Union official says claims by the city council that it is not responsible for workers pay “garbage”
A LEADING Unison official has warned Glasgow City Council (GCC) that janitors in a dispute over pay are prepared for a long campaign of strikes and demonstrations.
The comments came after Glasgow primary school and nursery janitors organised by the union voted unanimously to escalate their industrial action against employers Cordia and GCC in a dispute over pay for special duties.
Speaking to CommonSpace, Glasgow Unison branch secretary Brian Smith said: “The janitors understand the entrenchment they are facing from their employer. But statements from the employer have had the effect of making the janitors resolve stronger.
“We are taking the position that if the employer is digging in, we are digging in as well.
“This looks as though it will be a long dispute, and we are absolutely prepared to fight it, 100 per cent.”
“Cordia is a wholly owned company of GCC. The only people on its board are its director who is retiring in six days time, and five councillors; four Labour and one SNP.” Brian Smith, Unison
The janitors are paid through Cordia, an Aleo (arms-length external organisation) working for GCC. As far as Unison is concerned, Smith said the council retains the responsibility to council workers and GCC’s appeals that the responsibility lies purely with Cordia are “garbage”.
“Cordia is a wholly owned company of GCC. The only people on its board are its director who is retiring in six days time, and five councillors; four Labour and one SNP,” he said.
The comments were made in response to a GCC statement that the dispute is entirely between Unison members and Cordia.
The dispute centres around duties which janitors perform which are especially arduous, difficult or dangerous, and for which other council staff receive special payment of between PS500-1,000 per year. Unison officials claim that the failure to pay the same rate to janitors is discriminatory.
The three day strike, observed by 95 per cent of unison janitors in Glasgow, followed six weeks of boycotting the extra duties, and saw janitors protesting outside council and Cordia offices
Around 100 janitors and supporters joined a noisy demonstration outside Glasgow City Chambers earlier this week (14 March), demanding an audience with council leader Frank McAveety, and that the council recognise its responsibilities to council staff.
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