Glasgow's nursery nurses voted by 542 to 98 last Thursday to accept the pay offer of 9.83 per hour with a lump-sum payment of 2,500. But they claimed that prior to the ballot they were threatened with the sack if they did not cease industrial action.
Theresa Ryan, a nursery nurse from Hamilton Hill Family Learning Centre in the Spring Burn district of the city, claimed the votes were driven by fear. 'We were told to either accept the offer and return back to work or to go home and expect a letter telling us we no longer had a job.'
But councillor Steven Purcell, the convenor of the education services committee, denied allegations that bullying tactics were used. He said, 'There was never any indication from the council that staff would be sacked.'
In a statement the previous week - after the nursery nurses had rejected the same pay offer by 445 votes to 287 - Mr Purcell had said the council had 'reached the end of the road' and that there was no more money available.
The remaining two authorities taking part in the dispute also struck deals at the start of last week. Nursery nurses in Renfrewshire returned to work on 3 June after accepting a deal which the council said included pay increases of between six and 15 per cent and a one-off return to work payment of Pounds 1,250.
In Fife, nursery nurses took part in a postal ballot last week following ACAS conciliation and returned to work on 31 May. They have settled on a pay increase of 11 per cent, bringing the salary of a top-end nursery worker up to 10.13 per hour, based on a 35-hour week. This brings their annual salary up from 13,896 to 16,127.
Around 400 Edinburgh nursery nurses returned to work on 31 May with a settlement of 9.83 an hour, a one-off lump sum of up to 2,500 and the chance for nearly one in three to progress to a higher grade.
Senior level salaries will be 16,391 to 16,914 for those working 39 weeks a year and 18,441 to 19,029 for those working 52 weeks a year.