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About the P&I Team Briefings Home | Responses | PFI Index | Policy Guide
NURSERY NURSE DISPUTE BRIEFING
Communications

 

 

 

Briefing on

Scotland's Nursery Nurse Dispute - Update

23 September 2003

Introduction

This briefing paper is provides an update on the current Nursery Nurse dispute, and gives background information for the Scottish Parliament debate of Carolyn Leckie MSP's motion S2M-334 Nursery Nurses taking place on Wednesday 24 September.

UNISON Scotland represents the majority of nursery nurses in schools, classes and day care in Scotland.

Why are Nursery Nurses taking action?

  • The job of nursery nurse has not been reviewed for 15 years (since 1988).
  • A nursery nurse currently earns around £13,000, (the current salary ranges between £10,000 to £13,800).
  • The role of a nursery nurse has gained significant new and increased responsibilities given policies on National Care Standards, Scottish National Curriculum guidelines, and local Starting Points.
  • The Executive's own statistics published in July 2003 showed that the number of local authority pre-school education places has increased by 4% between January 2002 and January 2003, but the number of local authority staff providing that education had decreased by 13% in the same period. These statistics underline the increasing workloads and demands placed on these staff.

What is the UNISON Claim?

  • To address 15 years of under payment, recognise the increased responsibilities, remits and professionalism of Nursery Nurses.
  • Develop a generic job description
  • Create a clear 4 tier career structure for Nursery Nurses.
  • To put Nursery Nurses on the local government pay system SCP 23 30 (£17,340 / £21,732), for most Nursery Nurses working term time hours this equate to around £18,500.
  • Implement a 35 hour working week.
  • Ensure equal opportunities
  • Give full employment status including pension rights.

What chance have UNISON given employers to address the claim?

  • The claim was lodged with the employers CoSLA nearly 2 years ago and then with individual councils in February 2002, over 18 months ago. We have petitioned the Scottish Parliament calling for a review of Early Years Education and Childcare and finally agreed to participate in a CoSLA joint working group to progress the claim, all to no avail.

Why did UNISON leave the joint working party?

  • UNISON feel the employers were using the working party as a stalling tactic as they reiterated their original position of 2 years ago that pay for Nursery Nurses would be determined through Job Evaluation. They also said that Nursery Nurses in schools and classes would be part time employees with the potential loss of pay and pension rights.

Why did UNISON reject the report of CoSLA's Technical Working Group?

UNISON is clear that this was a "sham job evaluation".

  • This is an exercise to justify a figure rather than a genuine attempt to review nursery nurses jobs.
  • The job evaluation scheme has been constantly put off since it was originally agreed. The employers' last request to the unions was to delay implementation until 2004. How can they now say they can use it?

Why did UNISON reject the CoSLA "offer" of 12 September?

  • This was not an offer. CoSLA stated that the proposals from its technical working group could only be recommended to councils, it is totally reliant on local councils' discretion.
  • The "£18,000 offer" is disingenuous. CoSLA's £18,000 in reality works out as a maximum of £15,500 for a "fully competent nursery nurse" working the usual term time pattern.
  • CoSLA fail to say who will decide that a nursery nurse is "fully competent".
  • CoSLA are in effect proposing less than £15,000 for most nursery nurses working in schools and classes in Scotland.
  • It fails to deliver an effective and appropriate career structure for nursery nurses.
  • There is nothing in the "offer" for heads and deputes, and it could also lead to local management using the proposed thresholds in payscales to create a two-tier workforce.

Nursery Nurses Support

  • UNISON's Nursery Nurses campaign has been supported by parents, teachers, other unions and elected representatives from Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrats, Greens and SSP.
  • Scottish Parliament motions have been tabled by Margaret Jamieson, Carolyn Leckie and Fiona Hyslop which have received support from a cross party group of MSPs. Carolyn Leckie's motion is to be debated on Wednesday 24 September 2003.

Further Information

Contacts list:

Joe Di Paola

j.dipaola@unison.co.uk

Dave Watson -

d.watson@unison.co.uk

@ The P&I Team
14 West Campbell St
Glasgow G26RX
Tel 0845 355 0845
Fax 0141-307 2572

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Further Information

Nursery Nurse campaign Pages

Contacts list:

Joe Di Paola
j.dipaola@unison.co.uk

Dave Watson
d.watson@unison.co.uk

@ The P&I Team
14 West Campbell St
Glasgow G26RX
Tel 0845 355 0845
Fax 0141-307 2572