Marking and Assessment Boycott update

Marking and Assessment Boycott update

Further update on the Marking and Assessment Boycott

Dear colleagues,

This is to provide a further update on the Marking and Assessment Boycott, including information for staff choosing to participate in it. You can view previous communications on this issue here.

I am pleased to confirm that, despite the boycott, we have been able to ensure that almost all students will be able graduate as planned this summer, or progress to their next level of study. Work is ongoing to ensure that the small number of outstanding cases will be resolved in time for our Summer Graduations. This has been achieved as a result of a combination of the temporary additional measures approved by the University’s academic governing body, Senate, as well as a great deal of hard work by staff within our Schools and the Registry.  Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this possible.

As previously communicated, arrangements are now being made to withhold pay in the June payroll for staff who have participated in the boycott. Staff impacted by this will now have received correspondence from their Head of School/Section as well as Human Resources.

Some queries have been raised and, to assist, additional FAQs have been created which seek to clarify how withholding of pay is being applied, what days are/aren’t included in the calculation and information about tax and national insurance. If you are impacted and have a query, please raise this with the HR contact detailed in the letter you have received. To assist, the deadline for raising queries has been extended to 5pm today, 13 June.

It is appreciated that the vast majority of staff are choosing not to participate in the boycott. Whilst we hope that the dispute will be resolved, the mandate for the boycott continues until October 2023 and we have received queries about how withholding of pay will be applied going forward, should staff choose to participate.  The table provides further detail, with pay withheld at the same 50% rate in each case.

Marking/assessment activity

Withholding of pay for staff who participate

Assigned marking

Pay will be withheld from the day that marking has been assigned until the deadline given by Heads of School for returning marking.

Not attending an exam board

Pay will be withheld for the day of the exam board.

Not attending an academic misconduct hearing

Pay will be withheld for the date(s) staff do not attend.


The University remains hopeful that the boycott will be concluded through resolution of the dispute nationally.  We will also continue to meet with Aberdeen UCU, seeking to accelerate work on key pay related areas of mutual concern – most notably casualisation and workload – wherever possible.

Best wishes


Karl Leydecker

Senior Vice-Principal