research-report-96-coming-clean-contractual-and-procurement-practices.doc

Furthermore there was evidence that airporte managers

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Furthermore, there was evidence that AirportE managers adopted a flexible approach to contract requirements in line with a relational approach, in order to facilitate the integration of the organisation of work. For example, the Contract manager would use her discretion if cleaning was not performed up to standard but the cleaner responsible had been helping passengers or other workers: So I can’t hit [CleanA1 contract manager] if a cleaner is not doing their job because they are helping out a customer, but also I do hit her over the head because she still has to provide the cleaning – but customer service is still very important to us. We are all working to the same aim. (AirportE, Contract manager). At HospitalE there was a similar effort by the client organisation to integrate staff across employers. Given the issues of health and safety in this sector, it is unsurprising that HospitalE required all domestic cleaners to attend an induction run by NHS staff from the Infection Control Unit on hygiene standards and use of chemicals (similar to the industry COSHH standard). They also ran a general induction on NHS codes of conduct and building fire regulations. Integration of staff in this way was argued to be ‘vital’ to the Trust’s culture and ethos (HospitalE, Facilities manager). However, the success of this integrative approach was challenged by the use of agency workers to fill vacancies. A recent survey of ward staff attributed widespread problems in facilities services to the use of agency workers for domestic cleaning. The Trust Facilities manager added that HospitalE would prefer CleanC not to use an agency because of the regular churn of staff it implied and the implications of this for cleaning standards on the ward: ‘It’s a fact – when you have a regular employed domestic who feels part of the Ward team then standards are higher…My preference is that CleanC doesn’t use agency. (HospitalE, Facilities director). 110
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INTEGRATING THE ORGANISATION OF WORK However, despite an obvious lack of integration between those employed by the agency and the Trust, CleanC managers failed to identify problems: TempCo - we class them like as ours, we don’t say, “that’s TempCo, that’s CleanC” - No! (CleanC , Supervisor). Indeed, CleanC made efforts to integrate TempCo staff in their workforce, for example, sharing the same uniform despite working for different legal employers: If you look outside now you won’t see any [TempCo] uniforms – they have all got our uniforms … It’s not them and us. We are all here to do a job. We all work together. (CleanC, Supervisor). However, the integration efforts stopped short of paying them the same NHS terms and conditions as CleanC staff until they reached 12 weeks of service and were put on a CleanC contract. The motivation of the TempCo staff to work effectively may have been lower than for the regular CleanC employees but, as we did not interview an agency worker, the reasons for the perceived poor quality of the TempCo staff remain speculative.
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