The Ministry of Education is re-introducing reduced wages for school custodians during the summer break because according to the government department, the compounds are not being cleaned properly in preparation for the opening of school.
OBSERVER media was told that custodians are cleaners and janitorial staff.
The ministry said that the custodians would receive half of their basic wages during the summer break commencing summer of 2018.
The education ministry, in a communication that was shared with the media said its aims and objectives were not being met as the schools were not properly prepared for the opening of the school year in September although staff were paid full wages and should have been using the long break to ensure that students returned to a clean and healthy environment.
After two years of trying to rectify the situation, the ministry determined to take this approach.
Now, full wages will only be paid during the first week after the closure of school and resume two weeks prior to the opening of the new school term.
“Fifty percent of gross weekly wages will take effect from the week ending 6th July to week ending 17th August, 2018 for those custodians who chose to remain at home during the summer break. Custodians who have accumulated vacation leave are required to apply for their vacation leave during the summer,” the communication said.
Also, risk allowance will not be paid during this period, and custodians who fail to report for duty will not be paid.
No approval will be given for vacation leave which falls during the first week after the closure of school and the last two weeks prior to the opening of school.
Arrangements will be made for those custodians without vacation leave to continue to perform their duties at their respective schools or during summer programmes to be held in schools, the ministry explained.
“Custodians who want to continue to perform their duties during the 10 weeks of summer should indicate their intention to do so to their respective principals,” the ministry said.
The ministry also wishes to inform that a cohort of 50 custodians will be chosen to take part in a training exercise during the first three days of Summer Institute.