Lecturers at the University of Glasgow are being forced to clean their own classrooms as a result of the increasing pressures on cleaning staff.

The university has been slammed for putting ‘efficiency’ before ‘hygiene’ following claims that cleaning staff were overworked and buildings were not “fit for purpose”.

Trade union Unite has raised concerns about stress levels within the cleaning workforce, claiming that some workers are being asked to do the job of “two or three people”.

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According to reports in The Evening Times, teaching staff have begun cleaning rooms themselves.

Representatives from Unite have now called on bosses to offer better working conditions for the employees, including longer hours for existing staff to ensure that tidying is carried out. 

Regional officer Alison MacLean said: “For a long time cleaning staff have felt they have been poorly treated.

“The university is not employing enough people, they just get the women to clean more floors. Our workers can’t keep up given the limited resources.

“On the main campus they are spending millions investing but they must make sure this is a safe environment.”

In a survey carried out at the end of last year, more than 70 per cent of university cleaning personnel reported staff cover as the main issue.

The poll also found that employees felt their current workload was “unreasonable”.

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Unite organiser Derek Thomson, who helped carry out the survey, said the situation represented an “exploitation of the staff”.

He added: “The university is not being cleaned properly. They need staff in to make sure it is fit for purpose.”

Under-pressure workers have been offered the “full support” of the university’s rector, who said staff have reported to him their “low morale” over the past year.

Aamer Anwar added: “The union are right to highlight the concerns which means hygiene takes a hit in the name of cost efficiency and ‘restructuring’, in a number of areas around campus the reduction in cleanliness has become more noticeable, with added concerns for health and safety.

“Many students and lecturers will be angry to learn that the lowest paid staff at our university are treated as cannon fodder, expected to fill gaps whilst lack of job security means they are unable to speak out.”

The university claims it has received no formal complaints about cleanliness or staff pressures and it was covering the majority of staff shortages with overtime.

A spokesperson added: “We work with all users across the campus to ensure that appropriate levels of cleanliness are achieved and regularly test our levels of resource to ensure that we can deliver the standards that our staff and researchers need."