Monday 10 May 2004
Big councils prolong nursery dispute with low pay
Scotland's largest councils are proving to be the main obstacles
to a Scottish-wide resolution of the long-running nursery nurses dispute, says
the nursery nurses union UNISON today.
Since the union moved to discuss
local deals three weeks ago, nine councils have settled with their nursery nurses
and five councils have had their local offers rejected, six others are still in
Seven out of the nine councils to have settled offered an
hourly rate of £10.10 or more - bringing to fourteen the total number of Scottish
councils who have settled above this figure. Four out of the five who have had
deals rejected have only offered £9.83 or less. They include Glasgow, Edinburgh
and Renfrewshire councils.
Many of the councils who have settled have also
offered back-dating or lump sums to recognise the fact that nursery nurses have
already been carrying out additional duties for some time before the dispute.
"This shows where the real problem lies." said Joe Di Paola, UNISON's Scottish
Organiser for Local Government, "Scotland's largest councils are refusing to recognise
the value of the work nursery nurses do. Despite the lead being given by responsible
authorities, councils like Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, West Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire
seem to want to get nursery services on the cheap. Offering less than £10 per
hour for the valuable job that nursery nurses do shows how little these councils
care about both the nursery nurses themselves and the service they deliver for
The union called on authorities still in dispute to make
offers that reflect the jobs nursery nurses do.
"How can these authorities
- or indeed the ones who are yet to make offers - justify their attitude." Said
Carol Ball, Chair of UNISON's Scottish Nursery Nurse Working Group.
know that the extra duties added to the job have been all due to initiatives that
apply to nursery nurses across council boundaries. The job of a nursery nurse
in East Dunbartonshire is not 63p an hour more valuable than one in West Dunbartonshire,
or Glasgow. Maybe this is the reason that CoSLA refused to agree a national grade
- so the big councils could try and bully their nursery nurses into taking lower
rates than they are worth."
UNISON continues its support for striking nursery
nurses where deals have not been agreed. This means that nursery services in councils
still in dispute, continue to be disrupted for the tenth week running.
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) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)