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SQA strike action to 'severely delay' student appeals

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Post time 2022-8-26 13:57:53 | Show all posts |Read mode
SQA strike action to 'severely delay' student appeals




Up to 22,000 student appeals will be "severely delayed" after workers voted in favour of strike action, a trade union has warned.


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Staff at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) opted to go on strike after they voted down a "derisory" pay offer that ranged from 1.7% to 4%.


Unite confirmed that the strikes will happen on 8, 15 and 16 September.


The SQA has said it will continue to discuss the pay offer with unions and the Scottish government.


Unite represents hundreds of workers at the exams body.


It has hit out at the pay offer as the retail price index of inflation has soared to 11.8% - a figure it says is a 40-year high.


The Scottish government announced in June that the SQA was to be scrapped as part of a "substantial" overhaul of education.


The exams body is to be broken up and replaced, with pupils, parents and teachers to be consulted on changes.


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Three new education bodies will be created - a qualifications body, a national agency for Scottish education, and an independent inspection body.


Just under 86% of SQA workers supported strike action on a turnout of just under 79%.


An overtime ban and ban on accrual of time off in lieu will also be in effect from 8 September to 30 November.


The SQA will confirm the results of priority appeals to UCAS on 6 September. In terms of standard appeals, the appeals service opened on 9 August and the deadline for centres to submit these is 2 September.


'Very disappointed'
Ms MacLean said: "Not only have they been offered a brutal real terms pay cut, but they have, in effect, been locked-out of the ongoing discussions surrounding education reform.


"Meaningful dialogue and an opportunity for staff to shape the discussions was promised to us in light of the vast experience of our members. Hundreds of workers could see their job roles and conditions being significantly altered yet none of us are any the wiser on what this proposed reform will mean on a day-to day basis."


A spokesman for the SQA said: "We fully recognise the impact that the cost of living is having on staff and remain in close dialogue with the trade unions with a view to reaching a fair outcome on pay. As a public sector employer funded by the Scottish government, we are working with the Scottish government to seek agreement to improve our pay offer.

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