Press Release

SIPTU welcomes new hourly rate of €11.20 for contract cleaners

Date Released: 10 December 2020

SIPTU members have welcomed a new hourly rate of €11.20 and an Employment Regulation Order (ERO) for contract cleaners. The 40 cent increase was confirmed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and will be delivered to workers when the ERO comes into effect on Friday, 18th December.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Diane Jackson, who negotiated the ERO with employer representatives at the Joint Labour Committee (JLC) for the contract cleaning industry, said that it was a long overdue, but significant, development for up to 25,000 low paid workers, the majority of whom are women.  

“Contract cleaners have been on the front line every day during this Covid-19 pandemic, including in hospitals, care homes and healthcare facilities, retail, education and public transport. They have played a major role in keeping society safe and fighting against the virus, often putting themselves and families at risk. This increase is long overdue as contract cleaners last received a pay increase in December, 2018.

“In addition to the pay increase, the JLC has agreed new procedures for the industry in relation to information about annual leave balance, standardisation of pay slips, facilities on site and overtime.”  

SIPTU Shop Steward and JLC member, Lisa Stenson, said: “It is great to win this increase but I do believe we deserve to be paid more in return for the high standard of cleaning service we deliver. The members I represent feel we are still undervalued and underpaid.” 

SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Teresa Hannick, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the important role of contract cleaners. They have played a major role in keeping society safe and fighting against the virus, often putting themselves and families at risk. It has been a year long struggle to achieve this new agreement and to have it implemented.” 

“The ERO does not provide for a non-contributory sick pay scheme for contract cleaners and currently there is no social welfare support for the first 6 days of absence. The nature of their work and the environments they clean pose a high risk from Covid-19 and other infections. SIPTU representatives will now be making the introduction of a sick pay scheme a priority in future JLC negotiations.

 


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