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UNION CALLS FOR MOVEMENT IN NURSERY TALKS

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As a further area of Scotland is hit by the third wave of strikes by ...
As a further area of Scotland is hit by the third wave of strikes by

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

nursery nurses' immediate low pay problem, that strike action planned for

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.

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