UCU Marking and Assessment Boycott: Info for students at Loughborough University
What is happening?
We are members of the University and College Union (UCU). We are your seminar tutors, professional services staff, and lecturers. We teach you, we support and guide you, and we do the research you rely on.
Along with thousands of other UCU members across all UK universities, we are taking part in a ‘Marking and Assessment Boycott’.
A Marking and Assessment Boycott is when university workers stop doing all work relating to students’ summative assessments.
We will carry on doing all other aspects of our jobs, including teaching and supporting your learning and development. You can still contact us as usual if you have any problems or questions about your studies or personal welfare. We will be here for you.
This Marking and Assessment Boycott started on 20th April 2023 and it will continue until university bosses make us a fair offer.
Why is it happening?
We are asking university bosses for the following:
- Give us secure employment with a stable income, so we can plan our lives – not precarious, temporary or hourly-paid jobs.
- Get rid of pay gaps for gender, race and disability.
- Pay us enough so we can all afford the rising cost of living.
- Reduce our workload to a survivable level.
We already took strike action this year and in previous years.
Our employers still haven’t made us a fair offer.
The Marking and Assessment Boycott is our absolute last resort. We have stopped marking assessments so university bosses will listen to us.
We want to find a resolution to this dispute and get back to normal as soon as possible. But it is now in the hands of our employers.
How will it affect students?
During the Marking and Assessment Boycott:
- Some of your summative assessment results this academic year may be affected. You might not get your marks until after the marking boycott ends.
- If you are in the final year of your degree, as an undergraduate or postgraduate student, this may mean your graduation is delayed.
- There might be delays to official decisions about whether you can progress to the next year of your course.
Once university bosses make a fair offer to us, we will resume our marking and assessment activities so that students can receive marks and be able to progress and/or graduate.
Why should students support this?
Our working conditions are students’ learning conditions.
We are trying to protect our whole university community – including you – from year after year of harmful reforms that have damaged our morale and made it almost impossible to do our jobs properly.
We care deeply about students. We want you to be able to learn and thrive. This is why we come to work every day!
We are really worried that if we do nothing now, university staff will face impossible workloads and a poorer and poorer quality of life. Students’ experience will only get worse, even though you (and your younger siblings) will still have to pay extortionate fees and get into debt.
We are worried that women, ethnic minorities, disabled people, and working-class people who work here will face even more disadvantages.
The Marking and Assessment Boycott is now the only way we can achieve a fairer and more equal university, for the benefit of students and staff alike.
More info: https://www.ucu.org.uk/media/13501/ucuRISING-student-explainer-leaflet/pdf/ucuRISING_Strike_student_leaflet_Mar23.pdf
How can students help end the boycott?
- Email our Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nick Jennings: firstname.lastname@example.org. Say you support the current UCU Marking and Assessment Boycott. Ask him to please take steps to address UCU’s demands around casualisation, pay equality, pay, and workload.
- Tell your tutors and lecturers, via email or in person, that you will support them if they take part in the marking and assessment boycott.
- Sign this pledge: https://www.ucu.org.uk/supportthestrikes
- Post on twitter to say you support the Marking and Assessment Boycott, using the hashtag #ucuRISING and tagging @LboroUCU
More info: https://www.ucu.org.uk/MAB2023