Former Labour administration had refused to negotiate with Janitors demanding equal pay
THE NEW SNP leadership of Glasgow City Council (GCC) will meet with janitors who have engaged in industrial action for over a year in a bid to settle their dispute over equal pay.
The ‘justice 4 Jannies’ campaign, which has seen over 100 school janitors take repeated strike action for payments due for dangerous or unpleasant duties, was repeatedly shunned by the outgoing Labour GCC administration led by councillor Frank McAveety.
The SNP made a meeting with the janitors and their union Unison, to settle the dispute, a campaign pledge a top priority during the local elections campaign.
Speaking to the Evening Times, GCC leader Susan Aitken said: “I want to come to an agreement with them that they are happy with, that everybody is happy with, so we can all move forward.
“I’ve said to the trade unions and to the jannies themselves that is what I would do and I’m sticking to that.”
The SNP won 39 seats in the recent council elections to Labour’s 31, ending four decades of Labour domination of the largest local authority in Scotland.
The janitors work for Cordia, an arms-length company of GCC. Both Cordia and GCC refused meetings with union representatives, leading to repeated noisy protests outside both the Glasgow city chambers and Cordia’s city centre offices.
Janitors were angered by their exclusion from a system of special payments compensating difficult, dangerous or unpleasant work, including the disposal of drug paraphernalia and long ours working in intemperate weather.
The janitors are continuing to boycott these duties until a negotiated settlement is reached.
Welcoming Aitken’s comments Sam McCartney, UNISON Glasgow branch officer said: “We welcome the comments of the new leader and we tend to have a sensible, negotiating approach to this.
“Unfortunately with the previous administration this was not possible. We welcome any approach that will resolve this issue so these janitors get what they are entitled to.
“They are entitled to respect. This is about getting them back to work, getting these issues resolved and we look forward to a sensible approach being taken to fix this.”
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