Reply from UEB regarding marking and assessment boycott of 19th June

This is part of a series of exchanges with the University Executive Board (UEB) on marking and assessment boycott (MAB) deductions. Our previous message was sent on the 8th June, and after eight days we’ve had the following response.

The original PDF received by the branch is also available to read.

Dear Cardiff UCU Executive Committee

We write in response to your further letter of 8 June 2023 regarding the University’s policy in response to the Marking and Assessment Boycott which has resulted in the local dispute and your formal notification in respect of strike days.

As you rightly note, this matter was discussed at the recent JCNF, and our response remains that whilst we respect the right to take industrial action and appreciate how difficult this situation is for our staff, we reject the suggestion that we have acted ‘punitively’ and ‘disproportionately’ in respect of UCU’s action. The assessment and marking boycott called by UCU goes to the heart of the contract of employment for academic staff involved in student learning and teaching and affects the fundamental duties of academic staff. The potential consequences for students are extremely serious. We are withholding pay for not fulfilling the contract. We can legally deduct 100% but have chosen, without prejudice to that right, to withhold a smaller proportion of pay at this stage while we monitor the impact on our students.

Our current focus is on ensuring that our students can graduate and progress appropriately and as such discussions need to be within this context and not limited to our approach on withholding pay. Should Cardiff UCU feel able to contribute to that outcome, we would be supportive of a meeting to explore this further.

Yours sincerely
University Executive Board