Strike by exam body called off after agreement and apology
Unite organised the industrial action over a restructuring process at the SQA.
Staff at Scotland's exam body have called off a strike scheduled to take place next week.
Unite organised the industrial action over a restructuring process at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), which left a number of workers without specific job roles and others in roles they are not best suited to.
It said that 62 workers had been approved for voluntary redundancy as part of the restructuring process - which was "concluded without proper or timely consultation with the trade unions".
After an intervention from the Scottish Government, on Friday afternoon the union confirmed that a strike set for June 26 had been scrapped following a joint agreement between Unite and the SQA Executive Management Team.
A Unite spokesperson said: "The direct discussions between Unite and the SQA Executive Management Team has led to an acknowledgement that a damaging and corrosive culture existed in the organisation, which has led to an apology to both staff and Unite by the chief executive, Janet Brown."
Amongst the agreed points, Unite and the SQA Executive Management Team have committed to promote "positive behaviours and dignity and respect".
They have also agreed to undertake a full evaluation of the impact of recent restructures, including the option to rescind acceptance of Voluntary Early Release if impacted individuals wish to do so.
Unite will review the situation in the week beginning July 8.
Further strike action scheduled for July 22 and August 6 - which is exam results day in Scotland - remain a possibility "if significant progress is not made".
Alison MacLean, Unite regional industrial officer, said: "Unite is confident that the agreement reached with the SQA is a significant step forward, in particular, the acknowledgement that a damaging culture has existed in the organisation.
"The apology by Janet Brown is welcome however it should have never got to this stage.
"Unite has always been committed to resolving this dispute, which has caused unnecessary anxiety for pupils and parents.
"It has also been an extremely difficult time for all Unite members and all staff across the SQA.
"We believe the joint agreement puts in place a framework which can finally end this dispute, which is why strike action is called off for next week.
"But, to be clear, the dispute is not formally over and we will continue to monitor progress. Actions speak louder than words."