• STV
  • MySTV

Workers at exams body set to strike on results day

SQA staff furious after restructure leaves remaining employees shouldering extra load.

Exams: SQA staff have been left without specific roles (file pic).
Exams: SQA staff have been left without specific roles (file pic).

Staff at Scotland's exam body are to strike on three dates, including exam results day, in a dispute over the organisation's restructuring.

The Unite union said the restructuring process at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has left a number of workers without specific job roles and others in roles that they are not best suited to.

It said that 62 workers have been approved for voluntary redundancy as part of the restructuring process and fears that extra responsibilities will now be added to the "depleted workforce".

The union suspended industrial action in May on the basis of an Acas agreement, but stated that if significant progress was not made it would trigger the 14-day legal notification for industrial action based on the mandate it received in May.

Unite members voted by 90% for strike action on an 80.5% turnout, while 94.7% voted for industrial action short of a strike.

Its members will strike on June 26, July 22 and August 6 - which is exam results day, while an overtime ban will be in place in the week leading up to August 6.

Alison MacLean, Unite regional industrial officer, said: "The situation beggars belief, the workforce are already stressed, demoralised and dismayed.

"Now to add insult to injury, staff may now be expected to pick up additional work. Unite will now hold our first ever industrial action starting on 26 June and this will be ongoing.

"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: "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. 

"We are also committed to listen to, and address, the important issues that have been raised by its members. We are focused on relationship building and moving forward, together, into the future. 

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

"SQA has also concluded its Voluntary Early Release (VER) scheme. As an organisation we continue to evolve our products and services to meet the changing needs of our stakeholders and customers, such as the need to make cost efficiencies. 

"The VER scheme was introduced as part of our response to these changing needs. 

"The scheme has also created opportunities for employees to be considered for voluntary early release from the organisation with financial compensation, where this is of mutual benefit to the employee and to SQA." 

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "Strike action would not be in the interests of anybody, least of all Scotland's young people who have worked so hard to achieve the qualifications they deserve. 

"I discussed this with the Chair and current Chief Executive of SQA last night and made explicitly clear that I expect the 2019 Diet to be delivered on schedule, with no adverse implications for young people. 

"I expect SQA and Unite to work to reach a successful resolution."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.