nursery nurses, Unison, the union representing them, has called for 'a
significant move' in today's talks between the two sides. The
union has agreed to the talks but says that without an offer to resolve
the following weeks will continue.
Joe Di Paola, Unison's Scottish organiser for local government said:
'We are pleased that, after a week and a bit of megaphone negotiations in
the media, Cosla have finally got around to contacting us direct. As we
have always said, we are ready for talks at any time. However there will
need to be a significant move towards a proper interim pay award for
nursery nurses across Scotland if we are to settle this dispute.'
Unison is angry at what it sees as a campaign of misinformation by Cosla,
citing as misleading, statements that employers were 'not aware of the
union's demands'; that they had no mechanism to deal with the dispute; and
the constant media call to Unison to get back round the table, despite no
direct contact with the union. 'Nursery nurses feel undervalued enough,'
Mr Di Paola said, 'The kind of half-truths their employers have been
resorting to, can only increase that frustration and alienation.
'Cosla's own briefing on the dispute,' he went on 'Refers both to
the original claim and to our claim for an interim increase. In deed they
say they have been asking for councils' views on this. How were they able
to do this if they weren't aware of what nursery nurses wanted? And if they
have no mechanism to deal with the dispute, why are we meeting? We agree
with the first minister that the dispute has gone on too long especially
after 15 years of increasing duties and no recognition. We are calling on
the employers to appreciate the valuable role that nursery nurses carry out
and to offer tangible recognition of that.'
A s the two sides meet for the first time since the strikes started, the
next wave of strikes is starting. Nursery nurses in Inverclyde, East, North
and South Ayrshire, Orkney and Shetland start two days of action on Tuesday
and Wednesday (3 and 4 June). Unless there is a resolution, other areas of
Scotland will continue the rolling programme of strikes across the country
in future weeks, backed up by a boycott of additional duties. The union
will announce these areas on Tuesday should further action be necessary.