Bristol University proposes pay reduction freeze for staff participating in marking boycott

Previously staff members faced a 50 per cent pay cut for every day they participated in the boycott

In response to the continued nationwide marking and assessment boycott (MAB), Bristol Uni has proposed to temporarily freeze the 50 per cent pay reduction levied on participating staff.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the university acknowledged the substantial impact the boycott was having on staff and students: “We know that the effects of the marking and assessment boycott are causing significant anxiety for our students, a small number of whom do not know if their work will be marked or if they can graduate with a classification.

“We also recognise the impact on our staff, with the financial deductions and associated stress that come with taking part in the boycott and industrial action more generally.”

As such, the university has proposed to cap the number of days to 10 that pay is withheld for staff members whose marking is yet to be returned, effective retrospectively from the 20th April to the 19th June.

However, those whose marking has already had to be reallocated will be subject to the original 50 per cent pay deductions:

“We propose to cap the number of days that we will withhold pay for staff who have not yet provided marks to ten days at 50% of pay, covering two months from 20 April to 19th June. Those staff whose marking has been reallocated will still be subject to the same deduction for the period.”

Following this ten day maximum penalty, the university then proposes a “firebreak” to pay deductions completely between the 20th and 30th June if pending marks get returned.

However: “Deductions will start again from the 3 July at the previously agreed rate of 50% per day until any outstanding marks are returned or the boycott is concluded. This is important not only in terms of the marks for first sits but also for re-sits.”

This revised offer may suggest that Bristol uni is feeling the pressure of the ongoing industrial action. Just last week The Bristol Tab revealed that one school had been offering students £18.85 to mark first and second year exams, a move which was criticised by staff and students alike.

A spokesperson for the university has said that: “This is an improved offer for those who have participated in the boycott to date but at the same time recognises that we do not accept partial performance of duties.”

Bristol UCU has been approached for comment.

Cover image credit via @How2CrackANut

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