Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will begin a boycott of marking on 28 April unless Higher Education bosses make concessions on pay.
Higher Education workers have already struck six times against a 1% pay offer for 2013-2014.
The boycott will be of all formal assessments.
Talks between the unions representing workers in higher education and the Employers Association were held on 26 March; those talks were over 2014-15 pay claim (which is being presented by the union as a continuation of the current dispute). However no offer was made. Further talks will be held on 15 April.
The unions want pay to reflect current rates of inflation, devaluing of real terms pay over the last five years, low pay rates among certain groups of workers and increases in London Weighting.
If the boycott does go ahead the crunch time will be June and July when marks for most formal assessments will be due.
In some institutions the boycott will be strong, in others less so.
To win this dispute the union needs strong student solidarity.
Student activists have a key role to play in winning over students on the arguments, getting protests, organising writing to individual vice chancellors, calling for a increased pay offer for staff.
The UCU argues that universities, with a a collective surplus of more than £1 billion, can pay staff more. Vice-chancellors have had an average 6% pay rise.