UCL UCU: Important update on MAB deductions from UCL

4 July 2023

An important update about the MAB to share with members...

UCL has announced significant changes to the way deductions for participating in the Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB) will be calculated and when they will be made. 

Union reps met HR this morning at a special JCNC consultation meeting where we discussed principles for what UCL refers to as a ‘review’ or MAB deductions.

To discuss this and any other aspect of the MAB, please join our MAB Organising meeting this Wednesday, July 5, 1-2pm: Click here to register on Zoom.

The key points are as follows:

  • Staff who have declared they are participating in the boycott will not see pay deductions from July. The earliest date for deductions will be from their November salary, on a phased basis across a three-month period (November 2023 – January 2024).

  • UCL will launch a ‘review’ of MAB deductions by sending a survey to all 161 staff who have currently declared participation. UCL have not stated what this process will look like, or what criteria UCL will use to assess individual cases. However, we can say that key data are likely to include

    • Start and end dates for marking 

    • Proportionality of deductions and workload

    • Contractual limits on marking or deductions

  • The review will take place in September at the end of the boycott (start of term), when information about participation in the MAB across the full boycott period is available.

What this means for Pledging and MABing

We appreciate that this news will be a relief to many, especially as we start moving towards a summer break. But UCL has not committed to reducing deductions, and we do not know the outcome of this ‘review’. 

UCL has recorded 161 staff as participating, and so far 126 have told us that they need financial support. As you know we are operating on the basis that we ensure that no MAB participant loses more than 7 days’ pay.

We are asking colleagues to consider adding their name to the more than 250 members who have already pledged 7 days’ net pay. And, although we won’t now need to pay out to members until November, we would encourage members who have already made pledges to turn them into donations if they can. 

Colleagues should follow the steps set out below.

To make a Pledge or report MAB participation:

  1. Download the MAB calculator spreadsheet to work out the total deductions after tax you would face for participating (assuming a limit of 0.5 x 70 days) or what a pledge of 7 days’ net pay would cost you, and 

  2. Complete the webform (link to form emailed to members - see inbox for details) to tell us whether you have declared your MAB participation, or are willing to make a Pledge or other one-off donation.

To turn the Pledge into a donation:

  1. If you make a Pledge using this form, you will then be emailed with details about how to translate it into a donation to the Hardship Fund. 

All donations made in this way are intended to be fully reversible, and if your donation is not needed it will be refunded, in whole or in part. The entire process is not subject to tax – strike pay is not taxed for the recipient, and donations are not tax-deductible.

Other things you can do

Reach out to students. If your students are concerned about the impact of the MAB, please direct them to UCL students’ #SettleTheDispute and video campaigns. You can also send them this UCL UCU Open Letter to students on the impact of mitigation.

Please attend the MAB meeting tomorrow, 1pm Wednesday 5 July, on Zoom (Register here).

Hold the line!

UCL UCU Executive Committee