The pay offer is deeply disappointing. Irrespective of the outcome of the pay ballot, the union needs to initiate an open discussion on strategies to further our claim whenever pay negotiations reopen. The problems of effectively implementing a national assessment boycott, which has proved divisive and prompted conscientious objections from dedicated teachers, need to be recognised.
Most academics want to teach and to research, not to spend excessive amounts of time on administration and bureaucracy. I suspect that a boycott of administration would touch at the heart of much of what triggers discontent in the profession and would be as popular with staff as it would be unpopular with university managers.
Any future vote on an assessment boycott must put the words "assessment boycott" on the ballot paper, not the portmanteau "action short of a strike". Other options must also be put to members who wish to demonstrate their support for a pay claim that has been carefully costed and continues to enjoy massive support.