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Striking lecturers presented University chiefs with deal to end boycott- on 9 May

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Union representatives and senior management will meet today to discuss issues of precarious employment and causalised contracts

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

UCU members picketed outside the University throughout the winter months.

Photo Credit: Andrew Cardno

Aberdeen UCU provided University senior management with terms to end the marking boycott in early May, The Gaudie can reveal.

Representatives of the academic union told us that despite these overtures, the chances of ending the boycott ahead of graduation appear to be nil.

In a statement, Aberdeen UCU members said: '... AUCU prepared [papers on precarious employment and workloads] in the hope of resolving the dispute by negotiation before exam boards convened. It is regrettable that so much time has passed, and it is now too late to remedy the situation for students this academic year...'

Agreements on causalisation and workload would see end to marking boycott in Aberdeen

It is understood that if the University accepts the terms of the UCU proposals, members of the local branch would negotiate an end to the marking boycott, which has dragged on since the end of April.

However, despite a written response by management on 24 May, the two sides have not made much progress on any sort of agreement thus far.

That is, until today, with University management scheduling an hour-long meeting with union leaders to consider the UCU's proposal.

If agreed upon, the plan would see the University commit to ending hourly teaching contracts and providing stronger protections for casualised workers, among other provisions.

Previous discussions have proven unfruitful

Ahead of Tuesday's summitt, UCU representatives expressed their frustration with previous attempts to negotiate with University management, telling The Gaudie they felt the discussions had been conducted 'without good faith reciprocation.'

Speaking to The Gaudie, a University spokesperson soundly rejected these claims.

They said: 'From the outset the University has met weekly with Aberdeen UCU to discuss the dispute. We have had intensive and positive discussions on casualisation, for example. We therefore do not recognise this characterisation of the discussions we have had.'

Aberdeen UCU countered, commenting that while weekly meetings did occur, dicsussion was limited to '20 or 25 minutes,' which made negotiation 'extremely difficult.'

However, members also expressed hope that negotiations would continue, commenting they were 'glad' that today's meeting was going ahead.


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