Union takes poll to schools
Protest zone: Unionist will campaign near schools. Picture: Lee Griffith/ The West Australian

WA's biggest union has vowed to target parents directly with a political campaign on the doorsteps of dozens of public schools in marginal Liberal-held electorates as the March State election looms.

United Voice members will be stationed at as many as 60 schools to hand out leaflets and talk to parents about the Government's privatisation agenda, the cost of living and the union's latest campaign on behalf of more than 10,000 school cleaners, gardeners and education support staff.

Treasurer Troy Buswell condemned the campaign for politicising public schools.

As the union settled a long- running industrial dispute with the Health Department on behalf of hospital support workers yesterday, United Voice acting secretary Carolyn Smith said members would be out in force at schools each day from the first day of term on February 4 to spread the union's message.

"To put it bluntly, parents in the schools love our members," Ms Smith said. "We will be talking (to parents) about privatisation, reminding them of what a nightmare that was in the 90s with dirty classrooms and teachers cleaning classrooms.

"But we will also be talking about some of the more general election issues around the cost of living and utility price increases.

"Our members know that who is in government matters to them. If the Liberal Government wants us to go away, all they need to do is give us a decent pay rise and a commitment about privatisation."

The campaign will aim at six Perth seats held by the Liberal Party with margins under 2 per cent: Jandakot, Southern River, Wanneroo, Morley, Riverton and Mt Lawley.

Mr Buswell said United Voice was one of WA Labor's biggest donors, the party's office occupied the same Subiaco building as the union's headquarters and the union's State secretary Dave Kelly was "a senior Labor backroom figure and candidate for Parliament".

"They do a disservice to their members when they put political outcomes over industrial outcomes for their members," Mr Buswell said.

"The members pay their subs and dues to United Voice for them to look after the members, not to subsidise Dave Kelly and the Labor Party's election campaign.

"I don't think the public of WA want to see a dirty political union campaign on the doorsteps of schools."

The West Australian

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