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

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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.”  

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