Statement regarding NATFHE industrial action
Statement from the University on the NATFHE industrial action
The current national pay dispute in higher education has seen the academic unions AUT and NATFHE (National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education) follow a one-day strike with an on-going boycott of setting and marking exams and course work. The University recognises NATFHE as the trade union for academic staff.
In respect of the impact this national dispute has on the University, NATFHE has called on its members to take continuous industrial action short of a strike. This action includes a marking boycott covering all aspects of the student assessment process.
Although it is doing all it reasonably can to minimise disruption, the University can not predict the extent of this action. The minority of academic staff who are NATFHE members are continuing to set assessment tasks and we strongly advise students to complete assessments and submit them on time. NATFHE have advised their members to give feedback to students on all work submitted for assessment and to alert any student who fails to achieve the required standard. In these cases, the union has advised academic staff to inform students that they must re-present their work or undertake an alternative assessment task.
The University is making plans to enable first and second year students with an incomplete set of marks as a result of industrial action to re-enrol provisionally on the next stage of study, provided that they have achieved sufficient credit. Progression to the next stage will be confirmed once industrial action has ended and the Progression and Award Boards have been able to consider outstanding marks.
The University is also planning to hold graduation ceremonies as scheduled, but recognises that, if the dispute continues, some students may not be able to graduate at the expected time. If such circumstances do arise, it is intended to offer students the opportunity to graduate after the dispute has been resolved and it has been possible for the Progression and Award Boards to confirm the final results for students affected in this way.
The Universities Employers' Association (UCEA) is working hard on behalf of the University to resolve this complex and difficult situation by reaching agreement, at the earliest opportunity, on an affordable and sustainable settlement effective from August 2006.
The University greatly regrets the concerns that this situation raises for students and hopes that the national dispute can be brought to a speedy conclusion.