TWO unions today hit out at Kirklees Council's decision to hand under-fire building group Jarvis the £25m contract for a shake-up of special schools.
Trade union officials today called for Jarvis to be taken off the project and a new partner found.
The deal with Jarvis was agreed at yesterday's council Cabinet meeting.
Jarvis, together with building firm Totty, will develop a number of special schools around the district under the Government's Private Finance Initiative.
The programme will see a new school at Newsome to replace Highfields at Edgerton and Turnshaws at Kirkburton.
There will also be new schools for Fairfield at Heckmondwike and Longley school, Huddersfield, along with work to re-shape and extend Ravenshall at Dewsbury.
It will be the second major PFI project the council has undertaken with Jarvis.
The first, which began in summer, 2001, involved refurbishing 20 schools as part of a £43m, 27-year project.
But unions branded the building work as shoddy and disruptive as projects over-ran deadlines.
Mike Forster, joint chief education steward for Kirklees Unison said Jarvis had been a disaster for the existing schools.
David Hoyle, branch secretary of the GMB union, said: "The quality of the refurbishment on the simple things - such as painting and plastering - falls way below the required standard the council should accept."
Clr John Smithson, Cabinet member for education, said the offer from Jarvis was clearly the best in terms of value for money.
In the 25-year contract Jarvis will provide maintenance, caretaking and cleaning services.