Glasgow City Council agrees 6% annual pay increase for school janitors


Janitors who work for Glasgow City Council in primary, nursery and additional support for learning (ASL) schools and are members of the trade union Unison have agreed a 6% annual pay increase following a long-running pay dispute.

The pay deal, which came into effect on 14 August 2017, will increase the annual pay of all janitors working in the city by £1,184 a year, with 196 janitors moving up a pay grade.

Weekly working hours will be reduced from 41.5 hours a week to 40 hours a week, and janitors will now be able to take holidays during term-time. The janitors will receive a £520 working context payment, which relates to occasions when staff have to undertake dirty or outside work and heavy lifting. Janitors will be also be required to provide some sickness and holiday cover to other janitors under the new deal.

The deal also includes the creation of 35 senior janitor positions, who will receive a staged £4,000 annual pay rise over the next two years.

In January 2016, Unison members began a boycott of all heavy lifting, outside and dirty duties. This was followed by 67 days of strike action in March 2016, taken in three, five and 10-day blocks.

In January 2017, Glasgow City Council body Cordia offered a deal that included a pay rise but reduced jobs. This offer was withdrawn by the previous council administration in March 2017.

Susan Aitken, leader at Glasgow City Council, said: “I am pleased we have been able to bring about a positive end to this dispute, which has been one of longest disputes in Glasgow City Council in recent decades. This dispute was allowed to drag on far too long by the previous administration.

“We promised parents and pupils this would be a priority for the city government. [This] agreement means we start the new school year with a deal that works for the janitors, the council and Glasgow’s schools. I am confident that this delivers a fair and sustainable justice for the jannies, alongside service reform without being unfair to other staff groups.

“I am grateful to the workforce, trade unions and officers who have worked hard to bring about this resolution with their efforts across the summer; along with our city treasurer, Allan Gow, and city convener for workforce, Feargal Dalton.”

A spokesperson at Unison added: “The dispute shows that [employees] can win if they are determined and organised, supported by their local branch and the wider the trade union, escalate strike action when necessary, involve the wider community and build pressure on elected politicians at key points.”