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Cleaners want more pay

By GnT - 5 September 2007 24

I’ve long thought the worst job in the world would be to be a cleaner. It’s a physically demanding and sometimes disgusting job, you get little respect, the hours are unsociable and to top it off you get crap pay. For all these reasons, “cleaners have marched through Civic, demanding better pay and conditions” as reported by the ABC.

Now I feel for cleaners, it’s a job I wouldn’t do for the world. However it’s a low skill job and they get paid what the market dictates. I certainly wouldn’t pay someone a fortune to clean my home when I could do the job myself. And with cleaning contractors in competition for the lowest tendor, it’s no surprise the workers feel underpaid.

What’s Your opinion?

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24 Responses to
Cleaners want more pay
pierce 1:46 pm 06 Sep 07

Actually thumper, I only had you half in with that crowd – you often talk a lot of sense 🙂

pjp 1:39 pm 06 Sep 07

I have had a cleaning company charge me for cleaning for the past 10 months, and they just havent been turning up. When I showed the company a print out of the securtiy code access that showed that no one had ever turned up they just disapeared. I think that some cleaners do get underpaid, but on a whole I think the amount is not that bad, why dont these people start there own companies and takes a bigger share of the proffits and risk. what could the start up costs possibly be? If they cant do that then they should join the public service at present any monkey will get a gig here.

Mr Evil 1:08 pm 06 Sep 07

Cleaners always have and always will be screwed: this is nothing new. Whenever there are cutbacks made in any business, cleaning is usually one of the first areas to be hit as a way of cutting internal costs. I worked in a building where we went from having 6 cleaners employed for 4 hours each/evening to only 2 cleaners employed for 4.5 hours each/evening when the contract was renewed – and with minimum changes made to the amount of cleaning required each night. Lyndall Ryan (LHMU) came to see us about it – muttered that it wasn’t right, but then said there wasn’t anything they could do about it – even though there were rules about how many square metres a cleaner is supposed to clean per shift!

In my personal opinion the LHMU is one of the most useless unions around. Plus it doesn’t help that some cleaners can’t be bothered helping themselves either, and then complain when they get screwed even further.

Thumper 12:33 pm 06 Sep 07

No pierce, I’m actually all for collective bargaining in the workforce. It gives a voice to those who otherwise would not be heard.

Frankly AWAs are fine for those who want them but without collective bargain the little people get screwed.

Mr Evil 12:30 pm 06 Sep 07

I have worked as a cleaner, and it’s amazing how immune you become to some of the things you see in toilets after a while, like:

Soiled Sanitry Pads stuck to cubicle walls!

Vomit and faeces that seemingly defies gravity!

Brown finger marks on cubicle walls – even though there is plenty of toilet paper still available in the despenser!

Faeces up the back of the toilet because certain people refuse to sit on the toilet like normal human beings, and then miss the target!

Gee, I so miss that job!

Maelinar 12:12 pm 06 Sep 07

hehe lots of poolroom quotes already 🙂

(cleaners) are treated like dirt – hingo — 5 September, 2007

It was on the celing too! The celing! how the hell? asp — 5 September, 2007

My grandmother worked as a cleaner to support her family, my grandfather was a terrible alcoholic and pissed everything else up the wall. boomacat — 5 September, 2007

(Cleaning) It’s a crap job, VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt — 5 September, 2007

pierce 9:47 am 06 Sep 07

Waiting for the I’m alright jack crowd to weigh in with their regular cries of “well why don’t they quit and get better jobs then” & “collective bargaining is a union plot to destroy business”

I guess it’s not so easy when you see that some workers actually do get deliberately screwed over for profit.

Aeek 11:13 pm 05 Sep 07

When I had the “joy” of processing cleaning bills 20 years ago, including that office, there were vast detailed contracts of what was to be done. Crap. Even then it was screw the costs down, and no cleaning contractor could meet the contract for the cost. The impossibility and the underpayment got passed down to the cleaners. That was twenty years ago.

el 10:33 pm 05 Sep 07

The ceiling?? Now *that’s* impressive (in a totally gross sort of way).

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 8:20 pm 05 Sep 07

It’s a crap job, but unfortunately labour supply and demand sets pay. I have plenty of respect for cleaners – some of my crap part time jobs during high school and uni were cleaning gigs.

boomacat 7:09 pm 05 Sep 07

I recall getting an email once from the HR manager of a large company I worked for at the time, advising everyone that he was not impressed with the (and I quote) “explosive” diarrhoea that had been left all over a stall in the ladies toilets. Yuk. Poor cleaners.

I also have big respect for cleaners. My grandmother worked as a cleaner to support her family, my grandfather was a terrible alcoholic and pissed everything else up the wall.

asp 3:40 pm 05 Sep 07

They did at my dad’s workplace. One night, the cleaner went in to the toilets. My dad heard a yell and then the cleaner shouted “F*CK” before running out with his hand over his mouth. Thinking he’d found something serious, my dad investigated. Long story short, cleaners don’t get paid enough for the “stuff” they have to put up with. And their still searching for the staff member who traumatised the cleaner. It was on the celing too! The celing! how the hell?

Mr Evil 3:10 pm 05 Sep 07

I just wish the cleaners would clean the toilets in my building every night!

andy 2:43 pm 05 Sep 07

As a shiftworker, i’m often in the building in the early evening, after most others have gone home, and when the cleaners start to come through.
The cleaner who used to be assigned the floor I used to sit on, was fantastic. had a great sense of humour, and would stop and chat to us, whinge about aspects of her job, but never about the actual cleaning part of it.
i like to think we brightened her evening somewhat, rather than just ignoring her as most people would likely do

hingo 2:30 pm 05 Sep 07

My mother was a cleaner at a library once to help earn some money to put my sister through Uni. It was a terrible job. They earn crap pay and they are treated like dirt.

I have a lot of respect for cleaners.

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