A UCU balloon at a trade union march

Academic staff at King’s College London have agreed to end their marking boycott after winning an increase to London weighting, longer parental leave and childcare subsidies. The industrial action was coordinated by the University and College Union (UCU).

96 per cent of King’s College UCU members attending a meeting last week voted to end the boycott and accept the deal.

The deal includes a rise to £5,000 for London weighting – up from £3,500 in 2021, an increase from 18 to 20 weeks paid maternity leave and from two to six weeks paid paternity leave, and 20 per cent child care cost subsidies for under threes.

UCU members have been boycotting all marking and assessments in a long-running local dispute. The staff were due to take strike action from next Monday for five days in the ongoing national higher education dispute over pay and conditions. Both actions have now been called off.

UCU regional official Barry Jones said: ‘This deal makes a big difference for our members, especially those on the lowest incomes and those with caring responsibilities. I want to thank King’s College London for making us an offer that has settled this local dispute. We look forward to continuing to work with management to create a new recognition agreement and deal with high workloads, casualisation, pay gaps and career progression. Other universities now need to follow King’s lead.’

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Image credit: It’s No Game – Creative Commons