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AUCU members to strike if pay deductions are not reversed

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

The union will take to the picket lines in September

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

The UCU union, which represents thousands of academics across the UK, has been engaged in industrial action since November 2022. Image Credit: Andrew Cardno

Members of Aberdeen University's UCU union are to set to go on the first two weeks of autumn term.

The union has ben rankled by continued 50% pay deductions for members participating in the marking and assessment boycott (MAB).

If University management reverse the penalties, UCU members will stand down from striking and cease participating in the MAB.

The escalation in local industrial action comes as the MAB reaches its sixth month.

In an open letter to the University's embattled chief executive, Professor George Boyne, AUCU slammed the continuation of salary deductions.

As The Gaudie reported in July, Professor Boyne expressed desires for earlier deductions in a bid to make UCU members feel "pain along the way."

The comments sparked controversy, with many students and staff calling for Professor Boyne's resignation.

Now, two months later, the dispute, which centres on pay and conditions on a national level, rages on.

Pointing to other universities who ceased deducting pay in recent months after threats of industrial action, union reps argued that the University's position was "out-of-line with the sector."

Irrespective of AUCU's decision, the MAB will cease at the end of September, as the national mandate needed to participate in industrial action will expire.

Provided UCU members vote to continue the boycott in a national ballot, the MAB will resume no earlier then mid-November.

Locally, if a settlement is not reached, AUCU members could strike on 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, and 28 September- although it is unclear if all eight dates will be used.

In a statement, a University spokesperson said:

"The University’s approach with regard to withholding pay for those who participated in the MAB was in line with other universities, albeit others have confirmed that they are withholding 100% pay.

“The intention of the University to withhold 50% salary for those participating in the MAB was communicated to all staff prior to and during the MAB period.

“We hope any further strike action can be averted, however, should further strike action be taken, the University will make every effort to minimise the impact on students who will be given advice and kept updated.”


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