Cleaner tells Sunderland Council: ‘Why should I retire at 70?’

Dawn Morrison has been forced to retire at 70.
Dawn Morrison has been forced to retire at 70.
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A FORMER school cleaner claims she has been removed from doing the job she loved because she is too old.

Joan Morrison, 70, was told her contract as a cleaner at Springwell Dene School would not be renewed after more than 20 years of loyal service.

But Mrs Morrison feels she is more than capable of continuing in the job and says she is at a loose end now she is without her work.

“I’ve been finished after nearly 23 years,” said Mrs Morrison, of Springwell.

“I went to an appeal and I don’t think I was in for more than five minutes. I’m not the only one because there are others in the same position.

“We are just easy targets for them to get rid of, but I don’t want to retire right now.”

Mrs Morrison, who is married to Kenneth, 75 and has two grown-up children, says she got a letter about her contract not being renewed in December.

Although it did not state that her age was an issue, the pensioner believes she was seen as too old for her job.

She then went to a meeting to discuss whether she could stay on in her role.

However, she says she wasn’t given a fair chance to plead her case and stay in her job at Springwell Dene.

Mrs Morrison wasn’t able to reverse the decision and is now out of work.

She added: “They are just treating people like dirt. I’m still quite capable of doing my job, I suppose I just don’t feel my age.”

In response to Mrs Morrison’s claims, John Rawling, deputy director of human resources and organisational development at Sunderland City Council, said: “The city council does not comment on individual appeal hearings.”

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