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Threat to children - filth file fingers dirty schools

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A new website launched in Sydney today lets NSW mums and dads find out how cleaning and hygiene standards are being slashed at their children’s schools. tracks the five-year program of cuts to schools imposed on NSW public schools by the O’Farrell Government.

Mark Boyd, NSW Branch Secretary of United Voice, the cleaners’ union, said “Cutbacks by the O’Farrell Government are threatening children’s health and safety.

“A Department of Education document reveals plans for a 7.3% cut in cleaning hours at NSW public schools this year is affecting 601 schools across the State.

Worst affected schools in the first round of cutbacks, losing 18 - 27 hours of cleaning time a week, include Castle Hill, Menai, James Cook Boys, Woolooware, Heathcote, Moruya, Kincumber, Kotara, Davidson, Pittwater and Tomaree.

“School cleaners from all over the State are telling us it isn’t possible to do their jobs properly in the reduced hours.

“Parents have a right to expect that when they send their children to school they will be in a safe, healthy and hygienic environment.

“Cleanliness and hygiene at our schools are not optional.

“The O’Farrell Government is demanding ‘productivity changes’ from school cleaning contractors every year but that’s just code for cuts to the cleanliness and safety of our schools.

“From today at parents can get up-to-date information on how badly their school is affected.

“We’re going live and we will be tracking cuts to school hygiene standards so the public knows exactly what is happening,” said Mark Boyd.

Fort St High cleaner Ana de Freitas says everyone will notice the decline in standards.

“Every day there is something unpleasant that has to be cleaned up. That’s our job and we need time to do it properly.

“We do not have enough time to do our jobs properly now but, by cutting corners, we can maintain a reasonable standard of cleanliness. Any cuts will be drastic,” said Ana de Freitas.

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