start on Monday.
A meeting of nursery nurse representatives, meeting today agreed the start date following the overwhelming 4 to 1 ballot result for indefinite industrial action. Nursery nurses voted by 81% to 19% to move to a campaign of all-out strike after the employers - the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities - failed to respond to the campaign of one-day strikes, lobbying, boycotting additional duties and public pressure. The ballot return was around 70%.
Nursery nurses' pay has not been reviewed for nearly 16 years and most
basic grade nursery nurses earn as little as£10,000 a year at the
beginning of their career - moving up to£13,800 pounds a year after ten
years service. The union is looking for a rise in this basic grade to£14 -
The union agreed to implement its usual policy of emergency exemptions,
asking branches to agree with local employers, cover to ensure no child was
put at risk by the action.
Carol Ball, chair of Unison's nursery nurses working party, said:
'There has been a year of industrial action of various types, which has
disrupted nursery education across Scotland. Faced with the refusal of
COSLA negotiate with nursery nurses representatives about the level of
their Scottish grade, nursery nurses reluctantly feel that they have no
alternative, but to take all-out strike. It is disgraceful that employers
still refuse to negotiate and would rather disrupt children's education and
parent's working lives than pay Scottish nursery nurses for the job they
'No nursery nurse wants to disrupt the education of any children in their
care. We know how important the work we do is in children's development.
But we cannot be taken for granted any longer. We have argued, discussed,
boycotted work, taken action short of all-out strike but the employers have
met all this with a brick wall. We u rge parents to continue the pressure on
their councillors, asking them to tell COSLA to reopen Scottish talks. This
is the only way that this dispute is likely to be resolved.'
Joe Di Paola (Scottish organiser- local government) said:
'The employers yesterday discussed a document that admitted that the route
to a settlement in this dispute lay through a Scotland-wide regrading and
have recently admitted that they will not meet the job evaluation deadline
that is a pre-requisite for local nursery nurse gradings. It is beyond
belief that they would rather force nursery nurses out on strike than deal
fairly with their claim. This dispute is not just about nursery nurses pay,
it is about the future of the nursery service.'