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20 May 2003

Nursery nurse strike action starts in the West

Around 2,500 nursery nurses from Glasgow and the West of Scotland started three days of strike action across Scotland today.

The action is the latest step in the campaign by the nurses' union UNISON for a review and regrading of their jobs. In addition a boycott of additional duties that have been added to nursery nurse responsibilities since the last pay review 15 years ago, starts on the 20 May and will continue indefinitely.

"Initial reports indicate that the action is being well supported across Scotland." Said Carol Ball, Chair of UNISON's Nursery Nurse Working Party.

"Tomorrow our colleagues from the rest of Scotland will be joining us and will continue the action on onto Thursday when we go back to work. This staggered action aims to try and minimise the disruption to parents whilst maintaining the highest possible public profile of nursery nurses"

A rally of Nursery Nurses in Glasgow's George Square was told that the union at UK level had supported a plan of action that will continue for the next 5 weeks unless the employers come forward with a clear Scottish offer.

Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish Local Government Organiser, said "UNISON's National Industrial Action Committee which met on Monday, agreed to a co-ordinated rolling programme of strikes over the next 5 weeks. We plan to strike in different parts of Scotland on different weeks, to ensure that the momentum continues, but that parents don't have to face too much disruption. We hope that the employers will have similar considerations and make an early move to settle this dispute."

The action will mean closure of local nurseries and nursery schools on strike days, and disruption of the overall nursery service. But parents have been very supportive says Carol Ball. "Parents want to know that their children are being educated by people with the proper training, qualifications and conditions. They recognise the justice in our members claim, and that a badly paid service will not deliver the quality education and care their children deserve."

More strikers from the east and north of Scotland join the strikes tomorrow and west of Scotland strikers return to work on Thursday.

There will be further rallies in Kilmarnock and Edinburgh on Wednesday (12 30pm Kilmarnock (the Cross):12.30pm Edinburgh, The Quadrangle, City Chambers)


[Notes to the Editor - Extra duties that will be 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 Please Contact: Carol Ball (Chair-Nursery Nurse Working Pty) - 0141-552 7069(o) 07803 952263(m) Joe Di Paola (Scottish Organiser - Loc Govt) - 0845 355 0845(o) 07990 505 698(m) 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