Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/301/13797

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 May 2003

Nursery Nurses scent victory in pay battle

THE INCREASINGLY bitter pay battle by nursery nurses in Kirklees, Yorkshire is rapidly reaching a conclusion - in the union's favour! Nursery nurses have now been on strike for nine days but last week transformed the strike and the workforce.

Mike Forster, joint chief education steward, Kirklees UNISON, (personal capacity)

At the mass meeting three days before the last strike, UNISON steward, Jill Hinchliffe turned the mood around when she told the meeting that she'd fought for over ten years to get nursery nurses regraded.

A schedule of workplace meetings, school pickets, public activity and political lobbying was organised. The nursery nurses divided themselves into five groups and set about their task.

Out of 120 nursery nurses on strike, about 100 took part in different events, addressing mass meetings of trade unionists, speaking to the press and organising solidarity action.

On the first night of the strike, ten strikers attended as visitors as UNISON's branch committee discussed the dispute. After a long debate, the meeting passed my resolution to call a special meeting demanding an industrial action ballot of all 7,000 local government members.

The vote gave nursery nurses enormous confidence that they could win with extra support. It also had a big impact on the council. Next day, billboards talked of 'looming town hall strike'. By midweek, the mood was buoyant. A demo followed by a mass rally lifted spirits.

The only question at the meeting itself was when nursery nurses would take all-out strike action. No one blinked. Everyone saw the need to continue with the momentum until the council gave way. The rally was even addressed by the leader of the Tory group of councillors pledging public support!

On Friday despite a downpour, nursery nurses went ahead with their planned maypole dancing stunt in the centre of town. They were now wearing specially made T-shirts and were in high spirits.

Around 1,000 and 5,000 signatures were collected in the week. The council deputy leader had about 6,000 postcards urging him to settle. On the last afternoon of the strike, we were marched up to the council building and cheered into the talks.

The council improved its 'last and final' offer. It will mean an average of 2,000 extra a year, backdated to last October. It will start to lift nursery nurses out of poverty pay. Council negotiators made it clear this is an interim settlement. School remodelling will mean they may return at a later stage.

However, if the deal is ratified later this week, it will be a victory for a group of very determined trade unionists. They will remain active with the union and want to visit Scottish nursery nurses to take solidarity messages of support.

They also want to play their part in helping to transform UNISON into a fighting union which up to now has failed to mobilise this latent support amongst classroom support staff all over the country.

As we practised our chants outside Huddersfield Library last week, one slogan epitomised the mood: "Kirklees council hear us shout, pay us more or we'll stay out".

5,000 nursery nurses in Scotland will be on 48-hour strike on either 20/21 or 21/22 May, depending on the area. They are also starting an indefinite boycott of duties they have taken on since their last pay review 15 years ago.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 24 May 2003:

Striking Back At Poverty Pay

Amicus, The Political Fund And New Labour

NATFHE conference: Defend Education Fight New Labour's Attacks

Capitalism Means War And Terror

Education: New Labour's triple crisis

Fees - Tories try to woo students

Nursery Nurses scent victory in pay battle

Coventry Labour Prefers Deals With The Tories

Iraq: The Chaos Of Imperialist Occupation

Raffarin government attacks pensions France's Workers Take To The Streets


 

Home   |   The Socialist 24 May 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Nursery:

triangleWomen: fight for equality, fight for socialism

triangleStop Leeds college nursery closures

triangleThem & Us

triangleChildcare plans spell disaster

triangleSave Sheffield Early Years centres

Pay:

triangleJustice for Tube cleaners demo

triangleThem & Us

triangleMonarch abdicates responsibility to workers

Nurses:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleStrike to save our NHS!

triangleBerlin hospital strike

Strike:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

Council:

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts

Kirklees:

triangleCouncil proposes worst cuts in living memory

Huddersfield:

triangleHuddersfield A&E closure goes to judicial review

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/10/17

Cleaners

Justice for Tube cleaners demo

11/10/17

Salford

Salford Unison condemns pay cuts

11/10/17

Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

11/10/17

Carlisle

Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

11/10/17

Green

Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

11/10/17

Fire

No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

11/10/17

Cardiff

Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

11/10/17

John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

11/10/17

Orgreave

Join the Orgreave Halloween rally

11/10/17

Union

Workplace news in brief

11/10/17

Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

6/10/17

Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

5/10/17

Runcorn

Too much to cross the Mersey

4/10/17

Royal Mail

Set for national strike action

4/10/17

London

Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2