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Living Wage In South Ayrshire Schools

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

GMB steps up political campaign for living wage to be paid to school support staff employed by contractor MITIE in South Ayrshire.

Instead of taking profits out of South Ayrshire Mitie should start investing in the local area by paying their staff a living wage says GMB.

GMB Scotland, the union for school support staff, is stepping up the political campaign for school support staff employed by contractor Mitie should like the councils direct staff be paid a living wage of £7.20 per hour.

Mitie has the contract for cleaning and janitorial responsibilities for five schools in South Ayrshire: Barassie Primary, Monkton Primary, Alloway Primary, Prestwick Academy and Belmont Academy.

This claim for Mitie staff follows a long campaign by GMB for the introduction of a living wage for staff at South Ayrshire Council and this has now been achieved. Since 1st October 2012 the lowest paid employee at South Ayrshire Council has been paid £7.20 per hour and it is anticipated that from the beginning of April 2013 this will rise to £7.50 per hour.

GMB has alerted local elected politicians to the positive stance taken by South Ayrshire Council and is highlighting the negative way in which the private contractor Mitie is treating staff in local schools.

The elected politicians who support GMB for Mitie to follow the council's line are as follows from Councillors, MSPs and MPs: William Grant, John Scott, Sandra Osborne, Philip Saxton, Chic Brodie, Brian Donohoe, Ian Douglas, Graeme Pearson, Alec Oattes, John Allan, Nan McFarlane, Ian Cochrane, Corri Wilson, Douglas Campbell, John McDowall, Kirsty Darwent, Brian McGinley and Rita Miller.

Paul Arkision, GMB Regional Organizer, said "Mitie is blatantly refusing to acknowledge South Ayrshire Council's position on paying a living wage to staff. Mitie deem it appropriate to pay their cleaners a few pence above the legal minimum wage and they pay their janitors - who have responsibility for the safety and security of the council's most modern schools - less than £7 per hour.

It is widely acknowledged that many councils are struggling financially, yet Mitie are making huge profits off the back of a council contract. Part of the reason Mitie make such huge profits is due to the appalling levels of poverty pay they offer their employees. Organisations like Mitie are helping to create a 'working poor' in South Ayrshire.

Many Mitie employees are union members and they have signed a petition to demand that the company pay a living wage on the contract. GMB is grateful to all the local politicians who have pledged their support to these low paid workers. These school employees are pleased with this boost for their claim by this support from the area's elected local politicians.

Mitie staff provide a fantastic service in these schools despite the appallingly low levels of pay which they receive. Instead of taking profits out of South Ayrshire they should start investing in the local area by paying their staff a living wage."

End

Contact: Paul Arkison, GMB Regional Organiser: 07801 656533 or Chic Brodie MSP, South of Scotland Constituency - 07785 318439 or Brian Donohoe MP, Central Ayrshire Constituency - 01294 276844

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