MSP enters the row over school jannies

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Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson has written to East Dunbartonshire’s chief executive to voice his concerns over plans to axe school janitors.

In a letter to Gerry Cornes, Mr Paterson said he was extremely concerned about the council’s controversial plans to get rid of dedicated janitors and replace them with a pooled resource to cut costs.

A group of janitors recently contacted the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald with their concerns andthey are set to meet the council in private to discuss the issue.

Mr Paterson said: “This Labour/LibDem/Tory administration have proved they will stop at nothing to make savings and I have no faith that sense will prevail here.

“Janitors are an integral part of every school and perform such vital duties that any idea that their jobs could disappear is outrageous.

“I have asked Mr Cornes to reassure me and the community that no school will lose their janitor and any proposal of this kind would be dismissed out of hand. I await his reply with interest.”

Ann Davie, Director of Customer Services and Transformation, said: “Neighbourhood Services is carrying out a review on how services are delivered to develop the most efficient, sustainable service model while contributing to the significant financial challenges the council faces over the coming years.

“We are in discussion with the Trades Union and have carried out employee and stakeholder engagement sessions to inform development of any new delivery model. “Our employees have had the opportunity throughout the process to raise any concerns regarding potential new operating arrangements and the feedback from this will be taken into consideration.

“An engagement session has taken place with headteachers who have all had the opportunity to comment on options. There is no proposal to remove any of the janitorial activities currently carried out by site co-ordinators, however different ways of delivering these key activities are being examined. There is no intention to reduce the facilities management service level in any of our schools, and in fact our aim is to develop a greater degree of skill levels across our teams.

“No decisions have yet been taken and we expect to report to council following the summer recess.”