One third of Glasgow schools and nurseries affected by janitor strike

Almost one third of schools and nurseries in Glasgow have been affected by janitor strikes over alleged unfair pay this week.

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Almost one third of schools and nurseries in Glasgow have been affected by janitor strikes over alleged unfair pay this week. 

The janitors have been targeting their protests at Labour councillors during the five-day strike at the City Chambers as part of their continuous dispute with Cordia. 

Cordia, a branch of Glasgow City Council, is refusing to pay a Working Context and Demands Payment (WCDP) to school and nursery janitors. 

However, Unison, which some janitors are members of, argues its staff are owed this money. 

A Unison Glasgow spokesman said: Janitors have to do arduous tasks such as lifting heavy objects or cleaning up sick and we believe they deserve a fair wage for this. 

Strike action began on January 19 with janitors refusing to do tasks including heavy lifting, litter picking and weeding.

The janitors have taken 24 days of industrial action since March 2016.

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Photo: Unison

A janitor at the strike on Wednesday said: “I think me and the other janitors across Glasgow have just reached the point where enough is enough.

We’ve been slowly heading towards an official strike since January by boycotting certain tasks such as cleaning up leaves and snow — and it has peaked now.”

A headteacher from a Glasgow primary school said: “One of our windows has been broken for almost a week now and there is no one to fix it — there are also a lot of general maintenance tasks to be done in the school.

“In saying that, we believe our janitor deserves a better wage so the school supports the industrial action this week.” 

The council and its sub companies give bonus payments to employees who do jobs that are unpleasant, involve heavy lifting or working outside. 

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Photo: Unison

There are five types of WCD payments ranging from just over £500 to more than £1000. 

A spokeswoman from the council said schools and nurseries would operate with “minimal disruption” this week. 

She added: “There are about 65 janitors on strike – so just under a third of Glasgow’s 300 schools and nurseries have been affected.

Uncertainty over GCU catering jobs as uni scraps contract

Catering staff at Glasgow Caledonian University will lose their jobs by Christmas following sudden cuts to their contracts.

Catering staff at Glasgow Caledonian University will lose their jobs by Christmas following sudden cuts to their contracts.

GCU chiefs made the decision to end Cordia’s catering contract in October 2015, and the plans were finalised last month.

The contract is due to end on December 15 and 69 GCU staff members are unsure where they will be placed.

The staff work for Encore, a sub-company of Cordia, and work in coffee shops and cafeterias on campus.

Cordia informed its staff their contract would end in December 2015 but it was extended to 2017 before the catering cuts.

It is unknown whether staff will be transferred to another company or go on Cordia’s displaced list, but they will find out next week.

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A hospitality worker at GCU, (photo: Martin Shields)

Cordia is an arms-length company of Glasgow City Council, and staff believe they will be given new jobs wherever the council places them.

This could include home care, hospitals, schools and elderly care homes.

Sandra Irvine, 52, was hoping to retire next year but she is reconsidering over pension fears.

“I’m in a state of shock and don’t know what to think,” she said.

I will lose my pension if I don’t get another job with the council and have had to freeze my pension at the moment — which is extremely worrying.”

June Healy, who was nominated for Encore Employee of the Year in 2015, said: “I don’t know if I will be relocated because the union isn’t telling us anything.

 

I have worked here for 20 odd years and don’t know how to apply for another job or write a CV.”

All of the cafeteria staff are like a family. Most of us have been here for over a decade so it will be sad for us to be separated.”

People expressed their anger over the catering cuts via Twitter.

 

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A university spokesperson said: “Some of the catering staff have been working in the University for over 25 years and GCU wishes them the best of luck in their new jobs.”

Gerry Milne, chief financial officer and vice-principal of infrastructure at GCU, said: “I thank the Cordia team for their contribution to staff and student life on campus, and I have faith the university’s new catering services will meet expectations.”

GMB Scotland is demanding GCU principal Pamela Gillies to put an end to staff job uncertainty before Christmas.