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Marking boycott postponed

Tom King, BA Politics

Academics’ union UCU has announced a planned marking boycott will be postponed to 6th May to give time to consult its members on a new pay offer put forward by the university employers’ association.

UCEA, which represents university managements nationally, had previously offered a pay rise of 1% but has now increased this to 2% along with action to bring all workers’ pay to at least the living wage. Responding to the new offer, UCU leader Sally Hunt said “UCU has decided to ballot members on their views. It is only right that they make the ultimate decision about what happens next.”

UCU members will now be balloted online until 1st May and a decision on whether to continue with the boycott or accept the new pay offer will then be taken. UCEA has said this is employers’ “full and final” offer and claim it is in excess of current cost-of-ling rises. The unions, however, have pointed out that staff have seen their wages cut by 13% in real terms since 2008.

Academics were due to cease marking essays and exams from 28th April if a deal could not be done in the on-going pay dispute. UNISON, which represents university support staff, will consider the new deal at a meeting next week.

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