Revealed: the cleaning crisis in Edinburgh schools

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A number of schools in Edinburgh have such poor levels of cleaning that it is “compromising health and safety standards”.

Unite, the trade union representing cleaners, have taken testimony from a number of members who tell of cleaners being shipped from school to school in the space of only one afternoon, potentially jeopardising standards.

This news comes on the day that council leaders meet to discuss how best to cut £33 million from the council budget.

Following Edinburgh city councils budget cut of an estimated £250 million in the last five years, cleaners have reported a shocking neglect of both staff and resources, forcing a supervisor to contact her union.

It has been noted that one individual employed by a major high school in Edinburgh was forced to visit several other community buildings to ensure the school did not run out of essential materials.

In another case, prior to complaints regarding a lack of cleaning materials, teachers were seen bringing in baby wipes to work to ensure the tables were clean for students to work on.

Mary Alexander, Unite’s Deputy Scottish Secretary, has labelled the situation as “ridiculous”.

She said: “Unite has heard numerous stories from cleaners across the city highlighting the lack of cleaning materials, and staff due to council cuts. Cleaners are in some instances being transported around schools to address the lack of provisions. The situation is compromising health and safety standards”.

It is estimated the Edinburgh City Council will face at least £41 million worth of cuts in the next year as well as a further £106 million in the following three years.

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