Strikes to go ahead after exam board fails to improve pay offer, says UNISON   

Workers have been left with no alternative after years of what have effectively been wage cuts.

Staff at exam board AQA are to go ahead with a 72-hour walkout starting tomorrow (Friday) after the employer failed to re-open talks over pay​, said UNISON.

The workers, including those who help organise the awarding of grades, will strike from Friday to Sunday (31 July) in action that could mean delays for students awaiting their GCSE and A-level results.

Many of the 180 staff affected say they’re struggling financially following successive below-inflation pay awards.

Their pay increased by 0.6%​ last year, and AQA has offered 3% this year, which UNISON says represents another real-terms pay cut, with inflation at a 40-year high and set to rise even further.

The workers have been warned they could be sacked and rehired ​on different contracts if they don’t accept the offer, says the union.

UNISON ​North West regional organiser Lizanne Devonport said: “Talks with AQA to improve this poor deal would be welcome. But there’s been radio silence.

“Staff don’t want to let young people down by taking strike action at such a crucial time. They appreciate how much students rely on their grades and want them to succeed.

“But workers have been left with no alternative after years of what have effectively been wage cuts. They shouldn’t be left to struggle to pay bills that are soaring as the cost-of-living crisis deepens.

“AQA needs to get back around the table to ensure its hardworking staff are rewarded fairly.”

Notes to editors​:
– A picket will take place outside AQA’s offices on Devas Street, Manchester M15 6EX from 7.30am to noon on Friday 29 July, and from 8am to 10am on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Lizanne Dev​onport M: 07961 088899 E:
Jen Walley M: 07961 903281 E:
Fatima Ayad M: 07508 080383 E: