Bristol UCU Newsflash, 5th April 2023

1) The Next Few Weeks YOU Decide

As Bristol UCU Newsflash takes a short Spring Vacation break, we know that the next few weeks are key in our UCU disputes.  

We await the formal notification of a Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB).

We look forward to UCU members’ decision in the current consultation (YOU decide: formal consultation on dispute proposals) on whether to accept the current employer proposals on pay, precarity, workloads and pay gaps, and on whether to note the current UUK/UCU agreement on restoring USS benefits and reducing USS contributions

We note the success of our UCU re-ballot, which gives UCU the capability to take strike action including a MAB any time before October.

Members should complete the YOU Decide consultation in their inbox, as well as preparing themselves for the industrial action that would take place if our Higher Education Committee decided to reject the UCEA offer or the UUK agreement, or both, following the current consultation of UCU Higher Education members (it is likely that if UCU rejects the proposals that the Acas conciliated negotiations will not continue’…they will be asked to commence marking and assessment boycott in April 2023).

Our focus is now on the next steps in our disputes, whether as a union, we decide to bank and build, pausing strike action in order to conduct time-limited joint union negotiations on pay and working conditions until February next year (‘this would result in the marking and assessment boycott scheduled for April 2023 being stood down and an end to action short of a strike); we may also decide to ‘bank’ our progress on pension benefit restoration and focus on holding UUK to its commitments to restore our pensions. 

We may instead choose to escalate in both disputes or one dispute, and conduct a MAB targeted at the Summer Assessment Period, with more local and national strike action likely, for instance, in response to 100% pay docking.

Whatever the outcome, UCU’s collective strength is key, protecting members’ interests, securing the best possible outcome for members.

Here’s to your restful Easter break. But here’s to a decidedly unquiet period thereafter.

Your Newsflash Team