A CAMPAIGN calling for a pay boost for school janitors and cleaning staff aims to bring their vital work "out of the shadows".

GMB Scotland reps say these vital school staff have kept primaries and secondaries open throughout the pandemic, helping keep buildings safe for staff and pupils.

Now the union is calling on employer Amey to uplift pay to £10 an hour for cleaners and give janitors a 4% increase.

GMB Senior Rep and School Janitor Stuart Henderson said: "We are proud of the role our janitors and cleaners played during this crisis to keep schools and services open.

"But at times it does appear as if we are the invisible forgotten workers of Covid.

"We understand that without our work schools don't open and kids do not get an education.

"This modest pay rise is wholly deserved and goes a little way to recognising the work we do."

Amey operates the janitorial and cleaning services across Glasgow's 30 secondary schools, employing several hundred janitors and cleaners across the school estate.

Recently GMB Scotland obtained recognition for the workforce and is now entering negotiations to improve pay.

Described by the GMB as an "invisible army", cleaners and janitors arrive in schools from 6am to ensure the buildings are safe to open.

They have been working throughout the pandemic to ensure schools can open for children with additional needs and children of essential workers.

GMB Scotland said janitors often work until 10pm to accommodate extra curricular activities and sports taking place in schools.

Cleaners are paid £9.30 an hour with the union call for an uplift of 7.5% to £10 and hour.

Janitors working a 40 hour week earn between £10 and £11 an hour dependent on grade, with GMB Scotland calling for a 4% pay rise.

After Easter the union plans to launch a major campaign to ask the Glasgow public to support of the pay claim.

GMB Organiser John Slaven said: "It is only when you visit a school at 6am you recognise all the hard work that goes in to prepare for the school day.

"It is only when you visit a school in the evening that you recognise the vital role schools play in the community, holding clubs and events almost every night.

"And this requires the dedication, hard work and skills of our cleaners and janitor members.

"This pay campaign with bring out from the shadows the vital role these workers play and why they wholeheartedly deserve the very modest pay claim GMB has submitted.

"We do not doubt the people of Glasgow will support this campaign and we urge AMEY schools to sit down negotiate and get this richly deserved pay award into the pay packets of these essential workers."

A spokeswoman for Amey said: "We’re extremely proud of the work our frontline workers have delivered throughout the pandemic.

"During Covid-19 we both protected and improved the conditions of our frontline workers including enhancing benefits, awarding a pay rise and introducing the real living wage.

"Discussions with GMB Scotland remain ongoing."

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said negotiations are a matter for Amey.