*Cleanzine-logo-10a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 23rd May 2019 Issue no. 871

Your industry news - first    Number 1 for Recruitment

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Isn’t it lovely that some cleaners have enjoyed good fortune recently? First there was the symbolic reinstatement by Greece’s new government, of some of the finance ministry’s cleaning ladies, who had been laid off in 2013 as part of the country’s austerity drive… then there was the surprise bonus given to some 250 city street cleaners in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, followed by a street party.

It shows how things work at both ends of the scale, doesn’t it? From the old adage of ‘when money’s tight, cut the cleaning budget and/or get rid of the cleaners’, to those often referred to as the ‘invisible workforce’ being acknowledged in a most surprising way!

In case you’re not aware of what’s happened, the protest by what started out as 600 cleaning ladies became one of the emblems of Greece’s austerity years. The sacked women camped outside the ministry in Athens in all weathers, brandishing their cleaning equipment to ensure they weren’t forgotten. Their cause was supported by the Greek public and in particular the radical Syriza party which kept its promise to reinstate the women when it gained power last week. Since some cleaners have retired and others have found work elsewhere, only 300 jobs are involved; the new finance minister says he’ll find the money to pay their wages by cutting back on excess, unnecessary expenditure elsewhere.

NHS please take note…

Things are looking good for the cleaners in the UK too, with more contractors signing up to the Living Wage charter, which sees cleaners paid more in line with what they actually need to be able to live, rather than what the National Minimum Wage dictates.

In further good news, the latest employment figures show that growth has driven the employment rate to a record high with record numbers of 16-24 year olds in work. Economic migrants make up 40% of employment growth during the past year.

Apparently skills shortages and utilisation are causing problems and there are still productivity issues in many businesses but if things continue the way they’re going, there may well soon be money in everyone’s budgets to pay for training, which will offer all-round improvement.

Fingers crossed…

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Jan Hobbs

19th February 2015

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