Reply to Vice-Chancellor’s proposal, Monday 18th September 2023

After negotiations on the 13th September, followed by a proposal from the VC and an EGM on the 15th September, the branch executive sent the following response to the Vice-Chancellor on the 18th September 2023.

Dear Vice Chancellor,

Thank you for your message of last Friday in which you offered that the University will not make any deductions for Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB) participation taken after 1 August 2023, subject to staff members fully re-engaging in and prioritising marking duties, with all marking completed and in SIMS by 6 October 2023 at the latest. Your proposal was also subject to UCU Cardiff withdrawing all further Strike Days under the current mandate with immediate effect.

At a General Meeting of members on Friday, members voted to accept your offer and at today’s meeting of the branch Executive Committee, we have therefore decided to withdraw all further Strike Days under the current mandate with immediate effect. 

We expect the vast majority of members with remaining marking duties to be able to complete all marking by the deadline you set, but we are aware that a number of members have such large marking loads that despite prioritising, they are unlikely to be able to meet the 6 October deadline. When our negotiators met with you, you expressed concern for such members, and we request that individual extensions to this deadline will therefore be arranged for those members that are consistent with the employer’s duty of care and duty to operate in a non-discriminatory manner. It would be helpful if you can remind Schools of this duty. We will be monitoring the situation carefully and resolutely support any member who is put under undue pressure to work to unrealistic and unsafe deadlines, especially as our Action Short of Strike, which includes working contracted hours, remains in force until the end of the current mandate.

At the General Meeting of members on Friday, members were also clear that they remain profoundly unhappy with how salary deductions in relation to the MAB took place, and that your offer is insufficient to close the overall disagreement. In particular, members have continued to raise the disproportionate effect of the MAB deductions on postgraduates who effectively lost 100% of their pay for their participation. Consequently, the branch will continue to press the University Executive Board to return any and all punitive elements of deductions. 

Yours sincerely,

Cardiff UCU