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Monday 19 April 2004

STUC backs Nursery Nurses

Nursery nurses who have been on all-out strike for the last seven weeks were today given the backing of the STUC in the first debate of its 107th Congress.

Moving a composite motion on Early Years Strategy, Pat Rowland (UNISONScotland Treasurer, and herself a striking nursery nurse) said "There are 4,000 nursery nurses eager to get back to work and implement the National policies and initiatives for the benefit of Scotland's youngest citizens."

The motion calls on the Scottish Executive to formulate a National Strategy for the Early Years which would be comprehensive and fully-funded and provide free, universal full-time pre-school education. It also insists that nursery nurses who provide that service should be properly paid.

Pat said "Nursery nurses are highly qualified and committed staff who need fair pay and conditions for the professional public service they provide."

"We are deeply disappointed that attempts to resolve the current dispute at a Scottish level have been so far frustrated The failure to play fair by this valuable and underpaid workforce is simply storing up trouble for the future. Nursery nurses are not going away and we will be taking our arguments into the overall discussions in the review of Early Years education announced by the First Minister."

UNISON and the STUC will also be campaigning for a more integrated service that heals the current artificial split between education and childcare services.

Pat said "This creates the illusion that those who provide education for early years children don't care, and those who care don't educate. This is a fallacy. It is impossible to do one without the other."

UNISON is currently analysing different offers being made by 20 local authorities and will be co-ordinating the response from Scotland's striking nursery nurses in the near future.

Further press statements on the dispute will not be made until after that process is completed.

Rallies and marches continue across Scotland - the next being in Dunfermline in Fife, starting at 11.30 am on Wednesday 21 April, from Carnegie Hall to Pittencrieff Park.


For Further Information Please Contact: Pat Rowland, (UNISON Scottish Treasurer) 07855 469 680(m) Joe DiPaola(Scottish Organiser - Local Govt) 0845 355 0845(w) 07990 505 698(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)


Nursery Nurse minisite


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