Victorian Cleaners Worried About Job Safety in Schools

Posted: 17/08/17 17:27

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Following the announcement last week by the Victorian Government that it will establish a new schools cleaning contract model, cleaners are expressing concern that jobs will be lost.

Australian Tenders has been informed that cleaning companies who have already had contracts with schools are being told that their contract maybe revised/cut off earlier due to the new eight zone model.

While the model is good for those who are being treated unfairly, some cleaners are concerned that they will have to tender for contracts they already have. There are also concerns that they may be short-changed by the new terms of the contracts which propose payment by size of the area cleaned as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Australian Tenders publishes all cleaning contracts and subscribers can choose to have those tenders and contracts sent to them via tender alerts. The cost for this service is $39 a month. All cleaning tenders in Victoria can be viewed by subscribers.

This is an update of an article published in Australian Tenders News on 11 August.

Background

The announcement came following multiple investigations within the past 12 months have found vulnerable staff were being underpaid and mistreated. Minister for Education James Merlino announced an overhaul of government school cleaner procurement, with a new model to be rolled out across Melbourne next year, prior to its roll out across regional Victoria.

Under the new model, eight zones will be created across metropolitan Melbourne and a single cleaning contract will be awarded for all schools in each.

In regional Victoria, the new model will strengthen the focus on contractor compliance, with the move to a zoned model to be informed by the roll out in Melbourne.

The Victorian Department of Education and Training has issued an invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI), which is available on Australian Tenders. It aims to introduce an Area-Based Cleaning Model for schools in metropolitan Melbourne. The goal of this new approach is to streamline administration, improve the quality, standard and consistency of cleaning services in all Victorian metropolitan government schools, and strengthen fair working conditions by ensuring correct remuneration and entitlements for cleaning staff.

The Department of Education and Training has said it will work with existing cleaning contractors to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements, with support available for small businesses.

The closing date for the Expression of Interest is 7 September 2017. 

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