6th June 2003
Highland Nursery Nurses to strike
In excess of 100 Nursery Nurses employed by Highland Council will
be on strike on Wednesday 11th June and Thursday 12th June as part
of the next wave of strike action by the public sector union UNISON.
The likely effect of the action is that over 50 nursery schools
across the area will be closed on both days. In addition a lobby
of the Highland Council meeting on Thursday 12th June is being planned
for around 10am as the council meeting begins at 10.30am. After
the lobby nursery nurses will attend a rally which it is hoped will
be addressed by a member of UNISON's Scottish Nursery Nurse Working
"We hope this action will bring home to councillors the importance
of the work carried out by nursery nurses in the pre-school education
sector. We want direct and meaningful talks with our employers that
address our claim and we want a fair basic wage and career structure
for nursery nurses across Scotland. After 15 years, we are completely
behind this claim", said Janice Hardacre, the Nursery Nurse Lead
These two days are part of the current programme of strike action
in different areas of Scotland over the month of June. Other areas
of Scotland will be carrying on the rolling programme of strikes
across the country in future weeks, backed up by a boycott of additional
"We have spread the strike across the country to keep disruption
to children and parents in any one area to a minimum. We recognise
the inconvenience cannot be avoided but we know parents understand
that this is not just about pay - it is also about the future of
pre-school education and care. COSLA have had two years to respond
to the claim which was lodged in response to the substantial additional
duties which nursery nurses have taken on board without any additional
payment in the last 15 years. COSLA must recognise that only by
placing a substantial offer on the table that we can consult on
with our members can this dispute be resolved. Suggestions that
a core job description and grade be developed are too little, too
late. ", said Munro Ross, UNISON Highland Branch Convener.
He added "A request has been made to the Convener of Highland Council
councillor Mrs Alison Magee for a small deputation to address the
council meeting on Thursday to put the case on behalf of our members.
A reply is still awaited."
UNISON commissioned a poll (carried out by System Three) recently
(April 23 -29). Nearly 90% of Scots said they thought public services
would not be delivered successfully unless staff are paid a fair
wage and treated fairly. (67% agreed STRONGLY with that). It is
quite clear that people do not think that between £10-14,000/an
average of £13,000 plus a year is a fair wage for professionals
who care for and educate their children.
NOTE: The UNISON Nursery Nurse ballot brought a bigger turnout
than the Scottish Parliament elections. In a 64% return over 90%
voted to take strike action and action short of strike action.
Notes to the Editor Extra duties that are being boycotted
include, observation, recording, assessment and evaluation processes,
planning and development tasks, student training, all work outwith
normal working hours and all clerical, janitorial and cleaning tasks.
For further information contact Munro Ross, Branch Convener,
Janice Hardacre, Nursery Nurse Lead Steward, Tel. 0777906753 UNISON
Highland Branch 53 Shore Street, Inverness, IV11NF
Nurse Campaign pages