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20th November 2014

Marking boycott suspended until further talks

The marking boycott is over until January, as the UCU and Universities UK agree to try and come to a settlement.

The marking boycott enacted by the Universities and College Union has been suspended, pending further talks over pay and pensions.

Fallowing discussions last week, union representatives agreed that the boycott would be postponed until the 15th January. This deadline has been set, with a view to coming to a settlement over the issue of pensions.

This also means that this semester, thousands of students no longer have to face the prospect of their work going unmarked.

In a joint statement, the Universities and College Union and Universities UK said, “Both parties are committed to seeking a joint proposal for reform that offers an affordable, sustainable and attractive pension scheme, for both current and future members.

They added further, that they are “pleased that the agreement to suspend industrial action at this early stage will mean that students will not have been adversely affected and members of staff will not have had pay deducted”

Many students were quickly informed of the decision.

In an email on Friday morning, the head of the history department, Professor Hannah Barker, said, “I am very pleased to inform you that the lecturer’s union, the UCU, today confirmed a suspension of all industrial action called by them in relation to their current dispute from 20 November until after 15 January 2015. The suspension has been agreed to allow a period of intense negotiation with the aim of seeking an agreement on reforms to staff pensions.

“What this means for you is that marking and assessment activities should now be taking place as normal on all courses: though if you are waiting for some marking and/or feedback that was affected by the industrial action, there may be a delay before you receive it”.

One student described the news as “best news I’ve had all week!”

Another said “I’m glad it’s been stopped, because now I can get my essay marks back! But I hope they resolve the situation quickly”.

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