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UCU confirms further strike dates for Edinburgh University at the start of term

They also announced the withdrawal of the marking and assessment boycott


It has been confirmed that lecturers at Edinburgh University will be striking for five days at the beginning of term.

Whilst strike dates have been announced for other universities, the University and College Union (UCU) have confirmed that these will not be the same for Scottish universities, so as to align with other unions.

In a statement released by UCU General Secretary Jo Grady, she said: “We are left with no option but to strike during the start of term because our members refuse to stand by while pay is eroded and staff are shunted onto gig-economy contracts.

“We have sought to settle this dispute at every opportunity, including agreeing to a joint review of sector finances, but we are faced with employers that want to see staff and students suffer. We desperately hope vice-chancellors realise we are going nowhere without a fair settlement and make us a realistic offer. If they do not, campuses will be marred by picket lines during Freshers’ Week, and we will launch a new strike ballot allowing us to take action well into 2024.”

In addition, the UCU has confirmed in a statement released yesterday that the marking and assessment boycott, which left thousands of students without degrees or course marks, has been withdrawn.

The ongoing action has affected students since mid-April and left many students unable to graduate despite completing dissertations and coursework.

This means students will slowly begin to see their marked course assignments returned to them, as the union has told Edinburgh UCU members they are able to release backdated work.

However, this doesn’t mean you’ll immediately get your marks.

In an email sent to students last week, the University said: “The first available chance for marks to be reviewed will be at the October Boards of Examiners. Schools are planning to review and confirm as many impacted course results as possible at those meetings.”

Furthermore, despite this end to the boycott, union members are continuing to dispute their pay and working conditions, with further strike action being announced between the 25th – 29th of September.

However, the decision to end of the marking boycott has been met with mixed responses for striking academics, with some taking to X to voice their frustration.

https://twitter.com/SarCampbel/status/1699435609180213437?s=20

Whilst other UCU members stood by their decision to vote to end the marking boycott.

A spokesperson for the university said: “We welcome the end of the marking and assessment boycott, recognising the stress that this has placed on our students and staff. We acknowledge, however, that this dispute is not resolved and further national strike action has been called for the week commencing 25 September. We stand by the commitments made in our joint statement with UCU Edinburgh of 4 August 2023 and our focus remains on working with colleagues towards the completion of any outstanding marking at the earliest opportunity so that our students can move on with their lives”

Click here for a joint statement from the university and UCU.

 

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