The national academic marking boycott has been temporarily called off after talks between trade unionists and employers were organised.

The development was announced in a joint statement by the University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK, who are currently locked in a battle over proposed reforms to the USS pension scheme, which academics claim would leave them worse off.

In an attempt to find a solution, a series of negotiations have been arranged for representatives from the UCU and Universities UK.

The discussions will take place immediately and run until after the Joint Negotiation Committee meeting scheduled for 15 January 2015.

Both Parties said in a joint statement: “UCU and UUK have agreed to a series of negotiating meetings between now and the scheduled January JNC.

“It is hoped that this period can be used to close the differences between the negotiating positions, with a view to reaching agreement on reforms to the USS scheme.

“Both parties are pleased that the agreement to suspend industrial action at this early stage will mean that students will not have been adversely affected and members of staff will not have had pay deducted.”

Academics at 69 University and College Union branches around the UK, including the University of Sussex branch, voted to take part in action short of a strike in October.

At a Sussex UCU Emergency Members Meeting on Tuesday, tutors elected to continue the marking boycott until more ‘concrete proposals’ were offered by employers.

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