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Union calls on University of Portsmouth to reverse punitive sanctions on staff

6 December 2023

UCU members at the University of Portsmouth are calling on the university to refund the deductions it made from the pay of staff who took part in industrial action in the summer and autumn.

Staff participated in a boycott of marking and assessment as part of the union's campaign to improve pay and conditions for university staff. They withdrew labour equivalent to less than 10% of their annual workload but have seen some 72 days of pay deducted from their wages. For some individuals the total deduction is close to £10,000.

The university claims that it does not accept partial performance and so docked 100% of their wages even though they continued to teach students, undertake administration, and carried on with research. Incredibly, the university says it regards this work as being undertaken on "voluntary" terms when staff also participated in a boycott of marking and assessment.   

UCU has called on the university to reverse these deductions, but in the meantime has set up a GoFundMe page to take donations so that staff and their families can get what they deserve. 

UCU general secretary, Jo Grady said, "It is disappointing and unnecessary for University of Portsmouth to have taken this approach. The deductions that they have made are punitive, disproportionate and cruel. UCU will continue to press the employer to do what is right and return pay that was taken from staff."   

Last updated: 8 December 2023