Strikes may affect exams

The SQA building at Shawfair Roundabout near Danderhall
The SQA building at Shawfair Roundabout near Danderhall

Unite the union has confirmed that its members will take strike action at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) over restructuring concerns.

Staff will walk out on three dates between now and August and concerns are that it may affect exam marking.

A previous agreement via ACAS resulted in the SQA being committed to a series of measures designed to address the restructuring issues that contributed to the substantial lack of trust and confidence in SQA management.

The restructuring process which has led to the dispute has left a number of workers without specific job roles and others in roles that they are not best suited to but had no option to accept to ensure continued job security.

Alison MacLean, for Unite, said: “Unite suspended any industrial action, due to the ACAS brokered Agreement in May. However, management have now created a situation even worse than a few months ago. They have broken the pre-existing Agreement we had with them, and now they have contrived to break the Acas Agreement which was established to avert industrial action.”

“The situation beggars belief, the workforce are already stressed, demoralised and dismayed. There will also be an overtime ban in place in the week leading up to 6 August which is exam results day in Scotland. Let’s be crystal clear here, this dispute has been created, directed and exacerbated at every turn by SQA mismanagement and incompetence of the highest order. Unless immediate action is taken to address our members’ legitimate concerns then more days of action will be inevitable.”

An SQA spokesman said: “Under the auspices of ACAS, SQA agreed a positive way forward with the Unite union, agreeing a detailed action plan which continues to be delivered.

“SQA is fully committed to ensuring that candidates receive their results on time. We have an established framework in place, where risks are managed, supported by robust contingency plans.

“We are committed to working in partnership with the Unite union and have made significant progress on the process that is undertaken in a restructure.