• Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

UCU vote to end marking and assessment boycott

ByLucy Frewin

Sep 6, 2023
A UCU strike protest marches past, headed by a purple banner reading 'SUPPORT EDUCATION'

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) have voted to end the Marking and Assessment boycott (MAB). 

The decision comes as members voted in a consultation called by the Higher Education Committee (HEC). 

In a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter) the UCU said: “60 per cent of members voting indicated they were in favour of suspending the MAB”. 


The boycott, which saw the suspension of all summative assessment marking, has been in place since April and has resulted in many students being unable to graduate due to incomplete marking.

In the same statement, the UCU also announced that the HEC has called for five days of strike action to take place from Monday 25 to Friday 29 September.

Speaking about the new strike dates, UCU General Secretary Jo Grady said: “We are left with no option but to strike during the start of term because our members refuse to stand by while pay is eroded and staff are shunted onto gig-economy contracts.   

“It is shameful that vice-chancellors still refuse to settle the dispute despite a year of unprecedented disruption, and have instead imposed a pay award that staff overwhelmingly rejected. 

“Universities are richer than ever, generating tens of billions of pounds in income and hoarding billions more in cash deposits. But they won’t give staff their fair share, a pay award of 5% is a huge real-terms pay cut and is substantially lower than school teachers received.  

“We have sought to settle this dispute at every opportunity, including agreeing to a joint review of sector finances, but we are faced with employers that want to see staff and students suffer. 

“We desperately hope vice-chancellors realise we are going nowhere without a fair settlement and make us a realistic offer. If they do not, campuses will be marred by picket lines during freshers’ week, and we will launch a new strike ballot allowing us to take action well into 2024″.

UCU Edinburgh Parliament” by Magnus Hagdorn is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.