Minister goes undercover as a cleaner

Workplace Minister goes ‘undercover’ as a cleaner in an effort to raise the profile of the industry ahead of Thank Your Cleaner Day.

Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway went ‘undercover’ as a cleaner in an effort to raise the profile of the industry ahead of Thank Your Cleaner Day.

Organised in partnership with the Building Services Contractors of New Zealand (BSCNZ), Lees-Galloway spent the day working with staff from OCS, Westferry Property Services and Total Property Services, cleaning the Auckland Museum, Queen Street and Eden Park Stadium.

Sarah McBride BSCNZ CEO said the aim of the event was to give individuals in leadership the opportunity to experience what 30,000 cleaners in New Zealand do every day.

“We organised for Minister Lees-Galloway to work with BSCNZ members staff so that he could experience how the best cleaner employers operate in New Zealand,” McBride said.

“Cleaning can be quite an isolated role, so when someone in leadership takes the time to understand their role, and show appreciation – it is very powerful.”

Thank Your Cleaner Day, supported by Karcher, started in New Zealand in 2015, and is an annual event held on 17 October to celebrate the vital and valued contribution professional cleaners make to the community.

“Like the hospitality and horticultural industries, the government has highlighted that the cleaning industry also contains vulnerable NZ workers,” McBride said.

“BSCNZ members work together to ensure best practice, the idea of Thank Your Cleaner Day came from BSCNZ member Lance Pattullo. The heart behind the idea was so individuals and businesses stop for one day and think about the person who primarily turns up between at 8pm working till 6am to keep their environment healthy and clean.”

Since launching four years ago, the day has gained global attention, with around 20 countries expected to participate this year including Canada, US, UK, Spain Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Australia.

McBride is hoping to double the amount of participants over the next few years.

“We hope that in connecting with the individual cleaners, corporates will give thought to their cleaning contract. Eighty per cent of a cleaning contract’s price is made up of labour, so it is one day to stop and think about the betterment of these workers.

“Education is power. Therefore we need to reach out to the wider community around the issues we face as an industry and how end consumers can make positive choices. As a concept and strategy Thank Your Cleaner Day is a positive and profound way of engaging that end consumer.”

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