Good news for council cleaners

Council cleaners – who are mainly women – will be given a new contract so they can have better pay and conditions.

By Lucy Ashton
Friday, 31 May, 2019, 09:53
Sheffield Town Hall

Cleaning services for council buildings and premises will no longer be outsourced from next year and will be brought back in-house and controlled by Sheffield Council.

Deputy Leader Coun Olivia Blake said: “We always look to bring services in-house where we have scope to do so, and I am delighted that hard-working cleaning staff will soon be recognised as council employees and can then enjoy the benefits that this brings.

“This will provide better terms and conditions and working arrangements and will continue to ensure that the Real Living Wage is paid as a minimum. More often than not these are part-time female workers who are supporting low wage families.

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“We have already moved housing repairs and the council’s digital services in-house, and by doing the same with cleaning services, we are helping to boost the local economy through the employment of staff with a clear workforce development strategy, as well as delivering value-for money for council tax payers. It’s a win-win.”

Kier used to have the cleaning contract until 2016 when the council moved it to Cordant. The contract covers 150 sites across Sheffield and its value is around £2m per year.

The council says whilst the contract delivered the expected savings and a certain level of efficiency, there were a number of concerns with the contractor’s performance in management, and its use of inefficient financial and payroll systems that caused issues. These have since been resolved.