ANMF (Vic Branch) has tabled a document mapping the staffing of mental health nurses on each shift in each bed-based unit across Victoria, as part of public sector mental health EBA negotiations.
ANMF thanks the members who helped with the comprehensive mapping exercise, which enables us to press our claim for mandatory minimum staffing to be included in the 2020–24 agreement.
The mapping document builds on the outcome of the high dependency unit ratios ANMF members achieved in 2016 and is the most contemporary record of nurse staffing levels in Victoria’s mental health system.
The data will also assist in discussions to progress the ratio legislation for public sector mental health nurses promised by the Andrews Government prior to the 2018 election.
EBA negotiation meetings are taking place at least once a week with the employers’ representative, the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association (VHIA), the Department of Health and Human Services and the Health and Community Services Union (HACSU).
Parties were working towards a deadline of mid-October for a new agreement but despite multiple meetings each week, mediated by former Fair Work Commissioner David Gregory, negotiations continue. ANMF remains committed and available to finalise the agreement as soon as possible.
ANMF is pressing for the inclusion of relevant clauses in the 2020–24 general public sector nurses and midwives agreement so that mental health nurses do not fall behind their colleagues.
ANMF also continues to pursue claims relating to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System’s interim report, including the reintroduction of standalone mobile support teams and crisis assessment and treatment teams.
ANMF has also been working hard to map mental health nurse staffing across Forensicare units as part of the EBA bargaining process for Forensicare members.
ANMF is seeking to include existing nurse staffing levels as a minimum in the next enterprise agreement. We thank Forensicare members who have helped with this data collection.
Based on the information provided by ANMF members, ANMF is also formulating its claim for additional nurses in prisons.