Marking boycott may run past September, university union leader tells Tom Swarbrick

18 May 2023, 17:07 | Updated: 18 May 2023, 17:13

UCU leader says marking boycott could pass the September term

By Abbie Reynolds

University lecturers may continue into the September term, UCU General Secretary warns.

General Secretary of University and College Union Jo Grady joined Tom Swarbrick after backlash from students as the union boycotts marking in retaliation to a failed pay dispute.

With students calling in to share their upset at the boycott, Tom asked: "How long could this marking boycott go on for?"

"So if the employers are not going to budge, you know this union will keep this boycott on to affect the summer," Ms Grady began.

"Our ballot, as it stands, runs until September. If we decide to as a union we could choose to continue that ballot and take action until the September term."

"Nobody wants to do that though," she insisted.

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The university sector is sitting £44 billion of reserves, says Jo Grady

This marking boycott means students with dissertations ready to be marked have been left unsure of when they will get their grades and ultimately their degree qualification. One caller, Lisa in Brighton, said that some students are relying on their results to keep job offers.

The union leader stressed the importance of the pay dispute stating that some lecturers are "struggling to pay rent".

READ MORE: 'It's Johnsonian levels of cakeism': Tom Swarbrick calls out Keir Starmer's U-turn on free tuition

Ms Grady went on: "Higher education is not being funded probably by government."

"Right now to even let staff get through a cost of living crisis or to make up for some of the 23 per cent of pay cuts that staff have had since 2009, we don't have to start tinkering with the funding model," she said telling Tom: "The sector is sitting on £44.6 billion of reserves."

"What's on the table at the minute isn't enough."

Watch the full hour with Jo Grady on Global Player.

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