Assessment boycott to start on 6 November

After talks between UCU and the employers’ representatives last week failed to provide a guarantee that the employers were making any effort to protect USS pensions, UCU has announced that an assessment boycott will begin on Thursday 6 November. The assessment boycott will stop students being set coursework or receiving formal marks and feedback, as well as halting exams.

The union said more detailed negotiations would be required to solve the current impasse. It said it was unhappy the employers had presented their proposals as a fait accompli, especially as much of their work has been discredited by statisticians, universities and UCU.

Last week the University of Warwick became the latest to find fault with the employers’ proposals and their attempts to promote them. Warwick criticised the lack of alternatives put forward by UUK and how unattractive the reformed scheme will look compared to another scheme available in higher education.

The next negotiating meeting is set for Friday 7 November. However, UCU said it was happy to clear its diary and meet sooner.

Read UCU’s full press release here