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Nine days of strikes at University of Leicester over pay docking

19 June 2023

Staff at the University of Leicester begin nine days of strike action on Wednesday over the university's enforcement of 50% wage deductions for staff taking part in the marking boycott.

The full days of strike action are: 

  • week 1: Wednesday 21 June 
  • week 2: Monday 26, Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 June 
  • week 3: Tuesday 18 July, Wednesday 19 July, Thursday 20 July, Friday 21 July.

Management at Leicester plans to stop paying staff 50% of their salary from the first day marking becomes available until the boycott ends. 

The boycott covers all marking and assessment, including in writing, online, or verbally 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 ongoing national pay and conditions dispute, allowing action to be called for a further six months at 145 universities, including Leicester. UCU members at 21 universities have now either taken or confirmed they will take strike action over pay docking [NOTE 1]. 

Leicester has an income of £340m and has £49m in the bank. UCU said it should be trying to resolve the dispute instead of impoverishing staff. 

The National Union of Students, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 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 Leicester UCU communications officer Cara Dobbing said: 'The brutal pay docking regime Leicester's management is enforcing means a staff member with a single unmarked essay could lose a month's wages. Attacking staff like this only adds fuel to the fire. Leicester needs to stop the pay docking and call on UCEA to re-enter negotiations so students can graduate.' 

Last updated: 19 June 2023