Industrial action - boycott of assessment and marking

UCU Industrial action started on Thursday 6th of November 2014

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The following message has been sent to all members by the UCU Leicester Branch Committee:

Dear colleagues,

As the UCU industrial action starts today, the committee would like to re-iterate the message sent by Sally Hunt on Monday and this morning: join the comprehensive boycott of assessment and marking.

This is a significant decision for several reasons. None of us wish to enter a dispute which will potentially harm students, may create difficulties with colleagues and result in loss of pay.

However, industrial action is a very last resort when everything else has failed. This becomes the only democratic way to stand up against decisions which are unilaterally made on doubtful evidence and which are significantly harmful. To have any chance to get negotiations re-started, the union and its members must adhere to the boycott and be heard.

To help with the UCU campaign, your committee is endeavouring to put plans in place, including

  • liaising with the students' union to seek their support;
  • contacting departmental representatives to meet with members, dispatch materials and liaise with the committee; if you do not have a departmental rep and wish to help, please contact Val Burns, the UCU administrator (at vab4@le.ac.uk)
  • communicating directly with members on progress and news, locally and nationally
  • organising surgery for members to be aware of instructions for marking and assessment boycott and have chance to ask questions
  • dispatching materials for the dispute to be visible (eg posters, etc)
  • Numerous questions have already arisen about the boycott (what it involves, who is concerned, etc). You can find most answers at http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/assessment-boycott-faqs/

    However, in light of the university's decision to deduct 25% of pay once members declare their intention to participate in the industrial action (see https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/hr/docs/policies/announcement-from-the-vice-chancellor-strike-action-november-2014), additional queries have been sent to us: eg when do I declare my intention? when marking is allocated to me? when the assessment questions are due?

    We will be putting these questions to UCU and update you (we understand that the FAQ online is constantly updated). In the meantime, you can direct your queries to members of the committee (either pascale.lorber@le.ac.uk or Chris Talbot at cjt14@le.ac.uk).

    If you have questions and comments in general about the dispute, you can also email them to us and we will communicate back to UCU.

    The union has indicated that it will support members faced with punitive deductions both industrially and financially.

    We have attached a briefing on the dispute and the boycott, together with a letter that can be sent to students if you are questioned about the dispute.

    We will keep in touch.

    Thank you for your support of the union.

    UCU Leicester branch committee

    PS If you know someone not yet in the union please pass this message on. If they join the union (at https://join.ucu.org.uk/), they can join the boycott.

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