Risk to exam results in 2024 after SQA vote to strike

School pupils risk not getting their exam results next year as the SQA votes to strike.

It's over a dispute on pay. Unite says 38% of workers have hit the pay ceiling so can't get any more.

The union says hundreds from across the company backed action,

It will discuss potential dates, which could affect next year's exam results.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “The resounding mandate for strike action is a direct result of senior management’s failure to make a fair pay offer. Unless this is quickly addressed then our members will have no option but to take strike action in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions at the SQA. ”

The union says it also has concerns on the scrapping of the SQA, and the lack of assurances over job roles and locations, conditions and pay of the existing workforce, in any new organisation, which it says have not been addressed.

Alison Maclean, Unite industrial officer, said: "Unite’s members at the SQA have resoundingly backed strike action for the second year running. This should come as no surprise to senior management. We have repeatedly told them the pay offer was entirely unacceptable. 

“We will now discuss potential dates for industrial action which could affect the SQA’s ability to provide exam results next year.”

“There remains a number of outstanding issues in relation to the scrapping of the SQA which have still not been addressed. The nation's new qualifications body is set to be up and running in 2025. Yet, we have been given no clarity on how this organisation will operate. It simply isn’t good enough, which is why the Scottish Government and SQA management repeatedly fail our members’ confidence test.”  

An SQA spokesperson said: “The pay deal on offer is fair and reasonable, and represents the maximum amount that is affordable and permitted by the Scottish Government’s pay strategy. It represents a total average increase of 7.43% in year one and a further total average rise of 5.19% in year two, taking into account pay progression.

"Industrial action is not in the interests of learners. We are committed to minimising any disruption and have contingency plans in place to protect delivery of vital services."

"The majority of SQA colleagues are not members of Unite. SQA employs around 1100 colleagues."

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