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EBA campaign(s) and negotiations: where are we at?

EBA campaign(s) and negotiations: where are we at?

ANMF (Vic Branch), the Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association (VHIA), Department of Health and government representatives have returned to the bargaining table and have been engaged in intensive discussions and work relating to the EBA for the past fortnight.

These discussions are ongoing at the time of publication, and we will update members as soon as we have news to share.

While negotiations continue, public sector members can – and should – continue to exercise any and/or all of the stage 1 protected industrial actions available to them. These actions are getting results.

Stage 1 is about getting the public onboard as much as it is about putting pressure on employers and government.

Sharing the Dear Victoria video and Dear Patient letter (available in English, Arabic, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Punjabi, Sinhalese, Urdu and Vietnamese); contacting the media, the Premier, Health Minister and the Treasurer; refusing to work overtime or to be redeployed; closing beds if staffing is not maintained and all the other stage 1 actions are extraordinarily powerful.

Check for a flyer with tips for members on writing letters to the editor, calling talkback radio and contacting politicians about your campaign.

Stage 2 protected industrial action is still on the table, but must be used strategically to get the best outcome for members. ANMF will provide members further advice about stage 2, if and when it becomes necessary.

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Private and not-for-profit EBA campaigns

Even if you don’t work in the general public sector, the outcome of this public sector enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) is worth keeping an eye on because the public sector agreement is the benchmark for all other agreements – including public sector mental health, private acute facilities and smaller private workplaces such as residential aged care facilities, bush nursing hospitals, local governments, palliative care, dialysis, endoscopy, radiology, pathology and IVF clinics.

With at least 200 different EBAs covering Victorian ANMF members across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, the Branch is always negotiating an agreement, or several.

Among the private and not-for-profit EBAs currently being renegotiated are Mercy Aged Care, St Vincent’s Private, Mildura Private, Cancer Council of Victoria, Melbourne IVF, the Epilepsy Foundation and Bolton Clarke.

Bolton Clarke has been especially tricky, and is at the point where ANMF has lodged an application for a protected industrial action ballot in the Fair Work Commission (FWC). If members vote yes to taking action, and in the likely event that any offer on wages is inadequate, we would expect Bolton Clarke members to begin taking that action in early July.

What about public mental health?

The Victorian public sector mental health agreement and the Forensicare agreement both expire on 31 December.

The log of claims for replacement agreements will reflect member resolutions carried at recent delegates conferences, the outcomes (if known) of the general public sector agreement, issues identified by ANMF staff and claims specific to these workplaces.

The public sector mental health agreement log of claims will be presented to Mental Health Job Reps and HSRs at the delegates conference later this month, and then endorsed by the Branch Council. It will be shared with the wider public sector mental health membership shortly thereafter and then served on employers. Negotiations are expected to begin soon thereafter.

Members can find your EBA – and its expiry date – in the member portal, under ‘My Membership’.