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Scotland: Nursery Nurses To Ballot For All-Out Action
AFTER EIGHT months of industrial action by Scotland's nursery nurses, their union, UNISON is preparing to ballot for an all-out indefinite strike from March. CoSLA, the local authority employers, have refused to come back to the negotiating table. Although some authorities have made offers, these do not meet UNISON's claim.
Alison Hughes, nursery nurse
A decade and a half of low-pay has left a fully qualified nursery nurse with a maximum wage of £13,800, after eight years of experience. UNISON's claim is for a pay scale beginning at £17,340 and rising to £21,700 with a clear job description and career structure.
Two one-day strikes are planned for February and unless CoSLA come forward with an acceptable offer there will be a vote for all-out action.
Tracey Clayton told me: "Scottish nursery nurses will not give up. We want recognition and pay to reflect an ever-changing job."
Another nursery nurse said: "Yes there will be more action. The majority of nursery nurses in my area voted at a mass meeting to take indefinite action, it was the only way to move this dispute forward. Single days haven't worked, neither has selective action and we have been left with no option but an indefinite all-out strike."
The majority of Scotland's nursery nurses are women and they have been forgotten in the march for "education, education, education."
Mass meetings in all 28 local council areas still in dispute should be organised to help build for a big vote for action.
Meetings of parents and carers must also be urgently arranged to help maintain the support we have had from them.
In The Socialist 31 January 2004:
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