WTC Vacancies: Cleaners and General Maintenance

WTC is hiring: Cleaners and zero hours General Maintenance.

The pay is £7.50 an hour - the minimum wage, but a little short of the £8.45 living wage.

[Can't permalink on the WTC website, so pasting details here]

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General Cleaning/Maintenance Staff


Wivenhoe Town Council is taking over the Town Car Park and Toilets from Colchester Borough Council, and will be responsible for maintenance and cleaning from June 2017.


As part of this commitment, we are seeking to recruit 2 General Cleaning/
Maintenance staff to open and close the Public Toilets in the Town car park daily (7 days a week) at times to be arranged (toilets currently open from 8am to 6pm).  They will also be required to clean the Toilets on a daily basis, according to pre-determined work plans and staff rotas (shifts currently equate to 8 hours per week per person for two people).

Additionally, the staff will be required to perform daily inspection of the Toilets and car park, attend to any minor defects, and pick any litter. They will need to maintain stocks on-site of cleaning materials and consumables, document all work carried out, and to work in accordance with all Health & Safety guidelines, particularly COSHH, and to carry out other duties as required from time to time by WTC.

Personal Requirements

Applicants should have some experience of cleaning work and light maintenance duties, and a knowledge of basic cleaning products and chemicals. A knowledge of COSHH requirements, of ‘Material safety data sheets’, and of Health & Safety in general would be useful, but training will be given.
Integrity and Honesty are essential attributes, as is the ability to deal confidently with the public.

Pay will be at the rate of £7.50 per hour, and the post will be for an initial 12 month fixed term.

Temporary Ground Staff (zero hours) 

We are also looking for temporary Ground Staff for seasonal grass-cutting, strimming and general work to assist the Groundstaff in their normal duties. Pay will be at the rate of £7.50 per hour.

For details apply to Wivenhoe Town Council, Council Offices, 77 High Street, Wivenhoe CO7 9AB

Telephone 01206 822864
Email: wivenhoe_council@btconnect.com

Comments

  • Jason said:
    WTC is hiring: Cleaners and zero hours General Maintenance.

    The pay is £7.50 an hour - the minimum wage, but a little short of the £8.45 living wage.

    To clarify and perhaps to put a more positive spin on this:

    WTC took the decision to hire two cleaning and maintenance staff and to create new jobs in the community, not simply to award a contract to an outside company to look after the toilets.  That would have been the easy option.  These are not zero hours jobs, but  2 jobs which each equate to 8 hours per week.  These hours may increase.

    The grass cutting jobs are zero hours because we really do not know how quick the grass will grow (depends on the mix of sun & rain!).  What is certain is that one or two people will get some work out of this during the summer season.

    So there is a realistic possibility that we can provide some work for up to four local people.

    Thanks.

    MikeNewton

  • @MikeNewton did you discuss paying a Living Wage?
  • Jason said:
    @MikeNewton did you discuss paying a Living Wage?


    We took the decision to comply with all current legislation.

    Thanks.

    MikeNewton

  • In effect, you took the decision to pay the Minimum Wage instead of a Living Wage.
  • Jason said:
    @MikeNewton did you discuss paying a Living Wage?
    why would you discuss that for an 8 hour a week contract?

    It's not like you could live off 8 hours @ £8.45 an hour any more than you could at £7.50 an hour.

    This is clearly a part time contract for someone wanting to make extra money, i don't see why the living wage is relevant.
  • It is relevant because it shows a willing for the Town Council to support the principle of paying people what is deemed sufficient to live off, rather than the crappy bare minimum of what they can get away with.
  • but you can't live off 8 hours a week anyway......

    I don't see how this can be anything other than a supplementary income, and therefore discussing in the context of the 'living wage' isn't relevant.

    that said @jason i don't think £8.45 is enough, you've got to make it worth someone's while to fulfil a contract like this - a small number of hours is fairly disruptive, i would have thought £10 an hour would make more sense (i'd also wager you'd get a lot more applicants)

    you say 'crappy bare minimum', i say short sighted. 




  • What would be the tipping point then when the number of hours justifies paying a living wage? Twenty? Thirty? Thirty five? Forty?

    WTC could employ someone in the future on a 39 hour a week contract and pay the minimum wage on the basis that it isn't a FT job.

    You gain respect as an employer if you make a stance and pay a living wage, irrespective of the hours.

    Agree with the £10 per hour figure and attracting more applicants.
  • It's worth remembering that an extra ~£32 a month is quite a lot of money for a lot of people
  • 39 hours would generally be considered a full time job, as it is over the normative threshold of 35 hours (not that there are any specific number of hours that make someone either be either full or part time).

    As far as what hours would justify paying the living wage go, i think you have to look on a case by case basis on how many of hours and when they are - if it is clear that the job can only really be done by people looking for extra income then i don't see why the living wage need be applied. I agree you might have some edge cases where a person has 5 different jobs of 8 hours a week each and you'd then say well then they'd never get the living wage from any of them, but the chances of that really happening are remote.

    @MikeNewton @Andrea (i've only addressed you chaps because i know you read this, and this is directed at the WTC as a whole) i'd like to put the case forward for paying £10 per hour:

    I think that generally speaking the same person paid £10 per hour will make the conveniences cleaner than they would for £7.50 an hour. Clean public facilities will play a significant part when people are planning which north essex village / town to visit at the weekend. A little extra investment in the supporting of our local infrastructure could go a long way when it comes to bringing trade in at the weekend.

  • @MikeNewton @Andrea (i've only addressed you chaps because i know you read this, and this is directed at the WTC as a whole) i'd like to put the case forward for paying £10 per hour:

    I think that generally speaking the same person paid £10 per hour will make the conveniences cleaner than they would for £7.50 an hour. Clean public facilities will play a significant part when people are planning which north essex village / town to visit at the weekend. A little extra investment in the supporting of our local infrastructure could go a long way when it comes to bringing trade in at the weekend.

    I am taking your question seriously (i.e. that it is not a wind up!).

    I really do believe that you are out of touch with the reality of what commercial organisations are paying locally. It is wholly unreasonable to think that a person will clean better for £10.00 per hour than for £7.50.  The £7.50 will allow somebody (hopefully a local person) to earn £60.00 per week without any travel expenses, and this could make a difference to their lives.

    One possibility was to outsource this work to a contractor, and had we done so it is certain that the 'operative' would not have earned more than the minimum wage. In addition he/she would have had to drive in or out of Wivenhoe four times daily - four unnecessary road journeys.

    We believe that we have struck a fair balance.

    We have identified a programme of work to upgrade the toilet and car park area, which is looking run down at present, and this will be done before the area is handed over in a clean state to the new staff to look after it.

    Please also remember two other things:

    1. That the history of this is that Colchester Borough Council would have closed the toilets down had WTC not stepped in.

    2. That WTC is spending public money to achieve this and there may be residents who would feel that paying £10.00 per hour for essentially unskilled work was poor stewardship.

    Thanks.

    MikeNewton

  • Can I suggest we wait and see how many takers there are at £7.50 per hour before we decide whether it is the right amount to pay?

    You never know.

    If there are people who are prepared to spend a minimum of 12.5 unpaid hours per week getting to a concrete jungle AND pay £8k per year out of their taxed income for the privilege, there might be a few think that even £7.50 without that huge sacrifice might be worth it.

    Having said all that, and for the sake od balance, I think I would rather work for nothing (which is mainly what I am doing at the moment) than feel my conscientious effort is only worth £7.50 per hour.


  • Glyn said:

    If there are people who are prepared to spend a minimum of 12.5 unpaid hours per week getting to a concrete jungle AND pay £8k per year out of their taxed income for the privilege ...
    Who would be crazy enough to do that??!! Oh wait ...
  • I feel for you Savvy; I honestly do.

    I get a sense that people commute almost out on an addictive tendency and a notion that there is simply no alternative.

    This is why I want to develop the Quality of Life project, to help people get a sense of perspective and to at least feel that they ARE doing whatever they do out of informed choice.

    But in my (former) professional life, some of the more heart warming stories are from those who jumped off the bandwagon before it crashed...

    I wish you all the best and please don't feel I was making a joke at your expense. But your case does provide a kind of perspective that gets people thinking...
  • Speaking as someone who spent a considerable part of their younger years working on a low wage (no minimum wage then, ho hum, but we hadn't quite hit rock bottom in terms of the lack of respect for working people we have now) it makes a huge difference to be working for the living wage rather than the minimum wage. It's about respect, really, and feeling valued.

    Having said that, we all know WTC is pushed for cash, and everyone is making do with less. I'm sure it was a fairly agonising decision. Perhaps it can offer other perks to the appointees (training and development, good references, offering to recommend to other employees e.g.), or review the wage in 1-2 years time or when other funding streams come on board, if they do?
  • If people want public sector employees to be paid a living wage, consider not voting in austerity-loving governments that offer the local councils and the public sector in general nothing but cuts. Just a thought.

  • @MikeNewton @Andrea (i've only addressed you chaps because i know you read this, and this is directed at the WTC as a whole) i'd like to put the case forward for paying £10 per hour:

    I think that generally speaking the same person paid £10 per hour will make the conveniences cleaner than they would for £7.50 an hour. Clean public facilities will play a significant part when people are planning which north essex village / town to visit at the weekend. A little extra investment in the supporting of our local infrastructure could go a long way when it comes to bringing trade in at the weekend.

    I am taking your question seriously (i.e. that it is not a wind up!).

    I really do believe that you are out of touch with the reality of what commercial organisations are paying locally. It is wholly unreasonable to think that a person will clean better for £10.00 per hour than for £7.50.  The £7.50 will allow somebody (hopefully a local person) to earn £60.00 per week without any travel expenses, and this could make a difference to their lives.

    One possibility was to outsource this work to a contractor, and had we done so it is certain that the 'operative' would not have earned more than the minimum wage. In addition he/she would have had to drive in or out of Wivenhoe four times daily - four unnecessary road journeys.

    We believe that we have struck a fair balance.

    We have identified a programme of work to upgrade the toilet and car park area, which is looking run down at present, and this will be done before the area is handed over in a clean state to the new staff to look after it.

    Please also remember two other things:

    1. That the history of this is that Colchester Borough Council would have closed the toilets down had WTC not stepped in.

    2. That WTC is spending public money to achieve this and there may be residents who would feel that paying £10.00 per hour for essentially unskilled work was poor stewardship.

    Thanks.

    MikeNewton

    No it wasn't a wind up. 

    It isn't unreasonable to think that a person who is better motivated will perform a task better!

    I don't care what commercial organisations are paying locally, that has absolutely no bearing on this. You are making an apples with oranges comparison.

    with respect to point 1 - why is this relevant?
    with respect to point 2 - the key word here is 'may' indicating you don't actually know

    I understand that you (plural) don't want to be frivolous with the council's money, but at the same time an extra £2.50 an hour could make a significant difference when it comes to customer acquisition for local businesses.

    I see frequent complaints about wivenhoe becoming a dormitory town - the only way to reverse this is to support local businesses.

    Sparkling loos are part of this bigger picture.
  • edited April 6
    And this is why I have the utmost respect for those in the WTC. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
  • I echo what Bertie has said. There's another string or two on this forum which seem to have focussed on giving elected WTC volunteers a lack of respect aka a kicking. Had the pay offered been higher then negative comments related to "spending tax payers money" would be expected. If you want to change things then stand! I appreciate the efforts put in by WTC people but don't agree with everything they do. That's life. Plus my pension hasn't increased anything like the WTC council tax this year so I appreciate WTC being somewhat penny wise. PPS everyone knows that money isn't a motivator unless its a commission based role so that aspect of the discussion is passé. 
  • Bertie is right here.


  • I see no evidence of 'a kicking' on this thread.  Just a straightforward discussion of the merits and other wise of paying a Living Wage vs the Minimum Wage.  I agree with Treestump that it is about respect and valuing all workers - plus, as has been mentioned, an extra £32 a month goes a long way for some folk.  Public bodies should lead the way with this.
  • PPS everyone knows that money isn't a motivator unless its a commission based role so that aspect of the discussion is passé. 
    This isn't true: if you feel like you are being appropriately valued in a role you will perform better.

     It may be true to say money isn't the only motivator, but it is one of the easiest ones to control for.

    I'm not having a go at WTC, i would just like to see an environment in which local businesses are supported. That support can take many forms. 

  • "It may be true to say money isn't the only motivator, but it is one of the easiest ones to control for."
    Very short lived in my opinion

  • Maybe so, but that doesn't invalidate what i am saying
  • So how is that job advert at £7.50 an hour working out for you guys?
  • There are no easy answers to these questions, and no doubt the pros and cons are weighing upon the minds of many organisations right now. But when the benefits of paying the living wage are so high, can we  afford not to?

    The living wage is an independent Movement of businesses, organisations and people who believe a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.  
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