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Study shows cleaners are more valuable than bankers

December 15, 2009
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LONDON — A recent study by the New Economics Foundation, entitled "A Bit Rich," found that hospital cleaners and waste-recycling workers offer more worth to society than do bankers, advertising executives or tax advisors, according to a press release.
According to the release, the study looked at ''externalities,'' the true consequences of economic activities, to "quantify the social, environmental and economic value that people''s work produces, or in some cases the value that is undermined or destroyed."
Hospital cleaners alleviate the human and financial cost of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) and make a significant contribution to the wider social value created by healthcare; waste-recycling workers help cut carbon emissions significantly and contribute to the output of the recycling industry, the release stated.
According to the report: Hospital cleaners create more than £10 ($16.30) in value for every £1 ($1.63) they receive in pay; waste-recycling workers generate £12 ($19.56) for every £1 ($1.63) spent on their wages; bankers destroy £7 ($11.41) of value for every £1 ($1.63) they create; and advertising executives eradicate £11 ($17.93) from the economy for every £1 ($1.63) they are paid.
Andrew Large, chief executive of the Cleaning and Support Services Association, said: "It is widely accepted that the cleaning industry is a key factor in protecting patients from hospital acquired infections, but these findings demonstrate the additional economic value our industry creates. As stated in the report, this worth is not being transmitted to the pay or prestige of the cleaning industry. Our work is vital to the nation''s health and well-being while adding unqualified value to the economy. We hope that the report''s findings are recognized by business and government and that all workers are appropriately remunerated for the contribution they make."
According to Steve Wright, chairman of the British Cleaning Council, "Workers in the waste-management sector deserve recognition for their role in increasing recycling so dramatically in the United Kingdom in recent years, as they have overseen the substantial reduction in the landfill waste which has been so damaging to the environment.
To read the report in its entirety, click here.
Click here to read the complete release.
For related information, click here.
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