A message to staff from Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk.
I am pleased to share that, following constructive discussions between the University and our local UCU branch, we have reached an agreement that means the current formal industrial action involving a marking and assessment boycott will be called off with immediate effect. In return the University has committed that no pay deductions will be made in relation to any action short of strike (ASOS) that has taken place – including participation in the boycott.
The two issues at the heart of this ongoing dispute have been the USS pension scheme, and pay and associated issues. A joint statement between the University and UCU has been agreed which outlines our shared position to advocate for a fair, affordable and sustainable pension scheme for all staff. The University has also discussed and reached agreement with the University of Leeds branch of UCU on their four heads of claims relating to pay and associated issues.
The past months have been challenging for us all. The discussions and agreements reached provide a platform to build our relationships and move forwards with all three of our recognised trades unions and together, build a fairer future for all our community, and make progress on the issues that have been the subject of dispute.
We now hope for similarly positive discussions with UNISON and Unite. We also hope to avert the five days of strike action planned by UNISON from 20 June 2022.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all University and UCU colleagues who have been involved in these constructive discussions. I am confident that we are now in a much stronger position as an institution, and look forward to continuing conversations with all our unions to move forward; building a positive platform on which to realise our shared objectives.
We will be sharing this news with students and postgraduate researchers. We will also be in contact with heads of schools shortly to further understand the impact of the boycott to date and how this can be mitigated in the best interest of students.
With best wishes,