Cleaners’ Cooperative celebrates 10-year milestone 2010-2020 | 06 June 2020
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Cleaners’ Cooperative with its origins in the economic reforms of 2008. This is the extraordinary story of a group of cleaners being released as non-core government employees during the restructuring, who went on to form the Cleaner’s Cooperative.
Quick to take advantage of the vacuum that was being left in the wake of their departure, the cooperative offered its now outsourced service to its former employers. Cleaners who were once employees had instantaneously attained the status as members as well as owners of the organisation. What better recommendation for recruitment than familiarity and complete confidence in the service provider, thanks to the coincidental turn of events. Historically, cleaners have always tended to be domestic or office non-core employees. However, presently, with the advent of the Cleaners’ Cooperative, this situation has entirely transposed.
Extensive and outstanding cleaning service
The Cleaners’ Cooperative independently opened its doors on January 1, 2010 with 156 cleaners who were also members. Today, due to popular demand of the cooperative’s extensive and outstanding cleaning service, the number of members has escalated to more than 680. They are all successfully placed in different establishments from ministerial offices, hospitals and clinics, schools, parastatals, private organisations to private homes on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
Currently, the cooperative’s head office, located in rooms 30-32, on the second floor of Kingsgate House, employs a group of 11 administrative staff who have now efficiently assumed the role of running the organisation. The Cleaners’ Cooperative, registered in accordance with the Cooperative Act 1991, appropriately holds annual general election of members to the cooperative board who generally serves a one-year term. The cooperative shares a vision of people working together cooperatively and responsibly to achieve social and economic wellbeing through the organisation that they control and own. Their objective is to provide comprehensive cleaning services to a diverse clientèle and to be a trusted, dependable business recognised for its effectiveness and efficiency at all times.
Chief executive (CEO) Marie Ange Denis, who is proud of the Cleaners’ Cooperative achievements, said: “In the current climate things are not rosy for most organisations let alone for the Cleaners’ Cooperative, but we have achieved a lot over the past 10 years.”
The CEO added that because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Cleaners’ Cooperative has had to postpone its 10-year awards ceremony to reward its staff among whom included those members who successfully completed this decade without sick leave.
The Cleaner’s Cooperative has undoubtedly come a long way in accomplishing the progress that is so evident today. Some benefits to the organisation over the decade can be gauged through the application of positive processes listed below.
- Through negotiations the cooperative succeeded in securing for the cleaners a flat 5 hours shift for the same salary as the previous 8 hour one.
- The Cooperative supports intensive training; performance audit to identify gaps in procedural and managerial duties, sensitisation programmes tailored to help the public and the cleaners alike understand the Cleaners’ Cooperative context. An important aspect of such guidance was the implementation of a rotation programme which facilitated a more versatile and adaptable worker within the cooperative. Resulting in an employee at ease to work wherever he or she is most needed.
- The adoption of the infection control policy of the ministry of health’s cleaning procedures reinforced the organisation’s expertise within the cleaning industry. Not least during the current ‘coronavirus pandemic’ where members actively played their part in the front line, in endeavouring to keep our nation safe.
- The establishment of a permanent and much sought after, in training facility based centrally at head office. Thus greatly reducing training expenses especially considering the cost in the hiring of training venues.
- The production of a staff handbook with organisational structure, regulations, vision and values distributed to all new recruits during induction.
- The introduction of clock cards within the organisation assists in the monitoring of attendance, work output and productivity
- The standardisation of workload allocation per square metre (400sqm per cleaner) has formed part of the solution with regard to work load.
Indications for the coming five years and beyond
Human capacity building maintained through a training and development programme will remain a high priority for the cooperative. Similarly, enhancing its visibility through effective marketing initiative as well as offering an unwavering commitment to all its clients will be of equal importance. A culture of creativity and innovation in order to reinforce the behaviour and practice desired to bring about change will be indispensable for adaptation to a potentially varying external environment.
The accompanying photos were taking during the many events organised by the Cleaners’ Cooperative.
Poenm par Veronique Moustache ki travay kot Konsey Nasyonal pour Spor (NSC)
Annou pa oubliye
Nou dir i konmans dan lakour
Me nou, nou pe anmenn li partou
Dan biro konman dan lari
Nou prezans i enn enportan
Bokou i krwar
Ki cleaner i en travay san valer
Me lo en pwen refleksyon
Annou pa oubliye
Pour bokou lezot metye
Se cleaner ki bezwen pas avan
Pour fer zot lanvironnman travay agreab
Alor mon bann kanmarad
Annou fyer sa ki nou fer
Satisfe ki dan sosyete, nou rol i enportan
Ozordi nou selebre 10-an nou langazman
10 lannen, pa tou ki’n fasil
I pa’n toulezour an roz
Dan tou kote
I ankor annan plas pour amelyore
Me ozordi, nou selebre
Selebre tou nou lakonplisman
Selebre ki nou osi nou ede fer en diferans
Selebre nou lenportans