“There should be danger payments for cleansing workers” - rising rat population in Glasgow sparks GMB call for action

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A trade union convenor is urging Glasgow City Council and COSLA to walk in the shoes of cleansing staff on the front line protecting public health amid concerns about the rising rat population.

Video footage taken on Sunday morning and released exclusively to the LDR service, shows around half a dozen rats scurrying around the bins at Bogmoore Road, Shieldhall in the South Side of the city.

In the video, cleansing workers can be heard describing how they have seen about ten rats in total that morning with GMB Convenor Chris Mitchell saying the rat population is growing.

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Mr Mitchell says that the issue is becoming increasingly worrying and that they need to show the local authority the issues they face on a daily basis.

He said: “The rat population is growing and yes we do film because it’s becoming increasingly worrying so that we can show the council the kind of conditions we face. It’s an everyday occurrence.

“Rat urine can kill and cleansing workers and environmental health staff are the first line of defence against this to protect the public.

“I would like to say to the council and COSLA come and walk in the shoes of the workforce. Look them in the eye and tell them they are only worthy of a two percent pay rise. There should be danger payments for cleansing workers this is a very serious issue that will and is becoming the next crisis.”

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Just last week Mr Mitchell joined calls for a nationwide strike among the cleansing workforce in a bid to land a ten percent pay increase to help with the cost of living crisis.

He believes that once momentum grows strikes will be happening across the country.

A COSLA spokesperson added: “COSLA values the essential roles that all local government workers carry out on a daily basis. We remain in active discussions with our Trade Union partners.”

Glasgow City Council has been asked for comment.

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