Weds 21 April 2004
Nursery nurses to investigate local deals in attempt to break
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
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