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UCU Marking Boycott starting 28 April: Message from Mark Crawley, UAL Dean of Students

UCU, the trades union for academic staff, is planning a marking/assessment boycott with effect from 28 April. This action is clearly designed to maximise the impact on students and particularly those due to complete their course this summer. We will do all we can to minimise any disruption to your assessment.

This industrial action is being taken as part of a national dispute relating to pay increases from August 2013. UAL, like most other universities, participates in national pay negotiations because we believe it is important that academic (and other) staff are treated equally wherever they work in the higher education sector.

None of us want this action to happen but it is important that students are aware of the true picture. There have been claims of a 13% real terms pay cut since 2009 but this is untrue. More details are explained in the Frequently Asked Questions information available on-line. In the public sector generally (and indeed other sectors) there have been stringent pay freezes. In universities we have all been keen to ensure that our staff do receive increases – both through national pay rises and incremental progression on salary scales.

Further information about what we are doing to reduce the impact of the boycott on students – and particularly those completing their course this summer– is in the Frequently Asked Questions information

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