Save Jobs at Kent: Launch Marking & Assessment Boycott

UCU meeting votes to begin sustained local marking & assessment boycott on 3rd March to defend jobs & workloads at Kent

  • Your Kent UCU negotiators will be redoubling their efforts to prevent compulsory redundancy processes this calendar year, armed with this new leverage you voted for today. Members will be kept up to date every step of the way.
  • Today’s branch meeting was a historic show of strength that compounds the branch’s momentum going into the national strikes over USS Pensions & the Four Fights (inequalities, precarious contracts, workloads & pay). More on this & other updates here.
  • Senior colleagues in UCU reported how the university finances & the recruitment outlook in many areas is far healthier than the previous times senior management tried to sack staff: there is even less justification for further cuts.
  • Members were united in anger, refusing to pay for senior management incompetence with their jobs. In the latest debacle, Kent Vision is now preventing colleagues seeing undergraduate applicant details, or even how many students they have this year – yet these are the very figures used to justify sacking colleagues.


Branch notes:

  1. Your successful local ballot to defend jobs and workloads has given us leverage to fight compulsory redundancies, just as we beat them last academic year. Acting swiftly & assertively has always worked.
  2. We have already secured through negotiation a detailed process which would consider a wide-range of voluntary measures in affected areas, as a step to avoid compulsory redundancies. 
  3. But Karen Cox is refusing to rule out compulsory redundancy processes beginning this calendar year.
  4. There is a wide-scale review of “staff costs” in the Division of Arts and Humanities and an ongoing ‘staff-cost reduction process’ in the School of Anthropology and Conservation.
  5. Any compulsory redundancies in these areas would also make the other academic divisions and Professional Services highly vulnerable to cuts.
  6. Your negotiators and elected committee members are convinced that we need to launch a marking & assessment boycott today in order to prevent a significant number of compulsory redundancies.

Branch hereby:

  1. Instructs Regional Officer Mike Moran to serve the employer notice as soon as possible of the commencement of a marking & assessment boycott and the other forms of action short of a strike listed in point 2. The notice will state that these actions will start on 3rd March and end when the dispute is resolved, or on 21st June when our current strike mandate expires. This timeline allows a realistic 3 weeks to declare action.
  2. Action Short of Strike will include:
  3. a marking and assessment boycott.
  4. working to contract
  5. not covering for absent colleagues 
  6. removing uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to, lectures or classes that will be or have been cancelled as  a result of strike action
  7. not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action
  8. not undertaking any voluntary activities


Proposer: Dr. Claire Hurley, Branch President & Negotiator

Seconder: Dr. Ibi Reichl, Co-Vice President & Negotiator

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