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Date: 31 Mar 2006

Scottish Nursery Nurses underpaid for highly professional and educational workload

A research report published today (Friday) questions the salaries paid to Scotland's Nursery Nurses in light of the changing nature of their roles and responsibilities. The report also finds there is no obvious rationale for paying nursery nurses at different levels in different authorities.

A basic grade Nursery Nurse's pay can vary by almost £3,000 per year, despite most of the job being defined by national standards, with associated inspection and regulation requirements.

UNISON, the union for nursery nurses, launched the report it commissioned at a meeting of nursery nurses in Glasgow today (Friday). The report comes before the announcement of the outcome of the Executive's National Review of the Early Years and Childcare Workforce.

The National Review was set up after the year-long nursery nurse dispute which resulted in pay and grading increases in every council, but with no Scotland- wide scale. Carol Ball, Chair of UNISON's Scottish Nursery Nurse Working party, said "This report significantly quantifies the arguments that UNISON has been advocating for some time. Nursery Nurses deliver a professional educational service to their children, but are paid less well than other comparable groups in local authorities. We are now looking forward to the report of the Review body where we have been giving evidence that is now backed up by this research."

Dr Patricia Findlay, one of the authors of the research, said "For the first time we now have evidence of what Scottish nursery nurses actually do. There is convincing evidence that most nursery nurses are actually carrying out the roles and responsibilities envisioned in the Early Years Review Roles and Responsibilities Framework. They undertake a highly responsible, important and challenging job, which requires high level skills and capabilities, in a committed and professional manner. Yet much of their work is under-recognised and under-valued."

The Research is being launched by one of the report's authors, Dr Findlay, at a delegate meeting of Nursery Nurses from across Scotland in Glasgow on Friday. If you wish to attend please notify Chris Bartter details below. Note to Editors:

* The Nursery Nurse dispute with a range of all-out and one day strikes, took place from May 2003 - June 2004. It finished with Scotland's Councils offering significant upgradings to nursery nurses, although different councils offered different rates. The Scottish Executive set up a National Review of the Early Years and Childcare Workforce.. UNISON had a place on that review body which looked at all the early years and childcare workforce. It is due to report in the near future.

* The Report's Executive Summary has been published on the UNISONScotland website. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/localgovt/nurserynurse/index.html

For Further Information Please Contact: Carol Ball (Scottish Chair NNWP) - 07803 952 263(m) Patricia Findlay - Report author - 07050 172 809 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)

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