Important Update on MAB & Deductions

Important Update on MAB & Deductions

MAB and New Methodology for Deductions

Since the university announced that deductions would be imposed for MAB, branch officers have attended multiple meetings with the head of HR, Anne Lamb, the Chief Operating Officer, Richard Taylor, and the VC, Nick Jennings. Following these meetings, an improved formula for deductions has been announced by the university – please see the original communication here that explains the new methodology and the university’s reporting process.

While it was hoped that management would opt for no deductions, once it became clear that deductions would be made, we pressed for a system based on proportionality, that is, to be based on how much work an individual was withholding due to participation in MAB. 

Unfortunately, management would not agree to proportional deductions. However, the new methodology for deductions represents a better position for members: 1) deductions for members who choose to participate in MAB are subject to a cap of 10 days at 35% for not marking; 2) deductions for boycotting assessment related tasks (e.g. exam boards, MC panels, etc.) will also be capped at 10 days.

We advise members to follow HR’s instruction to report their participation in MAB, as this does not necessarily equate to an acceptance of the university’s policy on MAB, but it protects members in terms of following the legal duty to report participation.  We are aware that some members would like to challenge these deductions formally based on proportionality, and the new methodology does not preclude members from mounting an individual legal challenge in the county courts.

Human Resources has now completed the FAQs and you can find the updated version here. If you have further questions, please contact your HR Partner or your Dean. Please copy in so that we can keep track of questions as they arise.

We remind members that we have a weekly drop-in meeting every Wednesday – 2-3 pm – to support those who are participating in MAB. If you need the link to join, please email

Fighting Fund Update

We encourage you to make use of both the national and local fighting funds, as applicable. For many of us this is a challenging time, financially, and we want to make sure you know you can claim for strike days where you have lost wages.

Since the passing of a motion at our EGM the Friday before last, extra financial help is available from the local branch fighting fund for members who are either:

  • Hourly paid, or
  • Are facing immediate financial hardship as a direct result of strike action e.g. difficulty paying for essentials for themselves or their dependants.

The local fund will pay out for the first day of strike action, and any later days which are not covered by the national fund, which is currently capped at 11 days for the period up to 1st May.

It can also be used for MAB deductions, which are currently only covered by the national fund for universities where deductions are at least 50% (Please see Jo Grady Email sent Tuesday).

To make a claim from the local fund, please send the following to our treasurer David Wilson:

Claims for loss of hourly earnings:

  • confirmation from your School or Department of the hours not worked due to striking
  • the number of hours missed and the hourly rate of pay you receive
  • your normal annual earnings (so that we can verify you are paying the correct subscription level and determine which level of payment you are eligible for)

Claims for financial hardship:

  • a list of days on which you have taken action
  • payslips showing total deductions (including those covered by the national fund)
  • your normal annual earnings (so that we can verify you are paying the correct subscription level and determine which level of payment you are eligible for)

Payments can be made up the normal daily maximum, i.e. £50 per day for members earning £30,000 and £75 per day for members earning less than £30,000, gross annually.

Note that due to national UCU rules, claims to the local fund must be made within 3 months of the deductions. We are seeking to change this to 12 months to match the national fighting fund rules.

Donations to the LUCU local fighting fund

It is important that members who are in a financial position to so donate to the to our local fighting fund as soon as possible, as well as promoting the fund to encourage others to donate. Please be as generous as you can. It is especially important that members who will not be impacted by pay deductions for MAB contribute to the fund in order to support those members who will suffer substantial financial detriment as a result of their participation. You can donate via a bank transfer, please contact David Wilson for the details.

LUCU Committee

Strike Pay – How to Claim from the Fighting Funds

Strike Pay – How to Claim from the Fighting Funds

The national officers have authorised payments from the national Fighting Fund in support of members in the HE disputes (USS and Four Fights) which started on 1 December 2021.  Payments from the national scheme apply from your second strike day and currently up to a maximum of 11 days. In addition, as a branch, we have passed a motion to use our local strike fund to reimburse hourly-paid staff for the first day they strike up to the same daily maximum.  Please note the December, February and March dates are all considered a single set of actions meaning your “first day” of action (for which no payment is available from the national fund) is only counted once, not separately for each set of dates.

In order to make a claim to the Fighting Fund you need to: 

  • be paying subscriptions at the correct rate (if any subscription is payable); 
  • have participated in official strike action and lost pay for this
  • provide evidence of deduction from your salary or loss of earnings for strike action. 

Claiming from the Local Strike Fund (hourly paid staff, day 1 claims

Please send the following to our treasurer David Wilson –

  • confirmation from your School or Department of the hours not worked due to striking
  • the number of hours missed and the hourly rate of pay you receive

Claiming from the National Strike Fund (all other claims)

Claims to the Fighting Fund in respect of all disputes can only be made once members receive payslips showing deductions for strike action. Please read the appropriate Guidance before making your application. The Higher Education Guidance can be found here

If you are in a position where you can go without making a claim or you feel able to claim for a lesser amount please consider doing so in order that we can prioritise those whose loss of pay may cause particular hardship. The Fund will be able to support more members for longer if you can contribute in this way. 

Click here to make your application. 

Donating to the National Fighting Fund 

You can make a donation to the Fighting Fund here or by sending a cheque payable to UCU and marking the back of the cheque ‘donation to UCU fighting fund’. Please send cheques to UCU, Carlow Street, London NW1 7LH. 

LUCU Committee