Queensland school cleaners slam privatisation plan

Wednesday, August 14, 1996

14 = Queensland school cleaners slam privatisation plan

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — The Borbidge state government was facing the biggest industrial campaign since the SEQEB dispute of 1985 over its move to privatise school cleaning and cut 6500 jobs, Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union state secretary Don Brown told a mass meeting of more than 1000 cleaners in the City Hall on August 9.

Workers voted to take whatever industrial action was necessary to force the Coalition government to reverse its decision.

The meeting was addressed by school contract cleaners from Melbourne and Sydney, who warned of increased sickness among students, plagues of mice and cockroaches in classrooms and court battles to gain redundancy payouts for sacked cleaners.

Labor opposition leader Peter Beattie told state parliament on August 8 that he would introduce a private member's bill to retain school cleaning in public hands, after a notice of motion calling on the state government to reverse its decision was passed with the support of independent Liz Cunningham.