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2,000 Support GMB In South Ayrshire

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Two Thousand Sign GMB Scotland Petition Saying No To South Ayrshire School Cuts

Given the level of support for petition we will be pressing the council to reconsider their plans which will have long lasting damaging implications for the education provision of South Ayrshire school children for many years says GMB.

GMB Scotland has received a massive show of support from people right across South Ayrshire as the S.O.S. - Save Our Schools' petition has received 2,000 signatures. This demonstrates the level of support for the campaign to stop the cuts to these crucial services. See GMB press release of 26th Feb announcing petition.

The council is proposing to close school kitchens, cut cleaning services, reduce janitorial provision and school crossing patrols. GMB has highlighted that the quality of school meals and the safety of school children in and around schools may be jeopardised by these excessive cuts.

GMB is saying that cuts on this scale will damage the educational development of children in South Ayrshire.

Paul Arkison, GMB Regional Officer, said “Initially we believed that getting 1,000 signatures was an ambitious target, so to achieve double this is incredible.

These signatures were gained by attending community group meetings, parents' group meetings and people contacting local GMB representatives wanting to become involved to save school services.

The local councillors who have voted these proposals through must now realise that if these two thousand signatures are translated into votes, many of the current councillors may well lose their seats at the next election.

Given the level of support our petition has received we will be pressing the council to reconsider their plans which we believe will have long lasting damaging implications for the education provision of South Ayrshire school children for many years.”

End

Contact: Paul Arkison GMB Scotland on 07801 656533 or 0141 3328641 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to editors

GMB press release 26th Feb 2014

GMB SCOTLAND CAMPAIGN OVER CUTS IN SCHOOLS IN SOUTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL

Cuts include closing up to eighteen school kitchens, cuts to janitors and caretakers, reductions in cleaning services, schools losing classroom assistants and a reduction in school crossing patrollers says GMB

GMB Scotland, the union for public sector workers, has launched a campaign and a petition to save threatened services in South Ayrshire Council schools.

The South Ayrshire Council’s budget for 2014/15 and the proposals for the following two years include closing up to eighteen school kitchens, cuts to janitors and caretakers, reductions in cleaning services, schools losing classroom assistants and a reduction in school crossing patrollers.

There is a high level of concern surrounding these budget cuts. In response GMB Scotland launched a petition in South Ayrshire titled: ‘S.O.S. – Save Our Schools’.  The petition is open for anyone to sign including parents, workers and politicians.

Paul Arkison, GMB Regional Officer, said “GMB Scotland has had many calls from members e saying South Ayrshire Council has made a huge error in judgement by attempting to cut more services in schools, which have already faced significant reductions in previous years.

GMB Scotland is concerned about the job losses that these cuts will bring but there are also concerns about the safety of school pupils, who will be in buildings which will be getting cleaned on a much reduced level, and with the threat to the hours of school janitors there is a genuine concern the maintenance of schools will be compromised in an attempt to save money.

GMB Scotland is well aware of the difficult circumstances councils find themselves in financially. GMB Scotland has always engaged positively with South Ayrshire Council in an attempt to protect jobs and services. However there is only so much you can mitigate against and with these devastating proposed cuts there will undoubtedly be job losses and this will increase the risk of pupils’ safety and well-being in and around the schools which they attend.

Members are quite simply stunned that elected councillors could vote through such devastating proposals.  Some of the options beggar belief, for example, closing school kitchens while the Scottish Government has made a commitment to give Primary 1, 2 and 3 pupils free school meals from January 2015.

We are asking everyone who is concerned about these cuts to show support for the campaign in South Ayrshire and also request that the elected councillors reconsider the impact their decision will have on hard working families and ask them to Support Our Schools, rather than damage them”.

End

Notes for Editors

Attached image, with the story on GMB website, from left to right Paul Arkison and GMB representatives Georgie Hawkes and Martha Hobbs.

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