Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham lollipop wardens face job losses, GMB says

Image caption A union claims Birmingham lollipop ladies and men have been told they will lose their jobs if schools do not foot the bill

School crossing wardens have been told they will lose their jobs unless schools agree to fund them, a union has claimed.

Birmingham City Council is due to make a decision on the future of lollipop ladies and men later this month.

It says it is looking at several ways to finance patrols.

But according to the GMB union, 180 staff have already been told they will be made redundant unless schools pay £5,100 a year towards the cost.

In response, the local authority says no confirmation of job losses has been communicated to its wardens, although it admitted funding by schools was among its options.

The GMB's Gill Whittaker said: "We ran a campaign last year to save the jobs of lollipop wardens.

"The council pledged to continue to directly employ around 180 school crossing patrol wardens working on sites where there is an identified high risk.

"It is disappointing that they now appear to have done a U-turn, so the wardens are again at risk of redundancy."

A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: "What we are trying to do is find different ways to fund school crossing patrols.

"That could be money that comes from schools individually paying for them.

"It could be businesses paying for them and we are looking at setting up a school safety trust where businesses and other local employers would be able to put money towards the safety of our children locally."

He added: "We are going to be looking at every individual site to look at the existing road safety measures that we have invested in and also whether there are additional things we could be putting in before any decision on withdrawing any individual patrols will be made."

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