UCL UCU: Call for financial solidarity for the Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB)

We previously asked members to tell us whether they are participating in the MAB, or wished to pledge financial support instead and now we need you to confirm using our secure webform.

Dear UCL UCU member

As you know, UCL has told staff to expect a 50% deduction from salary for a period of some 70 days. We have formally disputed this blanket deduction. Academic Board has voted against it. Colleagues have filed grievance letters as part of the declaration process. But we have to assume that UCL is going ahead, and we must support our colleagues right now.

The branch has agreed that we should aim to cover these deductions by donations from members backed up by our local Hardship Fund.

We previously asked members to tell us whether they are participating in the MAB, or wished to pledge financial support instead. This allowed us to do some initial planning.

But now we need full details from everyone who is participating: Click here to complete our secure webform.

We have also created a MAB calculator spreadsheet. The calculator estimates the impact of tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) on pay deductions.

Estimated examples (with full London Weighting):

  • Grade 7 point 32 (£42,674) - net deduction £2,599.33, pledge / final losses £519.87*
  • Grade 8 point 37 (£48,614) - net deduction £3,137.62, pledge / final losses £627.52
  • Grade 8 point 43 (£57,041) - net deduction £3,172.42, pledge / final losses £634.48
  • Grade 9 point 46 (£61,923) - net deduction £3,443.94, pledge / final losses £688.79

*This assumes that UCL follows through on its stated commitment to not paying less than the London Living Wage after the deduction is made.

The calculator makes a more precise prediction accounting for individual circumstances.

Please can you:

  1. Download the MAB calculator spreadsheet
  2. Complete the webform to tell us whether you have declared your MAB participation, or are willing to make a Pledge or one-off donation

We are asking Pledging members to donate the equivalent of 7 days net pay (we will accept less, naturally!). This will allow us to support MAB participants so they also only lose the equivalent of 7 days’ pay over the ‘central assessment period’.

We are putting up our entire Hardship Fund of £160,000 to support this process. 

If UCL reduces its scale of pay deductions (or the dispute is settled) then we will contact colleagues and reverse donations accordingly. Please note, however, that UCL has not ruled out making deductions for more than 70 days.

We are in members’ hands! 

Key information for MAB participants

Apart from PGTAs (see below) the expected schedule of deductions is:

  • Deductions will start in the payslip you receive at the end of July, and continue in August and September payslips
  • Deductions will be spread evenly across those three months
  • Tax and national insurance will be reconciled promptly

The webform allows you to ask for your claim to be prioritised in case of hardship. Some members have told us they have negligible savings and rents to pay.

Many PGTAs may not have payslips in July, and some may finish their PhD and leave. We understand that UCL intends to send letters to PGTAs to reclaim part of their wages. We will let you know when we have more information about how this will work. 

We also appreciate that for PGTAs it may be harder to calculate deductions, not least because UCL has said that they will not pay less than the London Living Wage. Please use the last page of the secure form to explain what you think you will lose and we will be back in touch with you directly to confirm the details.

If you have any questions please get in touch.

Key information for Pledgers

We are not asking for Pledges from PGTAs.

We want members to pledge the full 7 days net donation (after tax and NI) if at all possible. If you can afford to pay in as a single donation, that would be ideal, but you could also plan to split it into three donations by direct debit. 

We expect to start paying out to support members at the end of July. This means that we need to ask colleagues to plan to make donations at the start of July. (Obviously if you can only pay later, then we will still accept late donations!)

Note: This plan is based on the assumption that UCL will make 70 days of pay deductions at 50%. We are also working on the assumption that no support is available from UCU’s central Fighting Fund. If this changes we will be in touch with members!

The infrastructure to take donation payments is currently being finalised. We will be back in touch shortly about that.

Thank you for supporting your union and your colleagues.

UCL UCU Executive Committee