17 October 2003
Employers refusal to negotiate prolongs nursery nurse strikes
UNISON, the union representing Scotland's local authority nursery
nurses, today condemned the persistent refusal of CoSLA to seriously
negotiate new grades for Scottish Nursery Nurses, and said that
this was prolonging the six-month old dispute.
UNISON said that the combination of an inadequate proposed 'recommendation'
and a refusal to discuss any further Scottish offer meant that nursery
nurses had been forced to intensify their series of strikes.
These strikes will take place at different times in different authorities,
and could last as long as a week in some authorities.
The next wave begins on Monday 20 October. Angela Lynes, (Chair
of Scotland's union negotiators, and chair of UNISON"s national
Industrial Action Committee) said
"The reality of the employers proposal is that isn't an offer
at all. It is merely a recommendation that no council has to adopt.
Even if they did it will still leave the vast majority of nursery
nurses earning less than £15,000 per year. CoSLA are now refusing
to discuss the issue any further and trying to wriggle out of their
responsibilities. Nursery nurses are currently paid on a Scottish
grade, have submitted and discussed with CoSLA a Scottish claim,
and deserve a Scottish settlement. Most of the increases in duties
that nursery nurses have undertaken stem from Scottish wide directives.
The employers know all this, but seem happy to provoke more action
and increase the misery for children and parents."
This week of action will close nurseries in the following councils:
East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire , West Dunbartonshire, North
Lanarkshire, Dundee, Falkirk - All Week. Glasgow City - All week
(except the south West Quadrant , on strike Tue 21 - Mon 27 Oct
inclusive). Renfrewshire Wed 22 - Tue 28 October inclusive) On Tuesday
Glasgow Nursery Nurses will lobby the Policy and Resources Committee
of Glasgow City Council from 12noon - 1.15pm, Glasgow City Chambers,
to urge them to put pressure on CoSLA to come back to the negotiating
UNISON is worried that a break up of Scottish-wide pay could lead
to a 'social - work' style situation, with councils offering different
incentives to attract nursery nurses. They accuse CoSLA of a blinkered
Margaret Ferris from UNISON's Scottish Nursery NursesWorking Party
said "CoSLA have constantly tried to avoid dealing with this at
a Scottish level. It is a huge disappointment to nursery nurses
to have to intensify their action. We know it hurts our children
and their parents. But nursery nurses are clear that the job they
do is the same in West Dunbartonshire as it is in South Lanarkshire
or Falkirk. It is the blank refusal of the employers to discuss
a Scottish-wide grade and structure for nursery nurses, that has
directly led to this escalation. "
For Further Information Please Contact: Angela Lynes (Chair
UNISON's Scot. Negs.) 0141-552 7069(o) 07979 522606 (m) Chris Bartter
(Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m) Margaret
Ferris (Nursery nurse Working Group) 01389 730005(h) Bill McAllister
(Regional Officer) 0845 355 0845(w)