From email sent to branch members 6 June 2023 by branch president Chloe Wallace.
Solidarity to everyone standing firm in our Marking and Assessment boycott. At Leeds, and across the sector, this action is really beginning to bite. You may have read that management at Sussex, Queens University Belfast and Cambridge have already issued statements calling UCEA back to the negotiation table. Dialogue and negotiation are the only way out of this situation.
Remember our Solidaritea sessions every working day 10-11 via Teams here – come along if you have a question or just want to vent! Link in members’ email 6 June 2023.
The strength and power of this action can be seen in how desperately our employer is trying to stop it, by implementing 100% pay deductions for marking not done. That threat is on the point of being actioned in some areas. If you receive an individual email setting a date from which your pay will be stopped, please contact your local rep if you have one or, if not, email firstname.lastname@example.org (please start with your rep as otherwise that email address will become difficult to manage and we may lose track!). We will give you at that point further advice as to different ways in which you can be part of the fight back. Nationally, the UCU Fighting Fund is available. As you will have seen from emails from Head Office, the national fund will pay £50 a day for up to 9 days of action (including the boycott) taken after 1st May (in addition to the 11-day cap for action taken before that day) . We will also be able to support members via the local fund – if you are not participating in the boycott, please pledge to our wage-sharing scheme to support others – Link in members’ email 6 June 2023.
If you are told that your pay is to be deducted for partial performance from a set date, any work you do from that date will be voluntary. We are actively exploring legal claims and any claim that is made will be more likely to succeed if you continue to work. We advise you in particular to keep records of meetings (whether with staff or students) or other events where you are expected to be. We remind you that we are working to contract and you should therefore keep to your hours and not undertake voluntary work. If you choose, you may of course refuse to do any or all work from the date that your pay deduction starts.
If you are a migrant worker, please take a look at UCU’s updated FAQ for migrants. If you are on a sponsored visa you should reply to any formal email about your marking by declaring that you are participating in the boycott, to ensure that the employer has a clear record.
Of course, what we want is for the University to withdraw this draconian threat – one of the most punitive in the sector. This is why, with regret, our national officials have notified indefinite strike action to be taken from 15th June. This action is in response to the local pay deduction threat and if we can reach an agreement on that subject with the University, the strike will be called off. The marking and assessment boycott is UK-wide action and will only be called off when a UK-wide agreement is reached. Initial approaches to the Vice Chancellor on the local issue have not been promising but we continue to press for a meeting. We hope the Vice Chancellor will be prepared to take steps to avert our strike, as well as encourage UCEA to return to negotiation to end the Marking and Assessment Boycott. Our first day of action – 15th June – is also the first day of another tranche of action taken by the campus Unison branch. 16th and 17th June are University Open days, so our action will be particularly disruptive. We are establishing a strike committee in anticipation of having to take this action. Ideally, we would like the committee to be composed of a mix of rank and file, local reps and branch committee members. The committee will discuss and plan pickets and hybrid activities, noting that we will need to work differently this time. If you want to get involved please contact email@example.com before Thursday (June 8th).
This page was last updated on 9 June 2023