People power gives pause for thought over janitor cuts

Balmuildy Primary SchoolBalmuildy Primary School
Balmuildy Primary School
Under-threat school janitors were relieved last week after it was revealed that council chiefs had agreed to look again at controversial cuts.

The Herald understands that councillors will be meeting this week to discuss fresh cost-slashing measures.

They were to include a scheme to scrap dedicated school janitors and replace them with a pooled resource.

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The proposal which was to go in front of councillors specified “the removal of site co-ordinator roles and re-provision of the delivery element into frontline resource levels.

“A new role of ‘Cluster Co-ordinator’ has been developed to ensure management needs are met and the proposal includes nine of these posts with each having responsibility for around a dozen properties.”

The plans led to outrage from parents and janitors, who insisted it would have serious implications for child safety.

But, following discussions with the trades unions, the Herald understands the council have now taken the plans off the table until at least after the summer - when a report will be presented to councillors.

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Trade Union bosses credited pressure put on the council by stories in the press, a petition, and direct contact with elected members for the rethink.

Balmuildy Primary School parent forum chair Kevin Lawrence, who organised the online petition against the plans, said: “Personally I’m delighted with this news and I’d like to thank the Kirkintilloch Herald for the support.

“The power of the local press is alive and well.”

But he added he had concerns that the scheme may be revisited in September, with Anne Davie, the council’s director of customer services and transformation, confirming that the matter was still being looked into.

She said: “No decisions have yet been taken and negotiations are still on-going with the trades unions.

“We expect to report to council following the summer recess.”