The University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) have suspended their industrial action over a pension dispute.

On the 27th October 2014 UCU announced that their members in 69 universities across the UK would begin an assessment boycott on Thursday 6 November. In practice this assessment boycott meant that students’ wouldn’t receive formal marks or feedback and it also stopped students from being set coursework and halted exams.

According to the UCU’s website the marking boycott was called “after talks between UCU and the employers’ representatives failed to provide a guarantee the employers were making any effort to protect the pensions of members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).”

Today the industrial action has been suspended as the UCU and UUK have agreed to a series of negotiating meetings between now and the scheduled January joint negotiating committee (JNC).

The UCU’s website notes that:

“Both parties are committed to seeking a joint proposal for reform that offers an affordable, sustainable and attractive pension scheme, for both current and future members. Both parties are pleased that the agreement to suspend industrial action at this early stage will mean that students will not have been adversely affected and members of staff will not have had pay deducted.”

On Tuesday 18th November student councillors at QUB SU failed to extend their solidarity to the UCU marking boycott as the motion did not gather the required support from student councillors in order for the motion to pass.

The motion proposed that:

“Council extends solidarity to the action on staff pay and working conditions, and hopes that the University, staff and trade unions can come together to ensure a speedy resolution to the ongoing dispute.”

Paul Wyatt

Paul Wyatt is one of the founding scoop members. As one of our on-the-ground reporters, Paul reports on anything and everything happening in Queen's, the greater Belfast area, and beyond.

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