||Issue No. 239||24 September 2004|
Interview: True Matilda
Politics: State of Play
Industrial: Capital Dilemmas
Unions: Rhodes Scholars
National Focus: Rennovating the Lodge
International: People Power
Economics: A Bit Rich
History: Mine Shafts
Safety: Sick Of Fighting
Organising: Building a Wave
Poetry: Anger In The Bush(es)
Review: The Battle Of Algiers
Culture: The Word On The Street
The Locker Room
I Say I Say I Say II
Vote Early, And Often
No Surplus Of Generosity
Cleaners Clean Up
The State Government guaranteed cleaners' hours following industrial and promised further discussions to iron out workplace safety issues.
"All cleaners will receive an offer of a job based on their current hours," says Annie Owens, LHMU NSW secretary. "We have defended every vital issue promoted by our members in this campaign."
The union will hold report back meetings with members across the state early in Term 4 to communicate the breakthrough.
"There are still some issues to be talked through, including safeguarding the jobs of cleaners in non-education facilities if the relevant Department decides to opt-out of the contract," says Owens. "During the report-back meetings we will discuss with members a number of alternative strategies.
"We believe this result can also meet the State Government's concerns, ensuring contractors provide an efficient and effective service to our school system, to our TAFE colleges and in government offices.
"The union has also agreed to hold further constructive talks with senior Government and Departmental officials about on-going concerns, which both sides have, about Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace."
Owen expressed thanks to the community for the widespread support it received from local P&Cs, teachers, unionists, the clergy and leaders of ethnic community groups during the campiagn.
More than 2000 people sent e-mails to Premier Carr expressing their support for the LHMU members.
Union Calls Cleaners Conference
The LHMU has called a special conference in December on the role of cleaners in helping to create a safe and healthy school environment.
We will invite cleaners to stand up and speak about their issues," says Owens. "The union will also invite key stakeholders - parents, teachers, occupational health specialists, asthma groups, Government Departments, as well as cleaning contractors who are considering putting in a tender for the 2005 contract - to hear the voice of cleaners.
"We want everyone to join with us to discuss all the issues. We believe they should concern all of us if we are to deliver safe workplaces and healthy schools.
"We are, after all, talking about working people earning just $13.50 an hour; working people who race through classrooms to make them clean and healthy for staff and students," says Owens. "We know we can campaign to win respect and a real voice for change for low-wage workers across this State. But we also know we still have a long, long way to go to deliver decency."
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|