United Voice, the cleaners’ union, has warned the O’Farrell Government to keep its hands off the contract cleaning industry’s portable long service leave scheme, stated an 8 November press release.
‘NSW treasurer Mike Baird announced the NSW Government would undertake a “scoping study” to improve the governance and administration of the state’s two portable long service schemes for the construction and contract cleaning industries.’
“The current system is working effectively and delivering for members. We have to ask the question: If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” said United Voice NSW branch secretary Mark Boyd. “The recent example of the changes to the workers’ compensation scheme tells us that the Liberal O’Farrell Government does not tinker with working conditions for the betterment of workers, but rather at the behest of big business.
“There has certainly been no consultation with the union or its members ahead of this announcement. We are very concerned this is the first step in the privatisation of the scheme,” added Boyd.
“We are very concerned about the intention behind this ‘scoping study’. There are no details to support the need for such a study, its terms of reference or who will head the review.
“The contract cleaning portable long service leave was only legislated in 2011 after a long battle by cleaners. It is not an entitlement that should be in the hands of private business, but is rightly a statutory body overseen by government,” Boyd stated.
Boyd warned the O’Farrell Government the union would resist any attempts to change the system.“Our members fought for portable long service leave – they will fight to keep it.”