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Monday 6 Oct 2003

'Insulting' offer provokes new wave of nursery nurse strikes

A CoSLA offer that would end up with most of Scotland's Nursery Nurses earning less per hour than they currently do, has led to a new wave of strikes across Scottish local authorities from this week.

UNISON, the union that represents Scotland's nursery nurses announced a series of strikes involving nursery nurses across Scotland. These strikes will take place at different times in different authorities, and could last as long as a week in some authorities. They begin on Monday 6 October.

Joe Di Paola, (UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Local Government) said "Nursery nurses are being driven into more and more industrial action, by an employer that neither knows nor cares about the service they provide. After two years of dispute and 41/2 months of industrial action, to come forward with a so-called offer that means less than £15,000 a year for most nursery nurses, has incensed members and has led directly to this intensification of industrial action."

The first weeks action will close nurseries in the following councils: Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian, East Lothian, Inverclyde - All Week. Highland - Mon 6 & Tues 7 October. Stirling -Tue 7 & Wed 8 October. Orkney - Tue 7, Wed 8 & Thu 9 October, Moray - Wed 8 & Thu 9 October.

Carol Ball, Chair of UNISON's Scottish Nursery NursesWorking Party said "For the largest group of Nursery Nurses - those who work to deliver nursery school services, the 'offer' means a reduction of 8p per hour. Less per hour than what they would get by simply increasing their hours at the current rate. No wonder nursery nurses are not happy with it!.

"It is also clear that many authorities are not happy with it - we are detecting signs of many authorities wanting to do local deals like Pat Watters' own authority in South Lanarkshire.

"It is a huge disappointment to nursery nurses to have to intensify their action. We know it hurts our children and their parents. But the kind of treatment our members are getting means that we are left with no alternative."


Note to editors:

Whilst not all nursery nurses work in schools and classes, and not all are classed as 'term time' workers. A large number (probably a majority) are. Where the pay of these nursery nurses is paid over 52 weeks the following calculation shows
Existing NN scale 32.5hrs x 39 weeks = £13896
(annualised to 52 weeks) = £8.22 per hour
Existing NN scale 32.5hrs + 2.5hrs x 39 weeks £14698
(annualised to 52 weeks) = £8.22 per hour
Proposed term-time earnings 35 hrs x 39 weeks = £14825
(annualised to 52 weeks) = £8.14p per hour
Therefore the offer actually means a reduction of 8p per hour.

For Further Information Please Contact:
Joe Di Paola (Scottish Organiser - Local Gov't) 0845 355 0845(w) 07990 505698(m)
Carol Ball (Chair-Nursery Nurses Working Pty) 0141-552 7069(o) 07803 952 263(m)
Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)
John Stevenson (Branch Secretary - Edinburgh Br) 07876 795018(m)


Nursery Nurse Campaign pages