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Issue No. 261 29 April 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Lest We Forget
Just four days separate Anzac Day and the International Day of Mourning for Deaths at Work, but in the eyes of our leaders the gap could be 100 years.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: [email protected]
Labor's Penny Wong has the job of getting more people into the workplace and keeping companies honest. In her spare time ....

Unions: State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson unveils the annual survey of attitudes of workers to their jobs, thier lives and the union.

Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Jim Marr unpacks the unlikely claim of a suburban house to be considered the New Mecca of the New Right Ö

Legal: Leg Before Picket
Chris White looks at how the federal industrial changes will impact on the basic right to strike.

Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Neale Towart asks why the only form of legitmate welfare seems to be going to the top end of town.

Health: Cannabis Controversy
Zoe Reynolds looks at how drug and alcohol testing is leading to some addled outcomes.

Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
As the indicators head south, Frank Stilwell wonders whether it is the way we do economics that is to blame.

History: Politics In The Pubs
Phil Doyle reports on the increasingly-popular Struggles, Scabs and Schooners day out.

Review: Three Bob's Worth
Doing their best Margaret and David, Tara de Boehmler and Tim Brunero have different takes on the new Australian flick Three Dollars.

Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
Workers Online bard David Peetz teaches how workers to dance to Howard's industrial laws.

N E W S

 Employers Desecrate Graves

 Blackadder Bones Boss

 Tights Fail In Flight

 Dick Tracy Booted In Blacktown

 Cops Not Fashion Victims

 Picnic On for Working Families

 Skinny Pay Starves Weight Watchers

 Banks Get Work For Free

 Aged Care Workers Off Their Feet

 Cleaners Clean Up

 VSU Bad for Business

 Unions Urge Fair Go For Timorese

 Activistís Whatís On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Notes From a Laneway
Mental Health Workers Alliance member Toby Raeburn shares a week on the frontline.

The Locker Room
War, Plus The Shooting
The Socceroos arenít their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

Culture
Life Imitates Art
The jokes have been around for some time about the economic rationalist's approach to the orchestra, writes Evan Jones.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West takes the secret passage out of Macquarie Street to deliver his take on NSW Parliamentary Committees and other goings on.

L E T T E R S
 It's Criminal
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Cleaners Clean Up


Dodgy cleaning contractors will be kicked out of Victorian state schools as the government puts a new broom through the industry.

The major overhaul of cleaning contractors comes as the Victorian LHMU announced a $15 million agreement with the state government.

"This will bring to a dead halt the cancerous spread of dodgy contractors in our school system," says LHMU Victoria Branch Secretary Brian Daley. "School cleaning in the State's 1600 government schools has been under-resourced for a long time."

"The Bracks government has now shown its commitment to lifting cleaning standards in schools with this $15 million budget injection.

"Dodgy contractors will no longer be able to operate in government schools."

The key changes include a rigorous screening process to make sure only the highest-standard contractors can clean schools as well as substantial injection of new funds - to keep schools clean and make sure cleaners are paid the legal minimum rates.

"These changes will protect more than 3000 state school cleaners from unscrupulous operators, and protect school communities from contractors that take taxpayer money, but then cut corners on keeping schools clean."

Under the new screening system, contractors will need to 'pre-qualify' with the State Government before bidding on school contracts.

Only companies that demonstrate compliance with workplace laws and cleaning standards will pass through the screening.

In order to continue to clean schools, contractors must agree to ongoing auditing of their practices by the State Government.

The LHMU has worked with the Department of Education & Training, parents, principals and school councils to formulate these solutions to the school-cleaning crisis.


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