A COUNCIL boss has been challenged to come face-to-face with the mess on the streets his cleansing staff have to deal with.

Labour councillor Paul Carey has invited Feargal Dalton SNP councillor - the workforce convener in charge of the team - to shadow a team for a day before a decision is taken on whether to keep or axe 132 workers on temporary contracts.

The council leadership, however, has reminded Labour it was they who put the workers on temporary contracts in the first place.

A decision is expected on their future when City Treasurer, Allan Gow, sets the council’s budget for next year.

Last week the Evening Times reported the city’s cleansing staff could strike, with unions claiming the service is at “breaking point”.

Uncertainty continues over contracts for 123 city refuse workers who the GMB claims are forced to deal with “Dickensian conditions”.

They have highlighted staff clearing up “human waste, rodents and drug dens” as well as mounting rubbish across the city centre and in communities.

Temporary cleansing worker contracts come to an end on March 31 but the GMB Scotland said Glasgow City Council is refusing to provide clarity for the staff’s future.

Mr Carey said it is essential the Environmental Task Force is retained to cope with the level of demand across the city’s streets.

Mr Carey said: “The Budget is a major decision, and I think that Feargal Dalton owes it to the 132 workers to see the challenges they face first hand before making a decision on their future.

“The reality is, the task force is a necessary component of any strategy to keep our city clean and safe.

“This is because of years of cuts from the SNP that have forced cleansing staff to do more and more with less and less.

“I’ve joined the workers out on their routes before, and saw first-hand the excellent work that they do and the challenges that they face. I hope Feargal Dalton will agree that we should listen to workers and communities have to say first-hand before making a final decision.”

The Task Force, and the temporary contracts, were set up by the previous Labour administration.

Mr Dalton told the Evening Times that there were staff across council departments on temporary contracts under the last administration.

He said the SNP were looking to provide “permanent employment opportunities”.

A spokesman for the council administration said: “The City Government recognises the work our teams perform in keeping Glasgow clean.

“The forthcoming budget will allow us to lay the foundations to deliver a better Glasgow which will include resolving the raft of workforce issues inherited from the previous Labour administration which knowingly put these men on one year contracts.

“Keeping Glasgow clean and re-investing in frontline services are key priorities during ongoing budget discussions with all party groups.”