Catering staff at a top Dundee school could be starting 2021 by being made redundant.
However, one of the 12 members of staff said they felt the decision had already been made and is now having to think about signing on to universal credit.
They said: “The school has decided that under the circumstances catering is no longer viable in the short or the long term.
“We have been furloughed since the beginning so there have been no school dinners, no catering and no functions which is pretty much what we did.
“Parents are to provide a packed lunch now.
“We thought we could go back to work after the summer and then we hoped after the October holidays and then we were hoping after Christmas.
“But the decision has been made.”
They added: “I absolutely expect this consultation to lead to redundancy, the school has already decided.
“Some members of staff have worked there for over 25 years and only one member of staff is being retained for the nursery packed lunches.
“Furlough is going on until the end of April and an awful lot can happen between now and then, particularly with the vaccine being developed and rolled out.
“But in order for them to accept the furlough scheme the school has to provide a guarantee there will be a job for us to go back to and they say they can’t guarantee that now.
“Previously it would have been easy for a chef to go and find another job but not at the moment.
“There is pretty much no hope so it will be universal credit for the foreseeable.
“I know worse things have happened this year because people have lost loved ones but realistically it feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth.
“We are assuming our last wages will be at the end of January.”
The school said it had been logistically impossible to offer safe catering provision during the pandemic and that situation would continue until Easter at the earliest.
Catering had been provided by nationwide company, Elior.
‘An immensely difficult decision’
Claire MacDonald, the school’s bursar, said: “It is with huge regret, that as a consequence, a consultation process has begun with the catering staff.
“This is being managed by Elior.
“The catering staff have been on furlough since March.
“Throughout this time the school ensured that the affected staff received their full pay.
“The school and Elior’s senior management have been working as hard as possible to explore all options and we are extremely sorry that the immensely difficult decision to begin the process has had to be taken.
“We will be seeking to restart catering as soon as it is safe and logistically possible to do so.
“A new workforce will then be employed and deployed by Elior and we would, of course, hope that current catering staff members will apply for a position at this point.”