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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 Working Party.

"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 nursery service.

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) 07803
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 3729(m)

Nursery Nurse Campaign Pages