School cleaners enter week six of strike over wage cuts

The Guardian is reporting that three primary school cleaners in the West Yorkshire village of Kinsley are entering the sixth week of a strike over claims their wages and conditions have been cut since a private company took over the contract.

The women, who between them have more than 28 years’ experience cleaning Kinsley primary school in the former coalmining village, said that once the contract switched from Wakefield council to C&D Cleaning in April, they had their wages cut from £7.85 an hour to £7.20, the minimum wage. 

Leake, who has two adult children and a second job, said their pensions, sick pay and holiday entitlement had also been hit.

“The first month when we got our payslips we just thought it could be a few teething problems but the second month it was the same, and it just went on and on.”

Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison, said that for years public services “had been on sale to the lowest bidder”.

“When a service gets taken over by a private company, employees often lose out in the race to the bottom, ending up on lower pay, zero-hours contracts and working longer days.”

Unison is taking the three women’s case to an employment tribunal, claiming the company may have broken rules meant to ensure workers’ terms and conditions are maintained when contracts change hands.

More at: School cleaners enter week six of strike over wage cuts

Do you think these cleaners have been treated fairly? Do your cleaners receive a fair wage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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