Marking boycott postponed

THE UNIVERSITIES and Colleges Union (UCU) has decided to push back the potential marking boycott to May 2nd due to an offer of a 2% pay increase for UK higher education staff by the Universities and Colleges’ Employers Association (UCEA).

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Taking the 2% offer into consideration, which was proposed at a meeting between the education unions and the UCEA yesterday (Tues 15th), the UCU’s Higher Education Committee have today agreed to ballot members on the offer. The UCU has thereby postponed the start of the marking boycott, due to commence on April 28th, to now begin on May 6th.

The boycott could be postponed further or cancelled all together depending on the ballot results which will be reviewed at a meeting scheduled to take place on May 2nd.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said, “Following this offer, UCU has decided to ballot members on their views. It is only right that they make the ultimate decision about what happens next.”

Last year, the University and College Union, Unison and Unite rejected the 1% pay rise offered to staff by employers, insisting that it equated to a 13% pay cut in real terms since October 2008. In light of this, the 2% offer has already begun to raise questions of adequacy.

The ballot concluding the UCU members’ decisions on the 2% offer will end on May 1st, prior to the committee meeting on the 2nd.