Spotless cops $180k fine for school cleaning

Spotless fined $180,000 by Victorian government for failing to meet cleaning standards in state schools.

The Victorian government has fined Spotless $180,000 for failing to meet cleaning standards in state schools.

Spotless was awarded two school zones as part of the government’s controversial cleaning reforms in July last year.

However, the area-based model was quickly met with criticism and complaints, leading to an audit ordered by Victorian Education Minister James Merlino.

At the time cleaners reported their hours and pay had been cut, while principals and parents were also understood to have complained about dirty conditions at their schools due to cleaning being significantly reduced.

A government spokesperson said the Education Department will not tolerate any drop in cleaning standards.

“The department will not hesitate to terminate the agreement with any company that fails to meet our cleaning standards,” the spokesperson told INCLEAN.

“We have already applied $180,000 in financial penalties to Spotless in the last month for not meeting our rigorous standards. No financial penalties have been applied to the other four providers.

“We will continue applying penalties until our cleaning standards are met. This could be in the order of hundreds of thousands dollars if required.”

The introduction of the state’s area-based model followed multiple investigations that found school cleaning staff were being underpaid and mistreated. Under the new arrangements metropolitan Melbourne was divided into eight separate service zones.

The zones were awarded to five major contractors; Menzies Facility Services, Tradeflex, Shining Knight Facility Services, ISS Facility Services and Spotless Integrated Facilities Services. Spotless is responsible for two areas: Inner Eastern Melbourne and Bayside Peninsula.

The Education Department said it will make additional changes to the cleaning reforms from the beginning of term one this year.

“We have been listening to concerns principals have raised about cleaning at their schools,” the spokesperson said.

“As a result we are making changes to our cleaning reform to ensure areas used less frequently are also cleaned more often. This will improve the overall cleanliness of schools that have had issues.”

INCLEAN contacted Spotless for comment but did not respond prior to publication. 

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3 thoughts on “Spotless cops $180k fine for school cleaning

  1. WOW 😮What a shocker that the bottom of the barrel, honest, hard working old cleaners are being mistreated and underpaid.
    And only fined $180k?
    Are You serious?? I bet there going to go in to receivership with that kind of HUGE punishment!! C’mon!!

  2. Hardly surprising they got fined but only $180K. They have been doing this sort of thing for years. Beggars belief they have not been pinged before.
    But then they have performed poorly at the new RAH and they will be paying for that too. Damn pity as they did have a lot of good people but sadly they really don’t appreciate what and who they have.

  3. $180K is nothing to the cleaning companies. I estimate cleaning companies gross circa $250million a year from the Govt schools contract. these contracts last about 5 years in NSW so that would be $1Billion turnover over the term of the contract. Cleaners get paid $22/hour. 1/3 of that is taxed.

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