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Strike at University of Bristol amid 'dodgy' degree scandal

7 June 2023

Staff at the University of Bristol are set to strike on Friday 16 June during an open day in an acrimonious pay dispute, UCU announced today.

UCU members are also boycotting marking. The university has responded by bypassing degree accreditation processes and confirming it will dock 50% of pay from staff participating in the boycott. Hundreds of staff and students have signed an open letter condemning management's attempts to degrade the credibility of any degrees awarded by the university.  

Bristol has an income of £858m and £374m in the bank. UCU said it should be trying to resolve the dispute instead of impoverishing staff.

UCU members are striking over management's pay docking for staff participating in the marking boycott. Unison members employed by the will also strike on the open day over pay and conditions. 

The boycott covers all marking and assessment at 145 UK universities. It will continue until employer body the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) makes an improved offer in the ongoing pay and working conditions dispute, at which point UCU will decide whether to continue the action or call it off. 

In March, UCU successfully renewed its mandate in the dispute, allowing action to be called for a further six months at 145 universities, including Bristol. 

The National Union of Students, Queen's University Belfast, the University of Sussex, and the University of Cambridge have all called on UCEA to re-enter negotiations so the dispute can be resolved and students can graduate. 

University of Bristol UCU branch president Jamie Melrose said: 'Strikes on open days, arbitrary pay cuts, dodgy degrees: instead of raising the temperature of an already hot summer on campus, University of Bristol management should spend their time settling this long-running dispute. The vice-chancellor needs to halt the pay docking and call for national negotiations to reopen. Students and staff demand nothing less.' 

Last updated: 8 June 2023