We are sorry that the University has received notification from University and College Union (UCU) of an intention to ask its members to take part in continuous action short of a strike with effect from 16 January 2015, in the form of a marking and assessment boycott. We had been hopeful that the process for seeking an agreed solution to the proposed USS pension reforms would have run its course before action was resumed.
You are aware that a sub group of the University’s Council undertook a detailed review of what may be proposed, and that the University has made public its analysis and critique of some of the assumptions behind the reforms to USS and of the current employer proposal. You will also be aware that we are just one of 240+ employers participating in the USS scheme which, by definition, limits Warwick’s influence over events.
We are obliged to remind you, as has UCU, that taking part in this action is a breach of your employment contract. Taking a purely legal perspective, we could legitimately refuse to make any payments to those taking part in the marking and assessment boycott but, for the time being, have decided to limit deductions to 25% of pay from those electing to participate. This deduction will be continuous from the point at which you notify us you are taking action or where we become aware that this is the case. Your full pay will be restored with effect from the date that you inform us that you have both ceased to take action and that you will not be taking any further part in the boycott.
We hope that negotiations at the USS Joint Negotiating Committee will result in an agreed proposal for reform. We are also acutely aware that members of UCU are totally committed to delivering an excellent educational experience for Warwick students, who will of course be those that are affected most by this form of dispute. We very much hope that you will therefore choose not to take part in the proposed boycott; we will be working with Departments to ensure that the impact on students of any action taken is kept to an absolute minimum.
Professor Stuart Croft, Provost
Ken Sloan, Registrar