USS Dispute – What should YOU (not) be doing??
I would strongly advise you too look at the FAQ as this covers all the questions I’ve received so far – http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/assessment-boycott-faqs/ but some highlights:
**Is external examining included in the action?
No. We have balloted members in relation to their principal employment. External examining involves a contract with a separate employer and was not covered by the ballot. Fact sheet for external examiners – http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/files/2011/09/ucu_ussaction_externalexaminers_briefing.pdf
**What exactly does the boycott include?
The boycott is intended to be comprehensive and to include all formal student assessment, including the formal setting of assessed work. By ‘formal’ we mean any assessment, whether expressed numerically or in any other form, which contributes to the award or classification of any degree, certificate, diploma or any other academic or professional qualification.
It applies to all levels, sub-degree, undergraduate or postgraduate, and to all forms of higher education and professional training, full-time, part-time or distance learning.
As well as final awards at the end of courses, the boycott also covers assessment that contributes to decisions about the suitability of students to continue with their studies (eg at the end of the first year of a degree course) or to undertake particular options or modules (eg where they have prerequisites).
The assessment boycott is not restricted to final examinations, but includes any form of in-course continuous assessment. It will include traditional essay setting and marking, but also setting and assessment of any student work falling within the formal assessment defined above, including, for example, the setting or assessment of projects and dissertations, laboratory and other practical work, performance (eg in music or drama) and supervised practice (eg in teacher education).
Examination of dissertations and theses at postgraduate level, as well as vivas, are included in the action.
**Are there any exemptions from the boycott?
The boycott often lead to staff having to take very difficult decisions. That is why this sanction is used only very rarely and also why it is effective. In order to be fair on every member, the union is therefore unable to offer any exemptions from the boycott.
**But what if my job is almost entirely devoted to the administration of examinations?
There are a small number of members, such as examination officers working in university registries, whose jobs are wholly or substantially devoted to examinations work. They are not covered by the action short of a strike and while they should refuse to take on the work of others who are participating in the action they should continue to work normally.
THERE ARE MANY MORE ANSWERS AT http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/assessment-boycott-faqs/ If you have further questions please reply email me!