The cleaner: 'Rent is soaring. Bills are going up'

We spoke to Sean McNamara as part of our Living Wage series

Sean McNamara takes his job as a cleaner seriously, but he believes that many employers don’t. “If I don’t do my job properly, then people get sick, operating theatres aren’t clean and operations are delayed,” says McNamara, who works at St James’s Hospital, in Dublin, for a cleaning contractor. He is paid €9.50 an hour, just above the minimum wage. His rent of €800 a month – up significantly on recent years–- takes a big chunk out of his take-home pay; food and utility bills devour most of what’s left over. “Rent is soaring, bills are going up and there’s water charges around the corner . . . The bus used to be €1.85 to work. Then it was €2.60. Now it’s €3.05. It works out at €100 a month.”

We spoke to Sean as part of our Living Wage series which starts in The Irish Times tomorrow.

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