Nursery nurses' in Swansea schools threat of action on pay threat
NURSERY nurses in schools across Swansea are threatening action over changes they claim would mean a whopping pay cut.
Unison says they would lose up to 10 per cent of their salaries because of the Swansea Council proposals.
Regional organiser Eddie Gabrielsen said more than 200 nursery nurses would be affected, and about half of them attended a meeting in the Village Hotel to air their grievances.
"At the moment they are employed for 52 weeks of the year," he said.
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"Basically the council has decided to only employ them during term-time.
"This means a massive cut in the working hours and about 10 per cent off their salary.
"They are really angry about this.
''As a union we will be seeking legal advice on their behalf, and we will be lobbying councillors and organising a demonstration.
"We will also be inviting the council leadership to meet us so they can see the strength of feeling."
Mr Gabrielsen said the meeting in the Village Hotel, which the union had called, was absolutely packed.
The nursery nurses, he said, were often left in charge of classrooms when teachers were not present.
They felt strongly that the responsibilities of the job they undertook in schools was not recognised and was undervalued by the council.
Mr Gabrielsen added: "They are up for a fight. They won't let this go.
"If I called a demonstration I have no doubt they will be there in numbers."
A Swansea Council spokesman said: "A the moment some of the nursery nurse staff are being paid for hours and weeks they don't work because of historical agreements.
"Under equal pay legislation we cannot allow this continue. However, the full time annual salary relating to nursery nurse posts will increase under the council proposals.
"The change is part of the council's single status proposals in which eight out of 10 council staff will see their pay go up or stay the same.
"Staff facing reductions will have their pay protected,'' he went on.
''In the meantime the council will work with employees to see if they can be re-skilled or whether their jobs can be made more responsible so that any loss is reduced."