Cleaners get the best results in protecting cleaning hours when you talk directly to Principals and explain to them the important work you do in keeping schools clean. Principals can be a key ally in influencing other teachers and the community.
Some people are very comfortable talking to their Principal, but for others it might be a new experience. Here are some ideas to help you have the best discussion.
1: I went to see the Principal but they were too busy to speak to me.
Principals are really busy and might not have the time to talk when you first approach them. If that’s the case, make an appointment to see them at a more convenient time. Let them know you have important information about our campaign and are looking forward to talking it through with them.
2: What’s the most important information to tell my Principal?
(a) This is not a party political campaign – we are looking to the community to raise the profile of school cleaning in the minds of all candidates and politicians.
(b) This campaign has a very clear and simple ask – that cleaning hours not be cut in future contracts because there is nothing left to cut except quality, safety and hygiene.
(c) That you are asking them to sign onto the campaign by signing the pledge and encouraging other teachers and the P&C to do the same.
(d) Explain to the Principal what potential cuts mean to you– what work won’t be done, why the school will not be as clean as before and how this may affect the students in the school.
3: The Principal at my school said they don’t want to get involved.
Cleaners understand that Principals have a lot on their plate, but they’re already involved because the hours of cleaning at their school directly impact the cleanliness of their school. Where there isn’t quality cleaning at schools, for example in Victoria, we’ve seen teachers having to take time out of their teaching prep to clean their classrooms. Clean Schools mean quality schools. Clean Schools also mean hygienic schools where young people can learn safety and staff can work safety.
4: It’s too late to talk to my Principal because the cut has already happened under the current contract.
If you’ve already had a cut to cleaning hours, it doesn’t mean they won’t cut you again. You know first-hand the impact of cuts to school cleaning hours has on the quality of cleaning in schools. Talking to your principal is so important in schools that have experienced cuts - so you don’t get cut again.
5: I’m not comfortable asking the Principal to meet with me
We know that Principals are not getting all the information they need about changes in cleaning hours and standards, and they’ve been very grateful to receive this from United Voice cleaners. If necessary, book a special appointment to see your Principal so you’ll have the time for a proper conversation.
If you need any extra support talk to you organiser or call the United Voice office on 1800 805 027