examination room

Strike threat lifted after Unite makes positive progress in talks with Scotland’s exam watchdog

Scotland’s largest union, Unite announced that a long running dispute at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) had come to an end today (Thursday 18 July), lifting the threat of strike action on Monday 22 July and exams results day on Tuesday 6 August.

The move follows significant progress in talks yesterday (Wednesday 17 July) between Unite and the SQA’s executive management team, in addition to the new chief executive’s commitment to work positively with Unite.

Previously, strike action scheduled for Wednesday 26 June had been suspended to allow for detailed talks following the release of a joint agreement aimed at addressing the issues at the centre of the dispute, which included a breakdown of trust and confidence in SQA management and HR stemming from a restructuring exercise.

Commenting Unite regional industrial officer Alison MacLean said: “We have made significant progress in talks with the SQA’s executive management team who have committed, in tandem with the authority’s new chief executive, to work positively with Unite.

“We are pleased that the dispute is now over and pay tribute to the support of our members who have stood firm through this very long and difficult dispute.

“The intervention of the Scottish government and the commitment from the SQAs’s incoming chief executive Fiona Robertson has been key to addressing the issues at the heart of this dispute.

“We are under no illusion that there is still a lot of work to do. Following the recognition by the authority’s executive management team that mistakes have been made, we are both committed to a large joint programme of work to make improvements across the organisation which will benefit all staff.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Alison MacLean on 07793662077.

Notes to editors:

  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.

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