Parliament House cleaners suffer pay cuts – while Joe Hockey’s own wages come into question 251



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How would you feel if your pay were cut by $6,837 a year – while your boss was earning double that in rent allowance alone?

Parliament House’s cleaners go on strike today – 25th annual International Cleaners Day – over pay cuts, conditions and job safety.

In stark contrast, Treasurer Joe Hockey has come under fire today for accepting $1000 a month in rent allowances – to sleep in a $2 million home owned by his own wife.

The current average wage for a Parliament House cleaner is just $21.10 an hour – and has not gone up since 2012.

“These cleaners are some of the longest service staff in Parliament House”, said Lyndal Ryan, ACT branch secretary of the cleaners’ United Voice union, as reported by The Guardian.

“Some have worked there since it opened in 1988”.

Hockey’s own income is a whopping $365,868 per year. The Australian suggest that his multi-million-dollar property ownership could make him Australia’s richest treasurer since the 1930s.

This wealth disparity doesn’t reflect well on Hockey, who has repeatedly come under fire in recent weeks for being out of touch with the Australian people.

According to the ABC, the United Voice union says conditions have gotten poorer and poorer for cleaners since the Federal Government axed the Commonwealth Cleaning Services Guidelines.

Until they were cut, these guidelines ensured not only fair wages, but greater job security between contracts, professional equipment, and improved workplace safety guidelines through stricter training measures.

Ryan hopes this will be “a wake-up call to the Abbott government”.


Have you ever dealt with unfair pay cuts? How do you feel about such a huge wealth imbalance? And how can Australians expect to “get a good job that pays good money” if their own government can’t offer its service employees a fair wage?





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  1. Sick of Hearing about Joe Hockey doing something that ALL MPs have been doing for Many years , Many MPs own homes in their name or both, & let out rooms. Before you continue on this witch hunt, don’t you think it would be wise to get some facts on other MPs. Mr Hockeys wife bought that house in 1996, probably wasnt married then, of course it has gone up in value, as most would expect, I notice not one comment from any other Ministers about Joe;s Allowance , seems there can’t be a problem . If he was doing something wrong it would be all over the front page,

    2 REPLY
    • Hope they aren’t members of the AWU – they could be, as many of them were working there when Bill Shorten was in charge of the AWU, and then his mate, now in the Victorian Upper House of Parliament, took over from Bill. And yes, isn’t it terrible that the cleaners get paid less than the Treasurer.

    • You do have a good point there Dawn.
      How ever not every person in his position has sacked so many poor cleaners and reduced the wages of the ones that are left.
      They do a darn good job and deserve to get paid the rate for it.
      The Joe knocking well he has brought it on his self with his comments to the press.
      This make him a target for these things.

  2. I thought the Fairwork Act made it illegal to cut pay rates. I thought it was only hours that could be cut.

    3 REPLY
  3. I’m sure cutting the cleaners wages will go along way in cutting the countries dept.

    8 REPLY
    • You may not like to hear this Joe but if everyone in Australia with “menial”jobs were to go on strike this country would be on its hands and knees! If everyone that volunteered (most of them pensioners) were to walk of the job again a lot of tbings would STOP! So, stop being the gloating, capitalist you sound like!!

    • Joe Rudzyn – why do LNP trolls always accuse people who disagree with them as being recipients of pensions or benefits? It’s not even the issue in this article – it’s about cleaners whose wages haven’t risen for years, as opposed to a corrupt treasurer who takes our money to stay in his wife’s multi million dollar house when he’s in Canberra!

    • Cleaners are know different from those in the work place, actually they are different, they are honest especially in this case.

  4. Maybe they should speak to Bill Shorten about this, apparently he stopped the Penalty rates at a few firms to get the members signed up, Firm complaining is Cleanevent along with a few others, which has got Bill in trouble with Union Inquiry.

    18 REPLY
    • Rubbish Bill Shorten is not leading the Union now . and he is not in Government..peddle your lies somewhere else

    • What a load of bull. Shorten hasn’t been involved in the unions for years. I think you will find it was the LNP workplace contact agreements that caused this and helped them lose office in 2007.

    • Bruce will try anything, she doesn’t care she is lying and its all made up and only desperate fools will tick like to this. Shorten is the opposition leader, he is not leading the Unions now

    • Quote: “The 2004 Cleanevent enterprise agreement is signed by Shorten. It is a document that benefits the employer and disadvantages some workers.
      The agreement allows for a cheap way for the employer to work staff around the clock, for up to 12 hours at a time, and up to 60 hours a week, without award penalties or loadings.” Unquote.

    • JeanAnderson, 2004? don’t you think it is odd that would wait till Abbott was in Government to cut wages? for 11 years..wake up this is all Abbott and Hockeys doing

    • stupidy hurts to Jean Anderson Campbell and so does lack of common sense.. hope you find some..we can add up


    • your safe typing your rubbish here, most sensible people have blocked Dawn Bruce..she is only getting half the posts, they all got tired of her ramblings

    • Janet farmer, such an outpouring of vilification, so sorry the truth hurt you & any others that hold such extreme views on socialism. but an apology to the person you called a liar in regards to this agreement may be in order. & yes we can add up, 11 years has come & gone, so why hasn’t anyone revoked this agreement in that period preventing it’s enforcement. some common sense lacking in previous supporters of Labour governments perhaps?

    • Janet Farmer you idiot Shorten is a criminal so please remove your head from you backside and open your eyes.

    • Jean Anderson Campbell
      When you quote something it is supposed to be preceded by where the quote came from. And it should be from a reputable source.

    • i think shorten is the same as abbott they have to get their heads out of there arse and think about the big picture instead of there own egos big noting talking about nothing constructive time wasting fuckwits

  5. why is this all about Hokey – how about the Labor Polies wages cos they get very much the same you bloody dummies ……

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