News Press release

UNISON Edinburgh says ‘One janitor, one school and keep our school cleaners’

UNISON’s Edinburgh branch, the union representing council staff, fears new council proposals will mean Edinburgh’s schools will no longer have their own janitor and cleaning hours will be cut.

UNISON service conditions officer Garry Stovin said: “We understand that the new model going out for consultation will propose a cluster model for janitors working shifts. These janitors would be mobile and no longer attached to one school or community centre

“This model was recently proposed and subsequently dropped in Glasgow, amid concerns about security and Health & Safety.”

UNISON also fears cuts 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”, added Gerry Stovin.

“EU guidance on preventing the Norovirus recommends a good cleaning regime to control its spread.

“Apart from the health implications, cleaners traditionally live near the schools they work in to accommodate family responsibilities. They are predominately women on the lowest pay in the council, around £6,000 a year due to part time work and 38 week contracts. Many will be unable to travel to different schools for two or three hours work. If they can’t change hours, they may face voluntary redundancy, or being declared surplus with little prospect of finding similar work.

“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.

“We are asking parents and our members to challenge candidates in the council elections as to whether they will oppose plans to cut these services.”