Janitors Review Update: Talks continue on 18 January

Vote YesThe final review model was due to be discussed with the unions on Thursday 11 January. However, following recent meetings with the unions, this has been now been moved back to Thursday 18 January  to allow for possible amendments.
Depending on changes made to the review, we will either go straight to a ballot for industrial action or if there has been sufficient progress in meeting your concerns we will arrange a number of meetings to consult with you.
An email has gone out to those who registered emails on our system. Please discuss this with your colleagues and direct them to the Edinburgh UNISON website for updates.
Gerry Stovin
Service Conditions Officer



In a consultative ballot of Janitors and Facilities assistants, 95% of those taking part have voted to move to a full ballot. UNISON will seek to negotiate improvements before the final proposals are presented on 11 January.

At this point, without protection of terms and conditions for our members, UNISON will initiate a full ballot for industrial action.

UNISON’s consultative ballot on Janitors’ conditions closed at 12 noon on Thursday 21 December. The issues members were voting on were…

High Schools

  1. The compulsory Saturday working, which is not in the first model, must be removed and the “core time” on a Friday provided with 3 Janitors (currently 4).
  2. The strive to make the working patterns standardised has made the provision inflexible and unable to meet the needs of the school. Shifts during holidays, shifts on Friday where the school is closed on Friday evening, middle shift unable to move to help the early or late shift, etc
  3. Lone working is under review within FM and Janitors need to be consulted.

Primary Schools

  1. The potential loss of pay is not acceptable.
  2. The Janitors are deeply concerned that the school has no Janitorial cover from 3.45 to 6.00 when the children are still in school. We have yet to have a coherent explanation on what will the procedure will be and they are not willing to walk away, leaving Health & Safety risks.
  3. The reduction from 36 to 24 / 12 hours must be fully explained. Some schools with less pupils or smaller buildings have retained 36 hour cover while larger schools have reduced to 24 hours. Reducing Janitors hours, then using unpaid breaks under 6 hours must be removed and work patterns revised.
  4. Currently, Council policy states that a Janitor must be present for a let to go ahead. Unfortunately it is common practise to use anyone to cover lets and absences. The arrangements need to ensure that Janitor`s and trained pay-to-claim staff, in a pooled system, are utilised first. The details of this are to be discussed.

Community Centres

  1. There is still no clear plan on who will cover Community centres when the building is open to the public, therefore it is not acceptable to reduce the Janitorial cover.
  2. While reducing the cover provided by the Council, management committee are being encouraged to use funds to replace the lost hours with private contracts. This is not acceptable. Management committees, in council buildings running public services on behalf of the council must buy additional hours through the Council, not G4 security.
  3. More effort is also required to provide more 36 hour posts.


  1. Clarification required on shift patterns and WTP.

Council Offices, Facility Assistants

  1. Staff in this role are not janitors and must not be used to cover gaps in service within schools and community centres