Government told to spruce up pay rates to attract cleaners

Union says few applicants for posts in Department of Taoiseach and Garda Síochána

Trade union Fórsa attributed the recruitment problem to pay rates for cleaners in the public service, which were no longer competitive compared to those available in the private sector

Trade union Fórsa attributed the recruitment problem to pay rates for cleaners in the public service, which were no longer competitive compared to those available in the private sector

 

Poor pay rates could be responsible for the Government having issues finding staff to clean the offices of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a trade union has claimed.

Fórsa (formerly Impact) said that competitions organised last year for cleaning staff in the Department of the Taoiseach and An Garda Síochána had failed to attract a sufficient number of applicants.

It attributed the problem to pay rates for cleaners in the public service, which were no longer competitive compared to those available in the private sector.

Fórsa national secretary Andy Pike said the union wanted the Public Service Pay Commission to look at the rates for cleaners as part of its examination of issues affecting recruitment and retention among various groups and grades.

He said that cleaner was an established grade in the Civil Service and was part of a family of service-level positions.

‘Increasing difficulty’

In its submission to the Public Service Pay Commission the union said there was “increasing difficulty in recruiting cleaners in the Civil Service”, noting issues within Garda civilian services and in the Department of the Taoiseach.

“Competitions for cleaners to work in the Garda Training College in Templemore have also proved difficult with candidates well placed on panels refusing offers of employment due to the fact that the starting salary is €393.61 per week,” Fórsa said.

“This equates to €9.10 on the Civil Service 43.25 [hour] working week and is below the current contract cleaning employment regulation order.”

It said that under this order the minimum pay rate increased to €10.40 an hour on December 1st last. The pay rates for cleaning staff in the Civil Service had to be adjusted each time the minimum wage was increased as the hourly rate of pay was calculated using the 43.25 working week, the union added.