United Workers Union to rally for school cleaners

Up to 100 school cleaners and supporters to deliver more than 650 signed postcards calling for the NSW Premier to meet with school cleaners.

Up to 100 school cleaners and their supporters will deliver more than 650 signed postcards all the way from Armidale to Wagga Wagga calling for Premier Dominic Perrottet to meet with school cleaners.

United Workers Union, the union representing school cleaners in New South Wales, said it has contacted the Premier’s office on multiple occasions to report the working conditions leaving cleaners unable to keep schools safe and hygienic.

Lyndal Ryan, United Workers Union property services director, said schools are filthy and are only getting worse so school cleaners are taking action.

“Last week the Premier scrapped enhanced cleaning hours integral to keeping schools COVID-free during the pandemic and failed to commit any additional funding to the school cleaning crisis. Today’s action will show the public that their state government must act to address this crisis.

“Schools have a shortage of cleaners, and those cleaners don’t have enough hours to do their work to a reasonable standard that won’t endanger the health of the school community. It’s a race to the bottom.”

According to United Workers Union, a school cleaner can have as little as 10 minutes to clean each classroom, but requires much longer depending on the room’s condition when they arrive on shift. With the number of children, curriculum and school events seeing this change daily.

Cleaners work split shifts that can start at 4am and finish at 6pm, and includes an extended duties list such as emptying all bins, cleaning each individual toilet, machine buffing floors and washing down communal spaces like hallways and outdoor grounds

“The Premier is well-aware of the crisis happening in schools but has chosen to turn a blind eye – sending a message to the parents of New South Wales that their children don’t deserve a clean and healthy learning environment. Well no longer. The Premier must agree to meet with school cleaners,” Ryan said.

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