SCHOOL cleaners, janitors and lolly-pop men and women across the Borders are facing swingeing cuts to their hours.

A review of all staffing in around the region's primaries and secondaries is currently ongoing.

Cleaners, who are almost all earning the living wage, have already been told their hours are being reduced by 20 per cent.

And a decision over school crossing patrols and janitors is expected over the summer.

One angry cleaner told us: "We are already stretched with cut backs in recent years yet we are now losing a day's work and they will expect schools to still be cleaned the same.

"There has been little in the way of discussion about how this will work - all we know is that we are losing hours and wages.

"Schools won't be as clean as they are just now, that's for sure."

The former council administration agreed earlier this year to implement a review of school cleaning with aims of making £50,000 savings for the 'people' finances.

The budget, which was voted through in February, also indicated a so-called 'rationalisation of cleaning services' from a separate budget for 'places' with a review of school crossing patrols and janitorial staff.

Figures indicate that £260,000 will be saved during the current financial year.

The cleaner added: "A lot of people who work at the schools are worried their hours are going to be cut like ours.

"The atmosphere within the school where I work is terrible just now."

Scottish Borders Council has already made more than £26 million worth of savings over the past four years as central government funding continues to go down.

And at the start of this year bosses at Newtown unveiled plans for a further £9.5 million of cuts despite attempts to protect frontline services.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesman confirmed this week that cleaning hours were being reduced by a fifth.

He explained: "The council, like many other local authorities, is facing significant financial challenges, and as a result agreed in its 2017/18 budget to review its janitorial, cleaning and school crossing patrol services.

“As part of this review, the council has introduced a new cleaning system which will result in cleaning hours being reduced by 20 per cent.

"However, we are allocating available hours to staff to mitigate the effects of the reduction.

“Despite these changes, nurseries, toilets, dining rooms and food preparation areas will continue to be cleaned daily by staff."

The review into school crossings and janitors is ongoing.

The spokesman added: “No other decisions have as yet been made as part of the review.”