Parent groups are demanding answers over job cuts fears

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Parents at schools across East Dunbartonshire are calling for reassurance over the impact of cuts.

They particularly fear plans to ditch the traditional school janitor in every site to a fewer number of lower-grade managers looking after multiple schools.

Kevin Lawrence, a Parent Council chairman and member of the forum, has written to East Dunbartonshire expressing concerns over its restructuring plans, which are putting 800 jobs under threat, adding other members have raised concerns too. Employees are at risk of redundancy and may be taken back on at a reduced rate of pay, or replaced with staff at a lower grade.

Mr Lawrence has asked for the implications on the day to day running of the school and what contingency plans are in place as ‘‘it appears that the threat of an industrial dispute is looming large’’. They also fear that losing years of training and experience from the existing workforce could put health and safety at risk.

As reported in the Herald recently a review meant several chief officers at the council received substantial pay increases this year, rumoured to be up to £20,000, while the cuts are happening in Neighbourhood Services. The parents have asked for a justification.

Ann Davie, director of customerservices and transformation said: “Under the new arrangements which will be implemented from April 2015, a full janitorial function will continue to be delivered within each school.

‘‘From January 2015 the Council will meet with all existing employees to discuss in more detail the planned changes and what that means for individual employees. The Council will continue to ensure that all employees are fully trained in all aspects of the job. Pupil safety remains a priority and we would like to reassure all parents that there will be no adverse effect on health and safety issues in any of our schools as a result of thesechanges.’’