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Uni of York looking to find ‘alternative, well-qualified markers’ amid marking boycott

The Vice Chancellor said: ‘We will not stop these efforts so we can get your marks to you as soon as possible’


The University of York’s Vice Chancellor, Charlie Jeffery, has said that staff are currently working “tirelessly to try and find alternative, well-qualified markers” to mitigate the impact of the marking and assessment boycott.

The ongoing boycott action, as part of a dispute over pay for UCU members, is currently causing delays and issues with student’s degree classifications and progression to their next stage of study.

In an email to students today, Charlie Jeffery has said: “We will not stop these efforts so we can get your marks to you as soon as possible.”

Over the past few weeks, students have been receiving emails to inform them how the marking and assessment boycott, in which UCU members taking part refuse to undertake any responsibilities related to assessments, will impact their degree outcomes and academic progression.

Depending on how many credits a final year student has marked, they could be graduating with a temporary, unclassified degree, or without a formal degree at all. Alongside this, returning students without sufficient credits marked are being allowed to progress to their next stage of study on a “provisional basis”.

In an email to students today, York’s Vice Chancellor, Charlie Jeffery, aimed to “briefly explain the latest on the impact of the marking and assessment boycott”. He asked students to “please keep talking to your Departments for help and support”.

He also said: “Many staff are working tirelessly to try and find alternative, well-qualified markers: we will not stop these efforts so we can get your marks to you as soon as possible.

“We’re making the best informed decisions we can, but please continue to check your University email account regularly over the summer, as this is how we will send you important updates.”

He also highlighted advice and guidance available on the uni’s industrial action FAQs page. He also linked this article, in which he makes a joint call with the local UCU branch for further negotiations.

Charlie continued: “Ultimately, the current national pay offer is not what staff deserve, but we also need to recognise that we are in a broken UK higher education funding system. This leaves many universities in a position where higher pay rises creates severe financial difficulties: a marking and assessment boycott is not the answer. Yet I know for those caught up in this appalling disruption, a national resolution remains imperative.

“I will continue to do all that I can to push for a resolution and prevent any further disruption for you.”

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