Glasgow School Janitors back on strike after school summer holidays
GLASGOW janitors have set off on a walk from the Kelpies in Falkirk to Glasgow city centre today (Thursday 18 August) to raise awareness of their cause after returning to strike with the new school term.
Organised by the Unison union, the janitors – who have been taking industrial action since January – are re-committing to their struggle for special payments for dangerous work after the summer school break, with fresh strike days that began with the start of the new term on Wednesday 17 August.
Some of the janitors are hiking on a ‘walk for justice’ from the 30 metre high Kelpies statues to Glasgow from Thursday 18 to Friday 19 August to raise the profile of their demands for fair treatment by employers Cordia.
Brian Ashe, the lead Unison steward of the Glasgow Janitors, said: “As janitors we are walking together to publicise our campaign for pay justice, taking our message to communities all along the canal path, from The Kelpies right into Glasgow city centre.
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“We do an essential job, keeping children safe and buildings well maintained, it’s time we were paid for that.”
The janitors from schools across the Glasgow area are demanding payments which are received by other staff who work for Glasgow city council (GCC) who engage in work which is dangerous or especially arduous, such as cleaning up broken glass, drug paraphernalia and chemicals and working outside during inclement weather. Glasgow janitors are employed by GCC through Cordia, an arms-length company.
The campaign began industrial action in January with a boycott of the dangerous duties before escalating to strike action, with the janitors taking their first five full days of strike in May 2016.
Brian Smith, Unison branch secretary, said: “The payment due to our members for these duties means that they lose earnings of £500 to £1000 every year. We are sure that parents will understand that it would be wrong for this unfairness to continue.
“Cordia has spent thousands of pounds every month since January 2016 trying to undermine our official boycott of the duties through the use of non-trade union replacement workers. They would be better getting round the table and sorting out our legitimate claim.”
Picture courtesy of Glasgow Unison
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