The University and College Union (UCU) has announced that it will be taking industrial action against proposed changes to staff pensions in the form of an assessment and marking boycott.
The boycott, which will begin on 6 November, means that some January examinations at the University of York could be rescheduled and take place later in the year instead. There may also be a delay in the time it takes to return marked work to students.
The Union revealed it would be taking industrial action after potential alterations to the Universities Superannuation Scheme were announced.
The scheme currently has a deficit of approximately £8bn but it is hoped the proposed changes, which would affect the benefits members of the scheme receive and include increasing employers’ contributions to the pension fund, would reduce this.
In an email sent to all students earlier today, the University informed students it is “strongly encouraging” negotiations to ensure staff are left with “attractive pension packages” at the same time as the deficit being reduced. The University also said it would withhold pay from members of staff who choose to participate in the boycott until they return to work as usual.
It is not known how many members of staff will take part in the assessment boycott as they are not legally required to make the University aware of their intentions in advance.
However, the email stated that if the planned industrial action “followed the pattern” of previous disagreements with the Union, most will not participate in the boycott.
The University also stressed it will do “its best” minimise the impact on students and that it is expected the majority of assessments to be marked and returned to students as they usually would.
The library, IT services and all catering and commercial outlets on campus will not be affected by the UCU’s plans for industrial action.