Schools cuts come in to force as 18 jobs go

New assistants will cover a number of different duties
New assistants will cover a number of different duties

Controversials plans which will see 18 key posts being cut from local schools will come into effect at the end of this week.

Restructuring – part of budget cuts necessary due to austerity measures – will see the normal practice of a traditional ‘janitor’ at every school being phased out, with cluster teams being put in to supervise a number of sites.

But this week East Dunbartonshire Council confirmed that while 18 members of staff in facilities management were leaving via voluntary redundancy by May 31, a new janitorial assistant was being put into every school from the beginning of June.

However, the new assistants will cover a variety of roles, including replacing school crossing patrols where they have been cut.

But this week angry readers questioned the cost to the public purse.

One said: ‘‘Eighteen of them are being given voluntary redundancy from May 31, but paid 10 weeks in lieu of notice. How much is that going to cost? Why are they not being kept on until the summer break? They are just going to be spending their time playing golf but still on the council payroll!’’

Director of neighbourhood Services, Grace Irvine, said: ““None of the janitorial activities currently carried out by site co-ordinators in schools are being lost – they will just be delivered differently with cluster co-ordinators and janitorial assistants working closely together. This approach gives us more capacity than before and enables us to develop a greater skills base across teams.

“These posts are graded appropriately in line with the Council’s pay and grading policy to reflect the duties and responsibilities of the job.”

“Within every school, a new role of janitorial assistant will be introduced from the beginning of June as part of the revised organisational model and this role will cover a wide range of front line activities within each school, including school crossing where required which will ensure continued and seamless delivery of the service levels throughout our education establishments. In terms of payments made to individuals, it would not be appropriate to comment.”

Reader Kathy Chapelle said this week: “The current janitors who are not being moved or offered other jobs are staying put and taking a huge loss in salary!

“This is deplorable given the times we live in.... For some it can be up to £10,000 this is your rent, mortgage, or car.”