12 May 2003
Scotland's Nursery Nurses vote to Strike
Almost 5,000 Scottish Nursery Nurses have voted overwhelmingly
to take industrial action in their long running campaign for a Scottish
review and reassessment of their pay, following major changes in
their jobs and responsibilities.
In a 64% return over 90% voted to take strike action and action
short of strike action.
"The result fully shows the strength of feeling amongst nursery
nurses." Said Carol Ball, Chair of UNISONScotland's Nursery Nurses
"Our pay has not been reviewed for 15 years, and our claim was
submitted over 18 months ago. We have had a number of demonstrations
of public support, submitted a 20,000 signature petition to the
Scottish Parliament and lobbied parents, councillors and MSP's.
After the latest employers rejection nursery nurses feel they have
no choice but to take industrial action, to highlight our determination
to achieve fair pay and address inequalities in our treatment"
Nursery Nurses will be taking a mixture of strike action and a
boycott of duties added to the job over the years that have not
been recognised. The campaign will start on 20 May with a rolling
programme of action. This programme will incorporate both local
and Scotland-wide action co-ordinated over a six week period by
the union. The action will mean the closure of Scotland's nurseries
and nursery schools on strike days, and disruption of the overall
Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Local Government,
says that parents have been very supportive, and recognise the responsibilities
for this lie with employers. "Our members have been keeping parents
informed of this campaign the whole time it has been going. They
have been the mainstay of our public support, petition-signing etc.
They know that we raised the issue with CoSLA, with individual local
authorities and with the Scottish Executive. We also took part in
a Scottish-wide working party at the end of which the employers
simply reiterated their original mantra of 18 months previously."
[Notes to the Editor - Details of Industrial Action Ballot The
ballot was carried out between 25 Apr and 9 May. 4,500 papers were
issued and a 64% return was received. Two questions were asked in
the ballot, asking nursery nurses if they were prepared to take
a) strike action and/or b) action short of a strike. The result
was a 90% vote in favour of both actions. The Action will start
on 20 May.
There will be rallies across Scotland organised by local branches.
Further action will affect different areas at different times and
will be notified later. An average nursery nurse earns just £13,000.
For Further Information Please Contact:
Carol Ball (Chair-Nursery Nurse Working Party) - 0141-552 7069(o)
Bill McAllister (Regional Officer - Local Govt) - 0845 355 0845(o)
Angela Lynes (Scottish NEC member) 0141-552 7069(o) 07979 522 606(m)
Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558
Nurse Campaign Pages