University College Union (UCU) industrial action at City

UCU is taking part in a Marking and Assessment boycott.

City has been notified that the University and College Union (UCU) is calling on its members to take industrial action in the form of a Marking and Assessment Boycott from Thursday 20 April 2023.

The action is in support of its dispute over the outcome of the national pay negotiations for 2022/23.

We understand that you will be worried about this and would like to assure you we are doing all we can to mitigate the impact on your education. Your School will be in contact with more information about the potential impact and any arrangements in place, so please ensure you check your emails regularly.

The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) aim to provide you with additional information and reassurance regarding the potential impact and mitigations we are taking. We will continue to add to the FAQs, so please do check them regularly.

What this means for you

Our main priority will be to minimise the disruption to your education and student experience. We are working with colleagues across the University and Students’ Union to develop our plans and put mitigations in place where possible.

The level of disruption you experience is likely to vary depending on what course you’re studying, so please continue to check your emails regularly for the latest information from your School.

Support for you

If you would like to speak to someone or need any advice, our Student Support Services and the Students’ Union will continue to be available during this time.

Further information and questions

You can find further information on the industrial action and implications in the below FAQs,

If you have any other questions about the Industrial Action, please contact our dedicated inbox:

If you have queries about your programme, please contact your School using the following details:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What form will the industrial action take?

The action will be a marking assessment boycott, which means any academic staff who are on strike will refuse to carry out assessment and marking duties during this time.

Striking staff may create a picket line by standing outside their workplace to tell people why they are taking part in industrial action and ask them not to cross the line.

When will the action take place?

The Marking and Assessment boycott is taking place from Thursday 20 April.

What is City doing to mitigate against the impact of industrial action for students?

Our main priority is to minimise the disruption to your education and student experience.Our Industrial Action Quality & Standards Group meets ahead of and regularly throughout the action to maintain an overview of the academic impact of industrial action across the University and look at mitigations we can take. This group includes representation from all Schools, and the President of the Students’ Union.

Will the strikes affect my exams or Graduation?

We are working hard to minimise the impact of the action on you and your studies. Any changes that are needed to mitigate the impact of the industrial action will be done to ensure fairness to students and to retain the integrity of our academic standards.

You should continue to follow the Exam Timetable, which was published on 24 March, and complete any other assessments unless your School informs you there are any changes.

All Graduation ceremonies will go ahead as planned.

I have an upcoming assessment or deadline, what should I do?

Please work on the basis that the assessment (including practical sessions) is taking place unless informed otherwise.

For example, please submit your coursework by the stated deadline. Work on the assumption that normal penalties will continue to apply to late or the non-submission of coursework or non-attendance. This includes deadlines or sessions falling on planned strike days. You will be notified by your course team if there are changes to scheduling or deadlines.

Will I be able to contact my personal tutor/course officer etc during the strike?

Yes, you will still be able to contact staff as you usually would. There may be a delay in receiving a response, so if your question requires urgent attention or in doubt, please contact your Course Office.

You can also contact our Student Support Services and the Students’ Union support.

I am a postgraduate research student - what will this mean for me?

It may be the case that your supervisor takes action and therefore any scheduled supervision for a strike day may be cancelled and need to be rescheduled.

If you have a viva examination or formal progression meeting planned, then please assume this will go ahead unless you hear otherwise.

Can I make an application to submit extenuating circumstances for the impact the strike action has had on me?

There is no need for you to report the disruption through completion of an Extenuating Circumstances form. The University will have gathered detailed information on how industrial action may have impacted each module. This information will be available to Assessment Boards.

If you have a specific set of individual circumstances which have affected your studies then you should complete an Extenuating Circumstances Form in the usual way. Equally, if you feel your work has been disproportionately impacted by the industrial action in one or more assessments because of your own individual circumstances (e.g. caring responsibilities, medical or other personal problems) then you can also complete a form.

Will I be able to apply for a refund of my fees due to the action?

We appreciate that industrial action is disruptive and you have invested financially in your education. We will be carefully monitoring the impact of strike action on modules, programmes and individual students. Our primary focus will be on mitigating against the impact and ensuring your assessments are marked on time.

If you wish to apply for a refund once the full impact of strike action on you is clear, you can do so through City’s complaints process. You can find further information on the University’s Complaints procedure on the Student Hub.

I want to make a complaint due to strike action – what do I do?

We will be monitoring the impact of strike action on the teaching and marking of modules, programmes and individual students very carefully. Our primary focus will be on mitigating against the impact of any missed teaching or marking, and to ensure no student is disadvantaged in assessment through any disruption.

We wish to cooperate with students to resolve issues before the need for making a formal complaint.

If you feel your issues have not been satisfactorily resolved, we recommend that you submit a formal stage 2 complaint only once the full impacts of strike action on you is clear. This would usually be following the respective Assessment Boards for the programmes impacted by the strike action. You can find further information on the University’s Complaints procedure on the Student Hub.

Should I continue to submit assessments and attend teaching during strikes?

Yes, during strike action, you are expected to attend teaching as usual. The University will not repeat teaching, tutorials or related activity that goes ahead normally during the strike action.

You are also expected to submit any assessments, including coming into City to provide a hard copy, if this is a specific requirement, or to complete in-person assessments such as tests or presentations. If you choose not to participate in an assessment, this may be taken as a non-submission and you should contact your Course Office.

If you have any other questions about the Industrial Action please email