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Mental health nurse members reject offer and call for intense negotiations

Mental health nurse members reject offer and call for intense negotiations

ANMF public sector mental health members have rejected the Victorian Government’s disappointing wage offer and called on all parties to ramp up negotiations and finalise their key outstanding claims.

The offer is eight per cent over a four-year agreement.

At a statewide members’ meeting, held on 4 August 2021, members called on ANMF to secure pay parity, both the amount and the timing, with their colleagues under the public sector nurses and midwives enterprise agreement. Read the members resolution.

Nurses and midwives under the 2020-24 general agreement received a nine per cent wage rise over four years with the first three per cent rise from December 2020. A further three per cent increase will be paid in December 2021 and December 2022.

The general nurses and midwives pay rises are part of an eight-year wages deal ANMF (Vic Branch) negotiated in 2016.

Like their general public sector colleagues, mental health nurses reached net pay parity with NSW nurses and midwives under the last pay rise in April 2019 with a significant uplift between four and 26 per cent.

ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick told the statewide members meeting that at the time ANMF had also tried to negotiate the eight-year wage deal for mental health members, but it was rejected by the Health and Community Services Union (HACSU).

Assistant Secretary Madeleine Harradence said wage parity with the general public sector was critical for members, along with outstanding staffing, skill mix and workload claims, in order to meet the many recommendations and reform coming out of Victoria’s mental health royal commission.

The next negotiating meeting, between ANMF, the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association and HACSU, is scheduled for Friday 6 August.

After 15 frustrating months of negotiations, Ms Harradence is calling on all parties to meet intensively and constructively until the agreement is resolved.