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Campaign update 3: Public sector mental health services preliminary talks continue

Campaign update 3: Public sector mental health services preliminary talks continue

Preliminary discussions

Weekly discussions, which started on 14 May, continue between ANMF (Vic Branch), the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association (VHIA), the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Health and Community Services Union (HACSU).

ANMF has received the employer log of claims for a new public sector mental health services agreement. The claim was tabled at the 11 June meeting.

Whilst the VHIA provided a brief overview of its claims at the meeting, the ANMF will have more to say when the detail is provided at the scheduled meetings in early July.

The ANMF has welcomed the VHIA’ s agreement to provide a revised meeting schedule, adjusted to ensure the allocated meeting times are fully utilised.

The VHIA has not yet provided formal feedback to any ANMF claims but has advised some feedback to union claims will commence from the next meeting on 18 June.

ANMF member claims relate to improving entitlements, conditions and physical and psychological safety for nurses working in the public mental health sector.

ANMF claims include ensuring the achievements secured in the Victorian public sector nurses and midwives 2020-24 agreement are also included in the public sector mental health services and Forensicare agreements.

These include improved paid parental leave for primary and non-primary carers; superannuation to be paid on the unpaid component of parental leave; earlier access to long service leave; almost doubling the Sunday night shift allowance; and measures to support building the mental health nursing workforce.

Forensicare talks expected to start in July

The negotiations for a new agreement for enrolled and registered nurses employed at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Health are expected to start in July.

Like the public sector mental health services, these negotiations will also take place between ANMF (Vic Branch), VHIA, DHHS and HACSU.

The employer claim for Forensicare is yet to be received

Stay informed and involved

Members are encouraged to ensure ANMF has your correct workplace and contact details. You can update your details on the Member Portal.

If you are not receiving ANMF’s EBA email updates you may have unsubscribed from our communications, get back in touch.

Mental health royal commission

The ANMF was invited to nominate participants for a royal commission online focus group held on 2 June with Commissioner Dr Alex Cockram.

Thank you to those frontline mental health members who volunteered their time to discuss their experiences, challenges and ideas for reform.

The Andrews Government has given the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System an extension. The final report is now due February 2021.

Fee grant for postgraduate mental health nursing

Many members will be aware ANMF offers course fee grants for designated postgraduate courses in nursing.

Postgraduate courses in mental health nursing are included in the designated clinical areas.

Under the fee grants, ANMF reimburses up to 80 per cent of tuition fees for eligible applicants. For the 2019-2020 financial year, ANMF reimbursed members more than $30,000 for mental health courses fees.

Since the fee grants commenced in 2017, 10 per cent of the successful applications have been for mental health course fees.

To be eligible, you must have been a financial member for two years at time of application.

Applications for the 2020-21 period will open early next year.

For more details visit

Postgraduate mental health nurse scholarships

There is still time to apply for one of the Department of Health and Human Services scholarships for registered nurses working in the Victorian public health sector to support postgraduate study in mental health nursing.

Scholarships are worth up to $3000.

To be eligible you must be enrolled in a 2020 Semester 2 postgraduate program that leads to a tertiary qualification in mental health nursing or advances

Applications close Friday 17 July 2020.

Victorian Collaborative Mental Health Nursing Conference

Registrations are open for the rescheduled Victorian Collaborative Mental Health Nursing Conference at Moonee Valley Racecourse on November 9 and 10.

ANMF (Vic Branch) is a joint host of this annual conference which celebrates and showcases the specialist practice of mental health nursing across the full range of service settings and therapeutic approaches.

Mental health nurses are invited to submit a conference presentation abstract.

View abstract information and register (free passes are available for student nurses).