Tue 17 Feb 2004
Nursery nurses register massive vote against low pay
Scotland's nursery nurses have voted overwhelmingly to take indefinite
strike action as their two-year campaign for a Scotland-wide salary increase comes
to boiling point.
Nursery Nurses voted by 81% to 19% to move to a campaign
of all-out strike. The return was around 70%. Their pay has not been reviewed
for 15 years and a basic grade nursery nurse earns as little as 10,000 pounds
a year at the beginning of her career.
Despite months of irregular strikes,
demonstrations, and a boycott of increases in duties - which have disrupted nursery
education across Scotland -the employers organisation , CoSLA, has refused to
talk to the nurses union, UNISON, about a rise in their Scottish grading.
Ball, Chair of UNISON's Nursery nurses working party, said "It is clear that Scotland's
nursery nurses are still together, still united and still want to achieve a proper
wage across the country. It is disgraceful that employers still refuse to negotiate
and would rather disrupt children's education and parent's working lives than
pay Scottish nursery nurses for the job they do. Even at this late stage they
should listen to what their nursery nurses are saying. UNISON has done so, where
Joe Di Paola (Scottish Organiser- Local Government) said, "The
employers have recently admitted that they will not meet the job evaluation deadline
that is a pre-requisite for local grading reviews. Will they now accept that they
cannot delay dealing with the nursery nurses 15-year-old claim through this mechanism
and deal with it at Scottish-level?"
Angela Lynes, Leader of UNISON's negotiators,
and Chair of the union's Industrial Action Committee, said "This magnificent ballot
result gives the lie to anyone who suggests that this dispute is orchestrated
by union officials. The nursery nurses have spoken. And spoken clearly. They deserve
to have their pay increased and they want that increase to be applied across Scotland."
UNISON will now take this result to an early meeting of its Scottish Branches
to plan the indefinite action.
Note to Editors: Basic
Grade Nursery nurses are paid on a scale that starts at around 10,000 pounds a
year. They are claiming a rise to a starting salary of around 14,000 pounds per
year. UNISON undertook the ballot to reaffirm the mandate for industrial action
after 10 months of the dispute, despite not being required to under employment
In a 68% return, the percentage voting 'Yes' to the question,
"Are you prepared to take indefinite strike action?" was 80.7%; the percentage
voting "No' was 19.3%.
For Further Information Please Contact: Joe
Di Paola (Scottish Organiser - Local Govt) 0845 355 0845(w) 07990 505698(m) Carol
Ball (Chair Nursery Nurse WP) 07803 952263 (m) Angela Lynes (Chair - UNISON Negotiators)
07979 522606(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558