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Weds 21 April 2004

Nursery nurses to investigate local deals in attempt to break the deadlock

Nursery nurses who have been on all-out strike for the last seven weeks, today announced that they would investigate the offers and the commitment of local authorities who had not yet settled, to try and break the deadlock and ensure the best possible deal for nursery nurses still on strike.

A recent meeting of nursery nurse delegates examined details of offers from across the local authorities, and agreed to enter local negotiations. The nursery nurses will remain on strike until a satisfactory offer is accepted by them.

Joe Di Paola (UNISON's Scottish Organiser - Local Government) said: "We are bitterly disappointed that CoSLA has simply blocked all attempts to resolve this dispute nationally. Despite agreement that regrading claims would be allowed until single status was introduced, and despite the overwhelming justice of the case for a national grade, CoSLA have pig-headedly refused to accept the sense of this. The huge differences between the pay offers shows how right we are in arguing for a national deal. The hourly rates on offer range from £8.76 - £10.46 per hour - a difference of £1.70 an hour! We intend to ask these employers how they justify these differences given the similarity of the jobs nursery nurses do. Branches will now seek local negotiations and we will be using this information to try and bring some fairness into nursery nurses pay.

"We also want the Executive to set up its review into the pre-five sector as soon as possible. It is clear that to ensure that government plans are delivered they need the nursery nurses' co-operation. It will require more than politicians' platitudes to deliver that now."

Angela Lynes (Chair of UNISON's negotiators) said "UNISON feels that it couldn't treat its members in the same way as the employers have. Nursery nurses have given their all, have ensured that their role in early years education has been brought to the forefront of the public and have ensured that local deals will be better than they otherwise would have been. It is not easy to move to local negotiations but we can no longer ask nursery nurses to continue to suffer in the face of the employers intransigence."

The union paid tribute to the support for the action from its members, from parents, and from the public.

Carol Ball (Chair of UNISON's Nursery Nurse Working Party) said "We have had magnificent support from the vast majority of nursery nurses - it has been incredible how this low paid, non-militant workforce has responded. We have also had tremendous support from parents - even though they and their children have been suffering - and the public. This is an attempt to break the deadlock by the nursery nurses, who are showing far more maturity and consideration for their service than CoSLA has done. We also need to warn authorities that unless settlements reflect the professional role of nursery nurses then they will not get the professional service - this is not a capitulation. Nursery nurses are not going away and this dispute now moves onto different levels."


For Further Information Please Contact: Joe DiPaola(Scottish Organiser - Local Govt) 0845 355 0845(w) 07990 505 698(m) Carol Ball (Chair - Nursery Nurses Working Party) 07803 952 263 (m) Angela Lynes (Chair UNISON negotiators) 0141-552 7069(o) 07979 522 606(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)


Nursery Nurse minisite




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