Industrial action 'could cause exam delays'

Industrial action 'could cause exam delays'

Planned industrial action by some CCEA staff could delay pupils receiving GCSE and A level results this summer, a union has claimed.

A number of staff at the Council for the Curriculum Examination and Assessment (CCEA) are unhappy about how they are renumerated for additional time worked.They are refusing to work extra hours in the evening time and at weekends until the matter is resolved.Alison Millar, deputy secretary general of NIPSA told UTV: "We have a number of staff who work in the evenings and at weekends to ensure and oversee the marking of examinations process in a number of ways and this is about how they are renumerated and rewarded in relation to the additional time that they work."For example, there are some members who will be in for the next eight Saturdays overseeing the markers, overseeing the examination processes, and answering queries and questions etc."She continued: "Then, obviously we have people working in the background from an IT perspective who are involved in this dispute."Ms Millar said that the delivery of GCSE and A level exam results could be delayed because NIPSA members will not be attending any meetings in relation to the examination processes."Queries, questions, any issues that arise during the marking process [will not be dealt with by them], there is a potential there that this could delay the process."This is not what our members want to do - nor NIPSA - or want to be involved in."What we want to do is get around the negotiating table to resolve this issue. If we could do that today then our members could get back to work tomorrow."CCEA, however, has said that the action will have no adverse impact on this summer's GCSE and A level examinations.The organisation's Chief Executive Richard Hanna said: "It is disappointing that a decision has been taken to take industrial action at this important and sensitive time."I would like to reassure pupils, parents and teachers that marking will continue as normal and grades will be issued as planned."The industrial action does not apply to our contracted teams of expert examiners."The action is being taken by a group of staff who provide support to these teams and only applies to meetings outside of normal working hours."Contingency plans are in place to ensure CCEA's examiners continue to receive the support they need to undertake and complete this very important work."Mr Hanna said that the matter in question was raised with CCEA at the end of March."Negotiations to resolve the concerns of these staff have been ongoing and good progress has been made. We are committed to continue to work hard, in a consultative and inclusive manner, to resolve outstanding issues."


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