Falkirk’s lollipop patrols facing cuts in hours

Crossing patrols are facing up to cuts in hours
Crossing patrols are facing up to cuts in hours
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Lollipop men and women at schools could suffer a drop in wages if proposals to cut their hours are pushed through.

After the summer holidays, primary one and two children will finish school at the same time as pupils in primary three onwards instead of earlier. At present the younger pupils finish at 2.30 p.m., but from August they will come out at 3 p.m.

This means crossing guards will not be needed earlier in the day which will see the hours of 48 out of 63 guards being cut. They say this could mean them losing out on more than £50 in wages each month.

One concerned guard, who asked not to be named, said: “This is causing us a lot of concern. I, and a lot of the others will lose out on about £50 a month. For most of us this is our only source of income and if we are losing that much money it won’t be worth our while doing the job. We’ll have to find something else.

“I can’t see many other people wanting to take the job and that could leave schools without a patrol, which could put children’s safety at risk.”

The new school times were agreed by Falkirk councillors earlier this year and the council say no decision has been taken yet on hours for patrols.

A spokesman for the council said: “We are currently in discussions with our school crossing patrols and the trades unions to try to resolve concerns around new time-tabling arrangements for our primary schools.

“It is hoped these will be concluded soon and we intend to write to all our school crossing patrols during the summer advising them of the outcome of these discussions.”

David Straiton, secretary of the Falkirk public services branch of the GMB, said: “We have advised our members not to accept any changes until we have proper consultation. We have big concerns. This is a big reduction in wages for a small budgetary gain.”