At the height of the pandemic things had to happen fast to avoid the horrible outcomes suffered in other states, and sometimes that meant no proper consultation in a strict sense to make some rapid changes, including using contract cleaners to cover the staffing shortfall due to COVID.
But that was during the height of the response, and it doesn’t remove the department’s obligation altogether.
As we wind down from the peak of the pandemic with high vaccination levels and mask restrictions easing in some areas, the need for the contract cleaning service is also passing. We’re very concerned contractors are still being used so are seeking further info from senior management and we’ll update you as soon as we know more.
It remains our firm position that existing part time staff should be offered the hours first and that ALL cleaning staff in the RHH should be permanent state servants.