Almost 84 per cent of members taking part in a ballot voted to back a 2 per cent pay offer for next year and stop the boycott, which was due to start next week. Just 16 per cent rejected the offer.
On 2 May the union’s higher education committee met to consider the ballot result and “confirmed that the dispute is over and the marking boycott off”, according to a UCU statement.
UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “UCU members have made it overwhelmingly clear that they wish to accept the 2 per cent pay offer and call off the proposed marking boycott.
“We shall be informing universities of their decision and that the marking boycott is off. My thanks go to UCU members for their support in this dispute.”
The vote was called after the UCU postponed the original start date of the boycott – 28 April – to 6 May to allow for members to consider the pay offer.
The proposed boycott – and a series of strikes held since October – were part of an ongoing dispute over a pay offer of 1 per cent for the current academic year.
A total of 30,141 votes were counted in the ballot, a turnout of 52.6 per cent. Out of the eligible votes cast, 25,239 voted to accept the offer and call off the marking boycott (83.7 per cent) and 4,902 voted to reject it (16.3 per cent).
The Universities and Colleges Employers Association issued a statement saying it was “pleased that the employers’ ‘full and final’ pay offer of 2 per cent for 2014-15 has been accepted by the vast majority of UCU members”.
“Students and the sector more broadly will be relieved that the planned assessment boycott has now been called off,” the statement added.
Ucea pointed out that the remaining unions with staff working in universities – including Unison and Unite – were still consulting on the pay offer, which included a 2.2 per cent increase for the lowest-paid workers.
“If accepted by the remaining trade unions the increase will bring the vast majority of staff in the sector on the lowest points of the pay scale to rates equivalent to or above the Living Wage,” it claimed.