Northern NSW jobs should not be for sale

Despite years of loyal service, constant restructures and additional qualifications in care, it seems this means very little when it comes to hard working cleaning staff at Uniting Goonellabah.

Last week Uniting advised of its intention to outsource cleaning to Bayton’s Cleaning. The Health Services Union holds serious concerns about this move. Contracting and outsourcing in aged care has not delivered for workers or residents. Across the sector we have seen underpayments or contracting arrangements forcing workers onto ABNs and putting them at risk. We don’t want to see that at Uniting.

What does this mean for existing staff? It is unclear yet if Uniting will make staff redundant or if staff will transfer over to Bayton’s Cleaning. If staff do transfer, they will maintain their wages and conditions. However new employees can be employed on the Cleaning Award with lower wages, potentially creating a two-tiered workforce.

It’s a bit rich. The Health Services Union has been constantly putting pressure on local management to fill vacancies, only to be told that like other employers in the area they are unable to attract good staff to the sector. Well, if a contracting arrangement offering lower paid positions and less job security is the answer, they need to take a long hard look at themselves.

Your local HSU Organiser Kirk Rostock will be onsite tomorrow and Monday next week to meet and discuss with all members. If you know someone who isn’t a union member, let them know they can join online at or call 1300 478 679.