Strikes imminent in Glasgow schools as janitors and cleaners reject council salary offer

Author: | Posted in UK No comments

BEFORE Christmas disruptions can occur in Glasgow schools as vital staff threaten to go out for the first two weeks of December.

Janitors and school cleaners at 30 schools said it was enough for a long-running dispute with employer Amey over salary.

Glasgow cleaning staff are paid less than other local authorities because of the private finance initiative (PFI) agreement. council bosses.

And these core workers said they were sick of earning less than their Cosla-paid counterparts.

After months of negotiations, negotiations with the GMB have stalled Scotland the union is now voting for industrial actions.

GMB Organizer John Slaven said: “After eight months, Amey hasn’t moved a single step in payment offers, and we’re at the end of our patience.

“This payment offer is not fair, GMB cleaners and janitors were the last and first returning COVID heroes during the pandemic to ensure our schools’ children could return.

“The salary offer for some of our cleaners represents an increase of £2.85 a week during the uptrend. food and fuel costs. Doesn’t any of our members want to go on strike and disrupt the education of children who are already broken?

“But do we have any other choice? Do you already accept active pay cuts on low rates?

“We understand the concerns of parents and teachers, but we are confident that they will support us when they hear about the shameful treatment of cleaners and janitors in schools there.”

Amey offered a 1.5% increase for janitors and a 2% increase for cleaners, but union bosses said that’s one-third of what was offered to similar workers under the salary agreement of Cosla, the local authorities’ umbrella organization. About 12 years ago, cleaning and cleaning services in the schools were subcontracted to Amey under a 20-year PFI agreement.

The union says this leaves staff with lower wages and benefits than staff employed by the local government, and this gap will widen.

Glasgow City Council was asked if it could step in given the potential disruption to schools shortly after the disruption caused by the pandemic, but the official declined to comment.

Amey said last year it became a Real Living Wage employer and increased employee benefits by increasing wages for staff at Glasgow schools, as well as increasing annual leave entitlement to four days, increasing sickness benefits and offering improved living security.

A spokesperson said the company “takes great pride in its front-line employees.”

A GMB senior representative, who asked to remain anonymous at a city school, said Amey briefed staff before the strike vote.

Amey did not comment on this claim.

“Nothing has angered our members as much as these briefings,” the worker said.

“Amey seems to be saying that daring to ask for a fair wage agreement means risking your job.

“Anger cleaners and porters are already at breaking point and the idea that they can manage with less staff is crazy,” it’s hard to describe.

Alternative measures will need to be taken to ensure that schools remain open without cleaning staff and janitors during a two-week strike.

John added: “This situation can be resolved with an hour of constructive discussion.

“A payment agreement that complies with the Scottish Government payment policy and the Cosla payment offer will put us in the ballpark of an agreement.

“The Amey contract is fully publicly funded.

“This is why the Scottish Government and city council cannot stand by as Amey’s stubbornness ruins children’s lives. education.

“We don’t want to hit, but Amey should have no illusions that our members will do it if this is the only way to get justice. Our members are angry.

“After all, it is cleaners and janitors who go to work during covid when bosses are deprived of a fair pay rise.”

An Amey spokesperson said: “We are committed to continuing to work collaboratively with GMB and our employees to reach a resolution in this year’s annual compensation discussions, and we will continue to follow the agreed processes to do so.

“Providing a good service to the local community remains our priority.”