IT was only a matter of time before a group of "support staff" decided strike action was the only way to get the community to take notice (ScotlandPlus, pages 2-3). The campaign for better pay and status by nursery nurse members of Unison (the other two unions with members in the sector, the TGWU and GMB, are not joining in) will not be an easy one: while they appear to have parents on their side, a prolonged dispute will inevitably provoke charges about targeting vulnerable families.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the nursery nurses' actions, there is a strong case for a fundamental review of non-teaching staff. The very term "support staff", even paraprofessional, is outmoded and implies teachers are the only true professionals. As college lecturers have discovered, the post-McCrone agreement has had knock-on effects for other groups. What they need now is their own McCrone review and settlement.