The branch operates through members volunteering. Whether that's through leading the branch on Committee, helping out with casework, getting involved in our campaigns or becoming a department rep - there's something for everyone and we provide free education and support along the way.
In partnership with our sister campus trade unions, we are recognised to negotiate and consult staff terms and conditions with University of Aberdeen management. We are a democratic and member-led union where members are encouraged to actively get involved in the branch.
We don't just provide advice and representation - a union is all about coming together to support each other and to demand change for the better for our working conditions and our students' learning conditions.
Marking and Assessment Boycott - notifying participation
Your Branch encourages you to support the Marking and Assessment Boycott in order to better our working conditions and to build a better university for our students. You will be contacted, frequently, by senior management and/or your Head of School asking you to fill out an online form within a short deadline, and implying that failure to do so will be a failure of your union obligations. Your Branch advises you to answer truthfully to any request of information, but to be aware that our UCU guidance does not hold you to a specific deadline, time-limit, or form of reply. Therefore your reply could be an email or a verbal comment to your line manager. If you do choose to fill out the online form you will make the notification process effective and efficient for Management. If you choose to fill out the form, you may want to alter it, or send an alternate email which specifies exactly the action you have taken or are currently taking on the day on which you are writing (for example, refusing to moderate one set of scripts). You should be very clear that this should not be taken to state your future intentions. You could, then, also indicate “I am continuing to perform all my other normal duties other than those affected by the marking and assessment boycott and any other lawful action short of strike/industrial action called by my union”.
It is important that you only notify the employer from the day that you begin participating in the boycott. This date should be reflect what you would normally do when setting about marking. Thus if you have three weeks to mark a set of essays, it is very unlikely that you would normally begin marking at midnight on the day that the essays were submitted. It might be more normal to begin marking closer to the end of the three-week period. Up until that time, if you are confronted by a Manager, you can truthfully say that you are intending to mark but presently, have your mind on your many other normal duties. You should take custom and practice in your work area with regard to deadlines into account when considering this issue.
The notifications from Management also include a second form which deregisters your participation in the MAB. You may want to consider using this form at the end of the day when you took your specific action (for example, moderating). You then could submit a second set of forms announcing your participation some time later when you might be assigned a new set of scripts. Please remember that our work is complex, and that we do not do marking and assessment every day of the week. The other forms of work are valuable and deserve to be respected.
Hourly paid staff & MAB
Staff on TA1 hourly contracts, and Guaranteed Minimum Hour contracts are in a special situation since marking on the whole forms a majority of their pay and in some cases a notional 50% deduction might end up reducing hourly pay invested in other activities. Your union has alerted senior management to this problem and they have promised to reconsider their threat of deductions and to report back by 1 May. Your Branch urges you to support the MAB, but for the time being to try to schedule your marking within the full range of the dates that you have for returning marks.
Your union has a national fighting fund and a local hardship fund. Applications from those on hourly paid contracts will be given priority for reimbursement.
Exams officer/plagiarism officers/ ALM and head of Departments/ professional services staff
We are aware that there are some roles that will be hit hardest and from earlier than others in MAB. If you hold one of these roles please get in touch, we are trying to network members. Ensuring that we are able to offer each other support.
Following the EGM on Monday, members overwhelmingly voted to support the motion looking to escalate our industrial action in the face of the threat 50% salary deductions for those participating in MAB. The Branch Committee will advise on next steps at the Annual General Meeting on 3rd May.
Eligible members who are experiencing hardship as a result of deductions from salary as a result of strike action can apply for support.
Local Hardship Fund
- For strike action applications
- For MAB Participation applications
Note: You must be signed in to your University of Aberdeen IT account in order to apply to the Aberdeen UCU Hardship Fund and to view the T&Cs. Please contact us if this is an issue.