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Wed 4 February 2004

Days of action hit nurseries as UNISON calls for CoSLA to negotiate

Over 4,000 nursery nurses will be striking today (Wednesday 4) and next week (Wednesday 10), as the next step in their two-year campaign for a decent salary across the whole of Scotland.

They want to tell Scotland's local council leaders - get back to the negotiating table, before indefinite industrial action starts. Carol Ball, Chair of UNISON's Nursery Nurse Working Party, said

"It is outrageous that, rather than face up to their responsibilities, CoSLA would rather nursery services faced shut down. It is clearly a Scottish-wide responsibility, and CoSLA are supposed to represent Scottish employers. Nursery Nurses are graded on the Scottish grade, our claim was submitted across Scotland and the increased duties and responsibilities are the same across Scotland.

"Jack McConnell MSP yesterday urged both unions and employers to get round the negotiating table to resolve the dispute and end the chaos faced by thousands of parents. UNISON is ready and willing to do this - is CoSLA?"

Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Local Government, said " As the First Minister pointed out yesterday, nursery nurses are a low-paid group who nevertheless provide a high-quality, professional service. CoSLA's continued refusal to negotiate must be challenged if we are not to face long term disruption. Nursery nurses had an outstanding claim lodged prior to the Single Status Agreement; do not wish to become involved in discussions at local level, and require a national settlement to a national grading claim.

"They have indicated their willingness to support all out indefinite industrial action, and they are being balloted on that basis. I hope that the time available before the ballot result is known can be used to find an amicable resolution to this dispute which has affected all of us in all parts of Scotland. UNISON says that nursery nurse jobs are largely dictated by a Scottish-wide curriculum and standards. They fear that local pay scales will lead to a pay war with council's paying different rates to outbid one another for staff.



Nursery Nurses minisite