Lecturers threaten marking boycott

Submitted by AWL on 25 February, 2014 - 9:36

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) have threatened to refuse to mark essays or exam papers from 28 April unless Higher Education bosses make concessions on pay.

The threat has already secured the promise of new talks ahead of the scheduled pay negotiations for 2014/2015.

A marking boycott is considered to be lecturers’ “nuclear option”, and widely seen as a more effective and impacting form of industrial action than striking.

Higher Education workers have already struck several times against a 1% pay offer for 2013/2014. Some UCU members were disappointed that their union held back on escalating the dispute, calling a series of two-hour strikes followed by another one-day walkout on 6 February.

The speed with which bosses agreed to new talks following the announcement of the marking boycott shows that more could have been won if the dispute had escalated quicker.

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