Marking and Assessment Boycott

Key National Updates

  • University of Kent management claim they will withhold ‘50%’ of pay from staff who take part in the NATIONAL marking and assessment boycott over pay, workload & inequalities, beginning 20th April 2023.
  • Do not let this be a barrier to your participation in the boycott.
  • It is not clear how severe these deductions could be. HR are not currently able to specify how they will implement the deductions, and therefore how harsh they will be. They say ‘colleagues are looking at how this will be implemented’. The union has requested these crucial details and challenged their justification for the disproportionate 50% deduction.
  • Kent branch funds are healthy and we will continue our exemplary record supporting members with hardship funds, especially those on the lowest incomes.
  • We expect at least some financial support from national UCU.
  • Keep your elected organisers updated on your financial needs and attitude to the boycott via this survey.


Local Context & Updates

  • The deduction threat is partly a reaction to our imminent strike ballot to defend PS jobs and other issues.
    It is clear that management are worried about the potential impact of any national or local action. That is because they know how effective marking and assessment boycotts can be, and so do we. Your collective action gives you the power to improve working conditions in higher education.
  • It is important members continue to demonstrate strength in both local and national campaigns


The basics of marking & assessment boycotts 

  • Familiarise yourself with the advice in the national UCU Marking and assessment boycott FAQs (see emails for link).
  • You are under no legal obligation to declare in advancewhether you intend to take part in the marking and assessment boycott. You do not need to comply with any such requests.
  • Once the boycott begins, should your line manager or HR ask you if you are participating, you should respond only in terms of what action you have taken/are currently taking (depending on the timeline they specify in their question). You should NOT tell them about your future intentions to participate or continue participating in the boycott. This will mean that they will need to keep checking for confirmation as to whether or not you have participated in ASOS and what forms of ASOS you have participated in and when.


Other information

  • Financially secure members can donate to our local hardship fund – see emails for relevant account details.