An assessment boycott will begin next week on Thursday 6th November in 69 universities, including the University of Southampton, by members of the UCU (University and College Union).
The UCU website has revealed that the assessment boycott will stop students being set coursework or receiving formal marks and feedback, as well as halting exams. This proposed action comes after talks between the UCU and the employers’ representatives last week, which failed to provide a guarantee that employers were making any effort to protect the pensions of members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).
The dispute continues as employers’ proposals suggest that scheme members would lose thousands of pounds in retirement. The website has also revealed that Universities UK (UUK) wants to end the final salary element of the scheme for all USS members and move them to a career average (career revalued benefits or CRB) scheme.
The employers’ proposals have found fault with universities including the University of Oxford, and more recently the University of Warwick, who criticised their lack of alternatives put forward by UUK, and found the reformed scheme unattractive in comparison to another scheme which is available in higher education.
The UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said:
‘Their proposals remain full of holes and the information they are apparently relying on to back them up keeps being exposed as misleading. We are setting plans for an assessment boycott in place because USS members have made it clear they are unconvinced by the employers’ arguments.’
The next negotiating meeting is scheduled for Friday 7th November.