27 April 2017
One Janitor, One School - and keep our school
UNISON believes new council proposals will contain
swingeing cuts to cleaning hours in schools and
a shift system that would end the practise of a
single janitor in each school or community centre.
We understand that the new model going out for
consultation will propose a cluster model for janitors
consisting of an early, day and late shift. These
janitors will be mobile and will not be allocated
to just one school.
This model was recently proposed and subsequently
dropped in Glasgow, amid concerns about security
and Health & Safety.
For decades, we have all gone through our education
with a school jannie along with the cooks, cleaners
and crossing staff who form an essential part of
our school system.
UNISON also fears that there are some savage cuts
proposed in the cleaning hours allocated to schools.
It could mean the end of classrooms being cleaned
every day. There could also be proposals to end
the morning clean and move the cleaning hours till
after 6pm in schools.
EU guidance on preventing the Norovirus recommends
a good cleaning regime to control its spread.
Putting aside all the practical issues, these staff
are predominately women on the lowest pay in the
council, around £6,000 a year due to part
time work and 38 week contracts.
The morning and early evening cleans provide essential
local employment with most of that pay being spent
locally, back into the economy.
This will force staff to move to evening work four
nights a week, travel to different schools for two
or three hours work or if they can’t change
hours, face voluntary redundancy, or being declared
surplus with little prospect of finding similar
Unfortunately, a UNISON survey found that many
cleaning staff do not have an occupational pension
or if they do, it would pay out very little in the
way of a pension.
Once these jobs are lost from our communities they
will be gone for good and the lowest paid council
staff will end up losing the most.
Gerry Stovin, UNISON Edinburgh service conditions
officer says “UNISON will be highlighting
this issue in the run up to the council elections,
so if you meet a candidate ask them what they think
should happen to the school jannies and cleaners
and tell them how much they mean to the school.”