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School cleaners ask "are we next to face the axe?"

20 February 2009
Press release
For Immediate Release

School cleaners ask "are we next to face the axe?"

Thousands of school cleaners have been left with an uncertain future following a decision by the government to halt work on a pay and employment equity review for special needs school support staff.

The Service and Food Workers Union says the move to halt a review for the special needs staff is an outrage and will leave the cleaners wondering if they are the next to face the axe.

SFWU national bargainng co-ordinator Alastair Duncan says the attack on the special needs staff by State Services Minster Tony Ryall is shocking.

"Last year a top level Ministry working party reached unanimous agreement that a pay investigation was warranted for school cleaners.

Like special needs staff, cleaners are largely working women whose skills have been undervalued for years."

Last week the education unions, SFWU, NZEI, PPTA and PSA had written to the Anne Tolley, the Minister of Education asking her to release the report and act on its recommendations.

"The Minister needs to come clean and tell us if she will release the report and act on its recommendations.

"The awful attack on special needs staff needs to be reversed and the Minister of Education needs to stand up to State Services Minister Tony Ryall."


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