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11 August 2003

UNISON says Employers' investigation into Nursery Nurses is flawed.

UNISON the trade union representing nursery nurses in dispute across Scotland, today slammed the controversial CoSLA technical group set up to create a recommended job description and grade for striking nursery nurse as flawed.

The group was due to report by the end of July, but the report is not yet published. Carol Ball, Chair of UNISON's Scottish Nursery Nurse Working Party and a herself a nursery nurse in Glasgow said:

"It is sad that Scottish employers are prepared to waste the summer creating a flawed report, rather than making an offer to deal with nursery nurses' pay and responsibilities. Only last week the Scottish Executive produced statistics that showed the number of places in local authority pre-school education centres has increased by 4% since January 2002, whilst the number of staff has decreased by 13%. What more evidence do employers want that nursery nurses are doing more and have increased responsibilities?"

Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Local Government added: "Nursery nurses are deeply suspicious of this technical working group. The employers' technical report will be worthless unless individual councils can guarantee that they will implement any grading or backdating of any agreed pay level. In addition, the remit of the group failed to include career structure for nursery nurses. UNISON is also sceptical about the procedures of the group.

Joe Di Paola said "The existing job evaluation procedure has been constantly changed since it was adopted. To suggest that anyone can simply pick it off the shelf, run out a quick job description, attach a sum of money to it and get all 32 councils' to agree to it, is patently absurd. Unless of course the employers knew all along what the outcome was going to be."

"Nursery nurses now complete a two year training course, have taken on a host of additional duties, and can only earn up to £13,800 at the top of their grade. The least the employers can do is acknowledge this and address the pay and re-grading issues, rather than wasting energies on working groups and reports, in an attempt to justify their confused position".

The union's Industrial Action committee is to meet later this month to look at the next stage of Industrial Action that has continued all summer in day care nurseries. Nursery schools and classes are set to resume later this month and face further disruption unless progress is made to resolve the dispute.


For Further Information Please Contact: Joe Di Paola (UNISON Scottish Organiser Local Government ) 07990 505698(m) 0845 355 0845 (w) Chris Bartter (UNISON Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m) 0845 355 0845 (w) Carol Ball (Chair UNISON's Nursery Nurses Working Group) 07803 952263 (m)

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