 31 London universities affected by the current dispute, along with over 150 unis around the country, are:
- Birkbeck, University of London
- Brunel University London
- City, University of London
- Courtauld Institute of Art
- University of East London
- Goldsmiths, University of London
- University of Greenwich
- Imperial College London
- King’s College London
- Kingston University
- London Metropolitan University
- London School of Economics
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- London South Bank University
- Middlesex University
- Queen Mary, University of London
- Roehampton University
- Royal Academy of Music
- Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
- Royal College of Art
- Royal College of Music
- Royal Holloway, University of London
- Royal Veterinary College, University of London
- Senate House, University of London
- SOAS, University of London
- St George’s, University of London
- St Mary’s University, Twickenham
- University College London
- University of the Arts London
- University of West London
- University of Westminster