Reminder: responsibility to notify the University of participation in marking and assessment boycott

Reminder: responsibility to notify the University of participation in marking and assessment boycott

Giving notification of boycott participation

Dear colleagues 

This is an update further to my message on 19 April 2023 on the industrial action (marking and assessment boycott) that UCU has called on their members to participate in as part of their national dispute.

The boycott commenced on Thursday 20 April 2023.  I am writing to remind those participating in the boycott of their responsibilities with regard to notification of that participation.

The reason for this communication is that we have been informed by the Branch leadership of UCU that UCU members have been advised not to comply with the University’s request and withhold or delay notification of participation in the boycott. Please note that this advice is contrary to UCU Guidance which is clear that : ‘If you are asked directly whether you participated in ASOS in the past or are participating in it now (whatever the timeframe, be it last week, yesterday, or today) you should respond truthfully’. We will be addressing this matter with UCU Branch leadership at a meeting later this week.

I am writing now to reiterate that staff should continue to inform their Head of School and HR within the timeframe specified.

Therefore if you commenced participation on Thursday 20 April and have not yet notified your Head of School or HR by the previous deadline of Friday 21st April, you should complete this form and return it to your Head of School, copying in by no later than 5pm on Tuesday 25 April. 

Please use the same form and process for notification if you have started to participate in the boycott today, Monday 24 April, again completing the form by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.

For the avoidance of doubt, you are not being asked about your future intentions, but rather to confirm whether you have been participating in the boycott in past days or on the day you receive the request to notify.

Heads of School will continue to issue regular communications to staff requesting notification of participation, which is envisaged in the UCU guidance. In each case you will be asked to respond by no later than 5pm on the day following the date of the request.

If you are not participating in the boycott, you do not need to inform your Head of School or HR. 

By way of reminder, if you participate in the boycott and subsequently decide to stop doing so you should notify your Head of School, copying in by completing this form. You should complete and submit this as soon as you decide to stop participating in the boycott.

I will be meeting with Aberdeen UCU later this week to discuss the marking and assessment boycott and the expectation of adherence to UCU guidance and acceptable practice with regard to notification of participation in industrial action.

You can find further information in the Frequently Asked Questions as follows:

Best wishes,


Karl Leydecker
Senior Vice-Principal

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