ANMF and its lawyers continue to work to finalise the 2020–24 public sector general enterprise agreement.
The employers’ representative body, the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association (VHIA), has applied to the Fair Work Commission for the approval that enables a single enterprise agreement to cover all nurses and midwives employed within the public sector, other than public mental health services – known as a single interest employer authorisation. This is an important step in concluding an EBA.
The Health Services Union’s No 2 branch, the Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) opposed the single interest employer authorisation.
HACSU also applied to the Fair Work Commission for an order which effectively challenges who will be covered by the public sector nurses and midwives agreement.
These Fair Work Commission proceedings would mean a long delay to the employee approval process, including public sector nurses and midwives voting on the agreement.
Following a number of conferences before the Fair Work Commission, the ANMF, the VHIA and HSU (including HACSU) have agreed to have the issues resolved through arbitration. This arbitration would also resolve any potential disputes between ANMF and HSU over the coverage of the mental health EBA.
Meanwhile ANMF and our lawyers are working with VHIA, the Department of Health and Human Services and their legal team to finalise the draft of the proposed 2020–24 public sector general enterprise agreement.
This involves translating into an amended version of the 2016 EBA all the changes explained to and endorsed by ANMF (Vic Branch) members at the 16 April members meeting.
ANMF’s goal remains to overcome the delays and expedite the ballot process so the benefits of the new EBA flows to members as soon as possible. This will mean we can focus on delivering similar outcomes for public sector mental health and Forensicare nurses, and nurses and midwives in the private acute sector.
The 2020–24 public sector nurses and midwives agreement will become the benchmark agreement for a new round of private and not-for-profit aged care negotiations due to start later this year.