Wednesday 21 March 2018

Siptu calls for talks on dispute

John Manning

The cleaners' dispute that resulted in a public protest at St Cronan's Senior National School in Swords, last Thursday as children returned to school, is being supported by Siptu.

Speaking to the Fingal Independent, Siptu Organiser, Paul Hansard, said: 'These Siptu members were employed directly by the school for many years prior to a management decision last November to outsource the cleaning function to a contracted company.

'Ailesbury Services was the company initially contracted to provide cleaning services for the school. This company contracted our members to carry out the work. However, a new cleaning contractor, AFM Ireland Ltd, engaged by the school management to provide cleaning services has not transferred our members' employment.'

Mr Hansard said: 'The workers have been informed by AFM Ireland Ltd that it will not employ them and the board of management of the school seems to have absolved itself of responsibility to these loyal workers.'

The union representative added: 'For many years, the five workers involved in this dispute ensured that the school was clean for pupils and teachers.

'These workers have between them over 63 years of service. 

'SIPTU is supporting their protest and calling on all the parties involved to engage in discussions in order to ensure these workers are treated fairly and reinstated to their jobs immediately.'

Clare Daly TD attended the protest on Thursday and said: 'Parents, teachers, and other school staff were shocked to see hard working women who gave decades of service cleaning the school being treated like this by management in Cronan's Senior NS to the point that they were forced to stand at the gates with placards.' She added  that these women who previously were directly employed by the school should either revert to that position or be employed by the new contractor.

Fingal Independent