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Date: 22 May 2008

UNISON slams threat to Edinburgh school meals

UNISON, the union that represents school meals staff today attacked City of Edinburgh Council proposals to save money by cutting back on school meals.

Agnes Petkevicius, Secretary of UNISON's City of Edinburgh Branch said "The cuts that the council are proposing, will not only mothball a number of primary and nursery kitchens, they will also lead to a reduction in the number of hot meals that kids can get. Each Friday kids in Edinburgh's Primaries and nurseries, will be restricted to sandwiches, and some nurseries will lose hot meals entirely.

"This means that kids often will not get a hot meal - as the school lunch was their only one of the day, especially for those on free school meals. It also means that many school meals staff will have their hours cut to below 16 per week - with serious consequences for their take-home pay, and qualification for many statutory benefits."

"It is also short sighted at a time when government is moving towards improving the quality of the food we serve to children in school, When councils like East Ayrshire can develop major improvements in providing local, freshly-sourced and cooked school meals, for Edinburgh to reduce its investment in flies in the face of what should be happening."


For Further Information Please Contact: Agnes Petkevicius (Branch Secretary) 0131 220 5655(o) John Stevenson (Branch President) 07876 795018 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)