Socialist Worker

Glasgow school janitors strike over pay as council agrees new cuts deal

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2495

Striking janitors take their message to council bosses in Glasgow

Striking janitors take their message to council bosses in Glasgow (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Primary school breakfast clubs in Glasgow were cancelled on Monday of this week as school janitors began a three-day walkout.

The 130 Unison union members escalated their dispute with bosses at Glasgow council-owned firm Cordia after several weeks of action short of strikes.

Janitors demand the same pay as other workers who also do dirty or physically demanding jobs. It can mean an extra £1,000 a year.

Cordia bosses have refused to budge.

Strikers lobbied the council on Monday chanting, “justice for jannies” and protested at Cordia HQ on Tuesday.

Their dispute mirrors CCTV workers at another council arms-length firm, Community Safety Glasgow.

They were set to begin a 48-hour strike this Thursday—their second walkout in two weeks.

CCTV workers want the same unsocial hours payments as council employees they sit next to during their shifts, worth £7,500 a year.

Victories for these two relatively small disputes would be a boost for all Glasgow council workers.

Driving

A Glasgow Unison steward told Socialist Worker, “The council is driving down conditions. It doesn’t want examples of workers winning as it launches a new attack.

“The janitors and CCTV staff are demanding existing conditions available to others.

“But bosses want to chip away at those.”

After a £500 million cut to local government from the SNP Scottish government Glasgow councillors debated how to implement another austerity budget last week.

Proposals from Labour, the SNP and the Greens all meant cuts.

Labour voted through its cuts package. It wants to slash at least £130 million and 1,500 jobs in the next two years.

Homelessness, mental health and addiction services are under threat.

The cost of breakfast clubs for school children will double and janitors will be cut from one per school to four per five schools.

Unison said there will be cuts to public holidays and cuts to annual leave for new starts.

Unison is consulting 1,200 members in residential care on industrial action and wider consultation could soon follow. GMB union members recently voted for strikes in a consultative ballot.

Workers’ resistance can halt the cuts and coordinated strikes across the council could help lead wider resistance against austerity.

Send messages of support to strikers: enquiries@glasgowcityunison.co.uk

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