NSW public school parents are telling Bob Carr he shouldn’t expect them to volunteer and help out in the cleaning of local schools if the State Government goes ahead with a plan to cut back cleaning contracts in 2005.

In an opinion poll just completed 88 percent of already over-stretched parents said it was unreasonable to ask parents to help clean their children’s schools.

“Imagine it. A parent rushes home from work, has dinner, drops the kids off at footy training and then goes in to wash the windows in the kid’s classroom.

“No wonder people think it is unreasonable, the community is already complaining about the unfair work-life balance they are trying to maintain – now Bob Carr’s Government wants to pile on more demands,” Annie Owens, NSW LHMU Cleaners Union Secretary, said.

E-mail protest campaign starts

The NSW LHMU Cleaners Union is launching today a protest e-mail campaign to give the community an opportunity to voice their discontent about these cleaning contract proposals directly to the Premier, the responsible Minister, John Della Bosca and the Education Minister and Deputy Premier, Dr Refshauge.

Just log onto the LHMU website to find the e-mail protest campaign :


or go to the front page at www.lhmu.org.au.

The e-mail protest campaign and the union’s opinion poll research are released today, on the same day that school cleaners in New England, Goulburn, Kogarah and Ryde walk off the job for 24 hours to take part in the rolling stoppages which have now gone on for a fortnight.

School cleaning standards get thumbs up

The poll just completed for the LHMU Cleaners Union, across NSW and involving parents in both primary and secondary schools, shows most parents are quite happy with the current standard of school cleaning.

“The Government should listen to the community who don’t think there is any need for the type of radical changes they want to force through next year. Only 6% said the standards were poor or very poor in our schools.

“Our people believe that under the new plans school cleaning standards will drop away dramatically – and very soon there will be complaints to MPs and the media about school health concerns if the standards drop, “ Annie Owens warned.

Fathers and parents in rural NSW particularly hostile

“The State Government is busily promoting a plan to allow school principals to choose from two levels of cleaning standards – a basic standard would involve parents chipping in to clean windows, classrooms and playgrounds.

“While the Minister and his bureaucrats think this is a good idea our polling shows that only 3% of parents would definitely volunteer and 77% of parents would definitely not or probably not volunteer.

“Fathers and parents who live in rural and regional NSW are particularly hostile to this idea,” Annie Owens pointed out.