Tue 24 Feb 2004
Nursery nurses action to start on I March
indefinite strike action voted for by Scotland's nursery nurses will start on
Monday 1 Mar 2004.The employers have a week to reopen Scottish talks.
meeting of Nursery Nurse representatives, meeting today (Tuesday) in Glasgow agreed
the start date following the overwhelming 4 to 1 ballot result for indefinite
industrial action. Nursery Nurses voted by 81% to 19% to move to a campaign of
all-out strike after the employers - CoSLA - failed to respond to the campaign
of one-day strikes, lobbying, boycotting additional duties and public pressure.
The ballot return was around 70%.
Nursery Nurses' pay has not been reviewed
for nearly 16 years and most basic grade nursery nurses earn as little as 10,000
pounds a year at the beginning of their career - moving up to 13,800 pounds a
year after ten years service.
The union is looking for a rise in this basic
grade to 14 - 18,000 pounds. The union agreed to implement its usual policy of
emergency exemptions, asking branches to agree with local employers, cover to
ensure no child was put at risk by the action.
Carol Ball, Chair of UNISON's
Nursery nurses working party, said "There has been a year of industrial action
of various types, which has disrupted nursery education across Scotland. Faced
with the refusal of CoSLA negotiate with nursery nurses representatives about
the level of their Scottish grade, nursery nurses reluctantly feel that they have
no alternative, but to take all-out strike. 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.
nursery nurse wants to disrupt the education of any children in their care. We
know how important the work we do is in children's development. But we cannot
be taken for granted any longer. We have argued, discussed, boycotted work, taken
action short of all-out strike but the employers have met all this with a brick
wall. We urge parents to continue the pressure on their councillors, asking them
to tell CoSLA to reopen Scottish talks. This is the only way that this dispute
is likely to be resolved."
Joe Di Paola (Scottish Organiser- Local Government)
said, "The employers yesterday discussed a document that admitted that the route
to a settlement in this dispute lay through a Scotland- wide regrading and have
recently admitted that they will not meet the job evaluation deadline that is
a pre-requisite for local nursery nurse gradings. It is beyond belief that they
would rather force nursery nurses out on strike than deal fairly with their claim.
This dispute is not just about nursery nurses pay, it is about the future of the
Note to Editors: UNISON undertook
the ballot to reaffirm the mandate for industrial action after 10 months of the
dispute, despite not being required to under employment legislation. 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%.
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 3729(m)