Human Resources

Industrial Action 2022/23

Updates and information for staff on potential industrial action relating to UCU’s disputes regarding USS, Pay and working conditions.

**In an email of 29 May 2023, the Principal detailed the current impasse between the University and UCU. With a view to mitigating the impact on students, the Principal made an offer to all staff participating in the boycott to give individuals an option to remove themselves from the boycott.

The offer was put to staff that if you agree to mark and assess all boycotted work for final year and single year students by 15 July and for continuing students by 30 July, the University will return any withheld pay.

If you wish to accept this offer, you should (as soon as possible) email confirming that you agree to agree to mark and assess all boycotted work, prioritising final year and single year students by 15 July and continuing students by 30 July. In return, we will confirm this with your school, return any withheld pay and remove you from the withheld pay instructions sent to Payroll on a monthly basis.**

The University and College Union (UCU) has secured a mandate for industrial action across many UK Universities in a ballot that closed in March 2023. The mandate is for both strike action and action short of a strike, on changes to USS and its ‘four fights’ of casualisation, gender, ethnicity and disability pay inequality, workload and the 2022/23 pay award.

Marking and Assessment Boycott

UCU have announced an escalation of action short of strike, in the form of a Marking and Assessment Boycott.

The Boycott will take the form of continuous action, commencing on Thursday 20 April 2023. In the light of the Principal’s offer, staff who wish to end their participation can do so by emailing, otherwise participation will be assumed to continue until the current mandate ends on 30 September.  You do not need to submit another declaration if you are continuing your participation in the marking and assessment boycott. Only new participants should submit a declaration.

A Marking and Assessment Boycott covers all marking and assessment processes that contribute to summative assessment decisions for students/learners, whether final (i.e. graduation/completion) or interim (i.e. progression decisions). This has been defined by UCU below.

UCU: What type of work is covered by the boycott?

The University is aware that a Marking and Assessment Boycott will cause greater impact to students' award and progression to students than any other form of industrial action and as a result will be implementing withholding salary accordingly.

We have prepared some frequently asked questions for staff in relation to the Marking and Assessment Boycott.

 Staff FAQs - Marking and Assessment Boycott


The University will enact contingency plans to mitigate disruption to the delivery of learning and teaching, and student experience whilst maintaining academic standards.

There is a dedicated webpage providing students with up-to-date information on the industrial action. 

Industrial action information for students

A dedicated staff SharePoint site containing further useful information and the online employee declaration form will be live from Thursday 20 April 2023.

Industrial action information for staff