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Wednesday 9 June 2004

Early Years Review demonstrates crucial role of nursery nurses

UNISON, the union for Scotland's nursery nurses, today welcomed the proposed review of Scotland's early years workforce and said that it reflected the key role of nursery nurses in Scotland's early years education.

The union also said that the high profile of nursery nurses was one positive result of the recent strike. "We urged the Executive to set up such a review before the industrial action started." said Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Local Government, "They said it wasn't appropriate then. Now it has been established we will be looking forward to the opportunity for those - like nursery nurses - in the forefront of delivering this service to tell a review exactly what they do, what their qualifications should be and how they should be rewarded."

The review will be looking at all the aspects of early years education, as UNISON originally suggested, and the union is pleased that it will have an input from a representative from UNISON.

The union will obviously be making its case that the wage free-for-all that the dispute has left is not helpful in providing consistent levels of service across the country, and welcomes the recognition that the work of the review will have implications for pay and conditions.

"It is clear that the increases in the duties and responsibilities of Nursery Nurses across Scotland have had implications on all aspects of nursery nurses' jobs." said Joe Di Paola.

"We welcome the opportunity to contribute to a comprehensive review which finally concentrates on the workforce, their roles and responsibilities, their qualifications and the implications of all this on pay and conditions."

Whilst the union recognises that the strike action did not achieve its principle aim of a Scottish-wide grade for nursery nurses, UNISON points out that most councils have negotiated deals that increased nursery nurses grades far more than they would have achieved in other circumstances.

The action has also raised the profile of these important professionals and ensured a key role for them in the development of the service in the future.


For Further Information Please Contact: 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)




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