Socialist Worker

Nursery nurses

by Arthur Nicoll
Issue No. 1882

MORE THAN 1,500 people marched in Dundee on Thursday of last week in support of Scotland's nursery nurses' national regarding campaign.

On the day there was a national strike as part of a second week of selective action. The dispute has been running throughout this year, with previous rolling action and an ongoing work to rule. The rally was an important step forward and could be a springboard to an intensification of the nurses' campaign.

The Scottish councils' body, COSLA, has refused to return to negotiations after recommending an hourly rate that fails even to match the current annual salary. They are trying to force through marginally better local deals that only just leave nursery nurses back where they started. Four of the 32 councils have already settled along these lines.

Tower Hamlets nursery nurse Lizzy Ali told last week's rally how they had taken indefinite action this year in east London with support from their branch and local parents, and won almost all they wanted after around three weeks.

This struck a chord among the nursery nurses, many of whom want indefinite action.

A Dundee nursery nurse said, 'We have newspaper cuttings on the Tower Hamlets strike stuck up on our noticeboard.'

Another said, 'We aren't walking away from this dispute with barely what we started with. If it takes indefinite action, then that's what we'll have to do.'

Unison Scotland has been very supportive in the dispute, but the strategy of gradual escalation is in danger of running out of legs.

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Sat 20 Dec 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1882
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