As promised over the weekend, our senior Learning & Leisure stewards have been looking at the situation regarding the memo sent to schools regarding the finish times for Nursery Classes.

UNISON has made contact with management and are awaiting feedback from them, however we felt it important that we clarify the situation to date:-

· All staff are contracted to work whatever their standard hours are, and the opportunity to leave early on the last day of term (or on Christmas Eve for colleagues who work in other services) is a privilege, not a right.

· Obviously, UNISON feel that this small gesture of goodwill is the least that management can afford our members given the work that we put in on a daily basis, but never the less, this is the factual position.

· 3 years ago UNISON raised this issue on behalf of those who worked in nursery centres as we were concerned at the lack of equality between those in classes and centres when it came to finishing early etc.

· It became clear that due to the demands of the service and indeed the staff to children ratios required, there was no opportunity for early finishes across the board for nursery centre staff.

· As such, NLC were happy to bring in equality for all, but that would have meant nursery class staff losing out on early finishes etc.

· Faced with this prospect our members from nursery centres who raised the issue decided to drop the complaint in order that colleagues didn’t lose out.

· Now, we find ourselves in the situation where nursery classes have been told that they need to stay till 4pm – 4.30pm on the 23rd.

· UNISON understand that in some areas Head Teachers have already made arrangements for staff to go earlier than this due to local arrangements.

· We have written to management asking that the early finish for nursery classes is re-instated and we are awaiting a response.

· We have also written asking about the situation regarding nursery teachers, again we are awaiting a response.
As things progress we will keep you all informed.

Anybody who wishes to raise issues relating to those in nursery centres or classes should contact Marie Boyle or Marie Bukkems who will, as other stewards have previously, raise the issues directly with management in an attempt to rectify the problems going forward.

Also, worth mentioning re comments about special leave etc that it is your line managers responsibility to direct staff to NLC policies and procedures.

John Mooney