Following a series of two-hour strikes and one-day strikes, the next stage of the pay dispute will take the form of a marking boycott in effect from the 28th of April.
Sally Hunt, General Secretary of UCU, has given the following statement:
The Higher Education Committee met on Friday 14 February to review the current dispute and agree next steps. It was noted that members had already taken substantial industrial action in the campaign for fair pay and that in the continued absence of any movement from the employers, further escalated action would be necessary.
Having examined assessment timetables, HEC therefore confirmed the implementation of a marking boycott with effect from Monday 28 April.
This is a serious but unavoidable step for which the union will need to fully prepare members.
HEC therefore agreed that between now and 28 April the union should prioritise working with branches to maximise the impact of a marking boycott, including in the minority of institutions where most assessment has already been done.
This will include branch meetings to discuss the marking sanction, joint union meetings, early discussions with local students’ unions and continued campaigning activity including a focus on VC/Principals’ pay and perks.
UCU reported that the employers have agreed to talks in March (see the UCU statement here, or this considerably more readable article in The Independent).
Our next two-hour strike action, part of our ongoing dispute over pay, will take place between 9 and 11am on Monday 10th February.
We will have picket lines outside the college. The branch’s executive committee has voted for a ‘virtual picket’ to take place at this time as well, with members using the time to email the warden directly. Suggested text has already been sent out; if you are a member and haven’t received this, email firstname.lastname@example.org
This action is a response to the employers’ offer of a mere 1% pay rise, amounting to a very substantial cut in pay when compared to inflation and cost of living rises; for more information and resources please see http://fairpay.web.ucu.org.uk/
Employers are still only offering a 1% pay rise, amounting to a massive decrease in real terms for Higher Education Staff pay. In spite of this, across the country wardens and vice-chancellors are receiving much larger pay rises (including here at Goldsmiths). The sector reports record surpluses but still refuses to pay staff fairly. For these reasons, UCU will be taking strike action today (Thursday 6th February), along with other Higher Education staff unions.
To find out more about the context of this dispute, have a look at this article on openDemocracy, from our own branch secretary:http://tinyurl.com/of4dsk4