LETTER : Fairies don't do the cleaning

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The Independent Online
IN "Clean Sweep" (Business, 12 March) Bunhill has insulted this hard-working section of the public sector.

I am the retired caretaker of a local high school which employed some 24 "ladies" daily on a part-time basis. Prior to contracting out we had a school to be proud of. Now there is a workforce of 16, the hourly rate is reduced by £1, there is no holiday pay or bank holidays and no sick pay - in other words, nothing.

The old cleaning ladies were loyal and hard-working. Now what we have is a casual labour force with a rapid turnover, which means a shambles.

Is there any reason why cleaners should not have the same conditions as other workers? Without them many public buildings would not open.

The trouble with people like Bunhill is that they see a clean office or classroom and think the fairies have been.

C E Cutting

Sprowston, Norwich