Clean Start: A Fair Deal for Cleaners

Chris Wagland

Chris.jpg"I've been a cleaner for 28 years. I have three kids and work as a cleaner to provide for them and their futures. I take pride in my job and want to be supported to do it properly.

Before Clean Start, the cleaning industry had really hit rock bottom. Things had become really tough for cleaners like me, and we just couldn’t work any harder or take on any more work even though we were under more and more pressure. It became impossible to do the job well, and that's when I decided enough was enough." 


Clean Start has changed our lives. It has really brought cleaners out into the open and created jobs that we want to turn up to. Jobs with dignity. The improvements came when cleaners, owners, and contractors realised that we had to work together to make jobs better. 

Before Clean Start, owners didn’t always see what was happening when they took on cheaper cleaning companies – like staffing cuts and cuts to our hours, meaning we were rushing around and not even getting the basics done. Even worse, there were many cleaners who weren’t on the books or being legally paid. But now everyone, including investors and the government, can see that having reputable companies doing the work, and decent transparent contracts means you have a company you can trust. Staff and managers are better trained, legal entitlements are met, and there isn’t the same risk of companies going belly up.

For me, it means I have pride in my work again and when people talk about Clean Start, I am proud to be part of it. We achieved a lot by people working together. With Clean Start, I know that what I do is valued. I know that every time a contract comes up for renewal, I won’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll be reemployed, have to work harder or have time to get the job done. Because of Clean Start, my workmates and I have better lives, we have wages we can live on, and we have a future in our industry.

And it’s not just about making the job better for cleaners; it’s about my employer as well. He is valued because he does the right thing by his cleaners. The clients and building owners also know that when they use Clean Start contractors they’re getting a worthwhile job and a quality product and service. Clean Start means happy cleaners, and quality cleaning.

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