Image: Flickr / Magnus Hagdorn
Image: Flickr / Magnus Hagdorn

UCU calls off its Marking and Assessment Boycott

The University and College Union (UCU) ended its Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB) today following a 60% vote in favour of suspension within its Higher Education Committee (HEC).

With the boycott beginning on 20 April 2023, staff on strike refused to mark exams or essays, affecting thousands of students. Final-year graduates were particularly impacted with many receiving delayed results.

The UCU’s other actions short of strike (ASOS) will continue. These include: “working to contract, not covering for absent colleagues, removing uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to, lectures or classes that will be or have been cancelled as a result of strike action, not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action, and not undertaking any voluntary activities”.

With Warwick being amongst the universities affected, some students only received partial grades as part of their final results in July.

Our strike action and ballot are a ramping up of this dispute to deliver a victory as soon as possible

– Jo Grady, UCU General Secretary

The Boar spoke to a Law finalist who stated: “When I graduated during lockdown, I thought my academic journey ended so low it couldn’t get any worse and having my freshers year in Covid and then ending with a half-hearted response from my university over the grades I had worked so hard these last 3 years to achieve is devastating.

“I’m graduating with 50 grand debt, the UK’s gone into a recession, and I’ve only got half my grades back.”

Although the MAB has come to an end, five days of strike action have been confirmed, set to occur from Monday 25 to Friday 29 September 2023.

Jo Grady, the UCU’s General Secretary, announced: “I want to be clear – this fight is not over. We will not give up until we have delivered the deal that addresses years of pay cuts, unbearable workloads, rampant casualisation and unacceptable pay inequalities.

“Our strike action and ballot are a ramping up of this dispute to deliver a victory as soon as possible.”


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