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21 May 2003

Nursery nurse strike action spreads across Scotland

A further 2,000 nursery nurses from Edinburgh and the East and North of Scotland joined their West Scotland colleagues in strike action today. This is a further step in the campaign by the nurses' union UNISON for a review and regrading of their jobs. The boycott of additional duties that have been added to nursery nurse responsibilities since the last pay review 15 years ago, continues.

"Again the tremendous support of Nursery nurses shows how deeply they feel about their poor pay and status." Said Carol Ball, Chair of UNISON's Nursery Nurse Working Party "The other heartening thing is the tremendous level of support we are receiving from parents. Most are genuinely shocked at the level of pay Nursery Nurses receive and have given their support despite the disruption they face."

A rally of Nursery Nurses outside Edinburgh's City Chambers was told that the union was calling on CosLA to reopen talks with an offer to address the low pay of Nursery Nurses.

Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish Local Government Organiser, said "Despite press calls from CoSLA for us to get back round the table," He said "We have had no letters, phone calls or any other contact offering talks. We condemn such megaphone negotiations and suggest that if they seriously want to resolve this issue, rather than crying crocodile tears over disruption they take action to settle the dispute."

The action has meant closure of local nurseries and nursery schools on strike days, and disruption of the overall nursery service. There were rallies in Haddington, Kilmarnock and Hamilton, in addition to the one in Edinburgh.

West of Scotland strikers return to work on Thursday. The East of Scotland strikers return on Friday.

Extra duties will continue to be boycotted including, 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 Party) - 0141-552 7069(o) 07803 952263(m) Joe Di Paola (Scottish Organiser - Local 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