Industrial action - strike action confirmed

Members of the University & College Union will undertake five days of strike action across the period Monday 25 to Friday 29 September 2023. These dates run alongside most of our Welcome activities as well as some early teaching sessions. 

We have also been informed that UCU will not be continuing the marking and assessment boycott activity, although all other action short of a strike will remain effective. 

The University recognises that any period of industrial action will be challenging, appreciates that colleagues do not undertake industrial action lightly and respects their right to participate. We also recognise and appreciate the widespread commitment of many colleagues to continue to protect the education of our students and the integrity of their awards. 

Staff should inform their School or Department if they are participating in industrial action. A self-declaration form link will be added to this page. 

Withholding of pay for marking and assessment boycott

Where ASOS takes the form of the withdrawal of labour for part of a day or from contractual duties, either as a one-off or on a continuous basis, this could constitute partial performance, and the University reserves the right to deduct salary for each day of ASOS. Participation in the ASOS marking and assessment boycott is considered by the University as partial performance and amounts to a breach of contract. 

In line with the approach taken by the majority of universities, the following approach has been determined to the withholding of pay for partial performance where staff participate in the MAB. 50% of pay will be withheld for any member of staff participating in the MAB - ie refusing to set or mark coursework, examinations or other assessments or withholding marks - under the following circumstances:

  • in the case of coursework in particular, the commencement date for any withholding of 50% of pay is Monday 15 May 2023 and the MAB will be deemed to have concluded on 17 June 2023, which is the day after the final submission date for all coursework and examinations marks.
  • in the case of marking exams, the earliest date of deduction will be Monday 22 May 2023 and the MAB will be deemed to have concluded on 17 June 2023, which is the day after the final submission date for all coursework and examinations marks.
  • withholding of 50% of pay for the period would apply where a staff member has declared they are participating in the MAB or has been identified as so doing by their line manager.
  • if a staff member does not declare their participation in the MAB but does not submit marks by Friday 16 June, they will be identified as having participated in the MAB and pay will be withheld from 15 May or the later date when coursework or examination scripts for marking became available, unless they provide evidence that participation did not begin until 15 May.
  • where a staff member has reported participating in the MAB but subsequently submits marks by the deadline of 16 June, all pay deductions will be reinstated in full.

Sick leave and any other authorised paid absence will be excluded from any periods of withholding pay, and deductions will be calculated on a pro rata basis for staff who work on fractional, annualised hours, variable or term-time only contracts to ensure that the appropriate level of pay is withheld.

The University will maintain pension contributions during this period of industrial action. Where staff participate in industrial action, they will be deemed to have agreed to fund their pension contribution at full pay for periods in which they participate, which will be deducted from salaries at payroll as usual, unless they notify Payroll that they do not wish to fund their pension contribution.

The University ensures that salary deductions are fully reinvested in activities, resources and equipment to support students.