Fingal Independent - - NEWS - John MAN­NING

SCHOOL clean­ers who have found them­selves out of a job at a Swords pri­mary school are ap­peal­ing for the Board of Man­age­ment of the school to meet them and dis­cuss re-em­ploy­ing them.

Five clean­ers at St Cro­nan’s Se­nior Na­tional School in Swords agreed last Novem­ber to a new con­trac­tor com­ing into the school as long as they were em­ployed by that con­trac­tor.

The new con­trac­tor, Ailes­bury Ser­vices took on all five clean­ers and the new ar­range­ment worked well un­til this sum­mer, when the school’s Board of Man­age­ment de­cided to em­ploy a new con­trac­tor, AFM Ire­land Ltd, who did not take on the five clean­ers, who be­tween them have over 60 years of service at the school.

The five clean­ers thought that their jobs would be safe, re­gard­less of the con­trac­tor em­ployed to pro­vide cleaning ser­vices at the school but as chil­dren re­turned to the school last week, the clean­ers were out of a job and in­stead were hold­ing a protest to high­light their sit­u­a­tion out­side the school.

The protest made by three of the five clean­ers and their sup­port­ers was backed by Siptu and or­gan­iser for the union, Paul Hansard said all he wanted to see was a meet­ing be­tween the new con­trac­tor, the school Board of Man­age­ment and the out of work clean­ers to find a way for­ward.

One of the protest­ing clean­ers, Lor­raine Reilly, who has worked at St Cro­nan’s Se­nior Na­tional School for 19 years, said: ‘We are protest­ing be­cause af­ter many years of loyal service to the school our jobs have been given to a cleaning com­pany which has not taken us on.

‘There have been clean­ers on site since Au­gust 28 and we are now un­em­ployed.

‘We are re­ceiv­ing su­per sup­port from fam­ily, the com­mu­nity, coun­cil­lors and local TDS. They have all wished us the best of luck in get­ting our jobs back.’

Chair­per­son of the school’s Board of Man­age­ment is the local parish priest, Fr Paul Thorn­ton.

The Fin­gal In­de­pen­dent made nu­mer­ous at­tempts to con­tact Fr Thorn­ton for a comment on the is­sue but was not able to reach him.

The cur­rent con­trac­tor at the school, AFM Ire­land, was also con­tacted by the Fin­gal In­de­pen­dent.

Gen­eral Man­ager of the com­pany, Alan Mccormack said he was ‘not in a po­si­tion to speak about staff that are not on our books’. Asked about the work­ers be­ing taken on by what­ever con­trac­tor pro­vided cleaning ser­vices in the school, Mr Mccormack said he did not wish to make any fur­ther comment.

The protest­ing clean­ers are now gath­er­ing a pe­ti­tion lo­cally and lob­by­ing local po­lit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the is­sue.

One of the protest­ing school clean­ers, Lor­raine Reilly (sec­ond from right) with sup­port­ers, out­side St Cro­nan’s Se­nior Na­tional School in Swords.

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