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Fri 5 March 2004

Nursery Nurse demo to call for Scottish Executive intervention

An all-Scotland demonstration of striking nursery nurses will be supported by the UK President and General Secretary of their union, UNISON in Glasgow today.

Dave Prentis (General Secretary) and Dave Anderson (President) will address the rally on Glasgow Green that is likely to be attended by 2,000 plus nursery nurses and their supporters. The union will slam the hypocrisy of CoSLA chiefs and support calls for the Scottish Executive to intervene.

Dave Prentis said "I congratulate our nursery nurses for the brave and dignified way they have carried out this dispute. And isn't it scandalous that the people who look after the nation's children are treated this way. 'This dispute won't go away. And the sooner the employers get out of denial on this issue the better. And they aren't the only ones. The Scottish Executive needs to intervene in this dispute before it's too late.

"What can be more damaging to Scotland's Government than the spectacle of the leader of COSLA calling for a salary of £25,000 for councillors just for turning up to meetings when nursery nurses who look after our nation's children are told a salary of £13,000 is good enough for them? Surely our children and our members are worth more than that?"

Carol Ball, Chair of UNISON's nursery nurse working group, said " The Scottish Executive has been instrumental in implementing most of the additional duties that nursery nurses now undertake, and this dispute is damaging their important childcare initiatives. As it seems that CoSLA have no intention of sorting this mess, UNISON would welcome the Executive's assistance in resolving it."

The union also criticised employers in some areas for intimidation of parents, and attempts to shuffle teachers around schools and use childminders to cover for striking nursery nurses.

Joe Di Paola (Scottish Organiser- Local Government) said, "We have evidence and reports that councils have been trying to use childminders and teachers to undermine the strike. Parents have complained that they have been threatened with loss of a nursery place, unless they bring their kids across the picket lines. And we have evidence of misleading information being circulated to parents.

"This is clearly part of the CoSLA plan to 'increase the robustness of their press strategy' as they put it. Rather than trying to score publicity points, why don't these -often large - councils, use their weight to move CoSLA. Or are they the problem?"


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 3729(m) Mary Maguire (Head of Press and Broadcasting) 020 7388 6609 (w)


Nursery Nurse minisite



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