UNION bosses have warned of further disruption in Glasgow schools as talks between staff and employer Amey have broken down. 

The threat of two separate strikes in two months now looms over high schools if employers do not meet union demands. 

GMB Scotland claimed the pay offer on the table for janitors and cleaning staff in the city's 30 secondary schools "would shame Scrooge".

The dispute over pay has been running for several months but this week hit crisis point with the union moving to ballot for industrial action.

READ MORE: Glasgow school strikes called off at last minute

It could lead to strikes in schools in September and just weeks after mooted strikes by GMB, Unite and Unison workers over a Cosla pay dispute.

The news comes as pay talks also stalled between council workers and council umbrella body Cosla with the GMB's Keir Greenaway warning the cost-of-living crisis will become a "catastrophe" for staff.

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow City Council subcontracts its janitorial, cleaning and maintenance services to private firm Amey.

As told previously in the Glasgow Times, negotiations have been under way to increase pay for these staff members.

GMB organiser John Slaven said: "Amey treatment of cleaners and janitors and maintenance workers is Dickensian. 

"Amey is a multi-national company raking in vast profits but is driving our members into poverty with a pay offer that would shame Scrooge. 

"Once again Glasgow City Council need to look at the labour practice of Amey.

"They are the contract holder and ultimately responsible for the exploitation that is going under their noses." 

GMB Scotland said Amey's offer effectively freezes cleaner wages at £9.90 an hour while giving janitors and maintenance trades a rise of 4.2%.  

Workers also say they are angry that cleaners receive no additional payment for cleaning extra beats and that there have been changes to janitors' sickness entitlement. 

READ MORE: Back to school in Glasgow disrupted by strikes threats

Now the union is holding two separate ballots for maintenance staff, and cleaning and janitorial staff with the ballot closing on August 22. 

Bosses are writing to other unions, local councillors and headteachers in a bid to garner support.

One janitor and senior union rep, who asked to stay anonymous, added: "GMB members are sick of their treatment after working all through Covid-19. 

"The very people who are denying us a fair pay claim were safe at home when we put ourselves on the line to keep schools open and kids safe."

If strikes go ahead it would likely mean the closure of some or all city secondary schools, following closely on from disruption caused by the separate Cosla pay talks.  

A spokesperson for Amey said the firm has been "working hard" to give facilities maintenance teams "a decent wage and benefits package". 

They said cleaners’ salaries have been increased by 20% over the last two years, and in 2021 they received the 2022 Real Living Wage hourly rate one year early.

They added: "Since the most recent set of negotiations began with the GMB we have offered many improvements to terms and conditions, notably harmonising overtime for cleaners and removing Saturday working for janitors. 

READ MORE: Glasgow schools could close over strikes

"Most significantly, we have also offered our janitors and maintenance team a 4.21% increase from April 1, 2022. 

"Our janitors will see a 7.81% increase as a result of the removal of Saturday working."

The spokesperson said Amey would be paying the new Real Living Wage five months early to "give staff extra support during the winter months".  

Meanwhile, the union Unison has written to local councillors after members in schools, nurseries and waste services voted to take strike action, alongside sister unions the GMB and Unite.

The vote means more than 8000 council workers in Glasgow are likely to be involved in strike action in the coming month, including in schools. 

Cosla is offering council workers an increase of 2%, which the three unions say is an "insult".

The joint trade union claim in Scotland is demanding a flat rate £3000 to all council workers.

Following a failed meeting between the unions and Cosla yesterday, GMB Scotland senior organiser Keir Greenaway said: "The ongoing inaction on pay will only increase the anger and fear among our members - anger about the total lack of value being shown to them and fear about what the winter will bring.

"This [cost-of-living] crisis will turn into a catastrophe for tens of thousands of key workers, and more councils will face more strikes, unless a significantly improved pay offer is tabled."

Glasgow City Council was contacted for comment.