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Reporting Requirements for the Marking and Assessment Boycott

22 May 2023

Those participating in the Marking and Assessment Boycott are required to report their involvement as per University Requirements and national UCU guidance.

John Owens building

On 19 April, we notified colleagues that UCU had announced an extension of their Action Short of Strike (ASOS) to include a Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB), which commenced on Thursday 20 April.  

We recognise that most of our colleagues are continuing to work as normal and thank you for your sustained dedication and support. We continue to communicate this position and reassure our student population, reiterating that whilst most students will remain unaffected, measures are being put in place to limit disruption. 

Reporting requirements 

Within our prior communication, we informed colleagues of the University’s reporting requirements for those choosing to participate in the action and details of any pay to be withheld as a result.  

Since then, all academic colleagues should have also received a further email request from their Heads of Department/Heads of School, reiterating the University’s stance and outlining their reporting obligations. This is an important process to ensure the University’s GDPR requirements are met and minimise the potential for errors or misunderstanding, and to limit disruption.  

We have subsequently been made aware that The University of Manchester’s branch of The University and College Union (UMUCU) has been providing conflicting advice to its members, telling them:  

  • "Do not use the reporting form. 
  • Do not reply to requests to report before the end of the action, EXCEPT for staff on migrant visas.” 

We must highlight that this advice is not only contrary to that of our own University guidance but also that of the UCU’s national guidance, which advises all members that: 

  • “If you are asked about whether you are participating in ASOS you should respond only in terms of what action you have taken/are currently taking, but not answer about future intentions regarding ASOS.  
  • If asked directlywhether 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.”  

Therefore, we reiterate again that all those currently taking part in the MAB must report their participation as soon as possible (and by the earliest date on which any marking or assessment duties can commence but they choose not to do so) via the attached form or directly to their Head of School. Please be assured that you are not being advised by UCU nationally to wait until the action is concluded before declaring participation.  

Whilst we recognise the difficult choice that many of our colleagues are facing and respect the right of colleagues who are choosing to take part in the ASOS, our obligation will always remain in the interests of our students.  

Adèle MacKinlay 

Director of People and Organisational Development