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Negotiations continue

Negotiations continue

Mental health negotiations continue

EBA negotiation meetings are taking place at least once a week, sometimes more, 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).

Under the guidance of former Fair Work Commissioner David Gregory all parties had agreed to work toward reaching a new agreement by mid-October. Despite multiple meetings each week, mediated by Mr Gregory, this deadline has passed. ANMF remains committed and available to finalise the agreement as soon as possible.

ANMF continues to press for the inclusion of all the relevant clauses that ANMF negotiated 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 (CATT) teams and claims to provide certainty about staffing of bed-based units.

Progress on members’ EBA claims

At negotiations on 12 October, ANMF tabled a document mapping the staffing of nurses on each shift in each bed-based unit across the state. We thank the ANMF members who assisted with this comprehensive mapping exercise.

This data has enabled ANMF to press our claim for mandatory minimum staffing in the replacement agreement and builds on the outcome of the high dependency unit ratios achieved in 2016. It is now the most contemporary record of nurse staffing levels in Victoria’s mental health.

The data will also assist ANMF in discussions with the Andrews Government to progress the ratio legislation for public sector mental health nurses which was part of its 2018 election commitments.

ANMF continues to seek to address workload issues for nurses working in mental health services, as well as ensuring safe, consistent and quality care for the Victorian community.

Discussions and exchange of drafts for ANMF claims continue

Where ANMF claims are relevant to, or of interest to HACSU, ANMF continues to schedule separate meetings to progress these claims with the aim of having a unified position to negotiate with the employer.

On-going discussions continue

Ongoing discussions continue with respect to:

  1. claims relating to securing a discipline specific model of care for nurses in community teams
  2. updating and modernising nursing roles to keep in step with the contemporary demands of mental health services
  3. claims that relate to potential outcomes from the Royal Commission into mental health that is due in February 2021
  4. strengthening the Community workload management system including ensuring effective application of the tool for all community teams, including crisis assessment teams.

Update on HACSU claims that are nursing related or impact nursing

HACSU has a number of claims for the lived experience workforce and has provided a draft claim titled ‘Lived experience pillars’

The ANMF has sought further information including:

  1. the definition for the lived experience worker
  2. the classification and salary structure that corresponds with the new six-level structure
  3. the detail of the translation of existing provisions for peer workers and consumer and carer consultants in the current enterprise agreement.

The ANMF is determined to ensure any proposal for the introduction and/or expansion of an unregulated workforce in mental health services clearly distinguishes between clinical nursing work and roles that require a lived experience workforce.

For clarity, the ANMF’s submission to the mental health royal commission (p120) ( states:

“The ANMF (Vic Branch) supports models of care where peer support workers undertake standardised training and on-going professional development and complement the work of skilled clinicians whose domain is the provision of clinical care.”

The ANMF supports training and education that is relevant to the lived experience worker role with standards of practice to ensure role confusion is avoided and protections are in place for the community.

At this stage the ANMF is the only party that supports relevant education and training as a requirement that underpins the role of the lived experience workforce.

Forensicare negotiations

Nursing profile claim update

ANMF, with the assistance of Forensciare ANMF members, has been working hard to map all nurses across Forensicare units. ANMF aims to provide this mapping data to the bargaining table on 29 October 2020.

ANMF is seeking the inclusion of this nursing data in the next enterprise agreement, as a minimum level, to ensure the expertise of mental health nurses remains accessible to all Forensicare consumers.

Based on the information provided by ANMF members, ANMF is also formulating its claim for additional nurses in prisons.

Job Rep mailout

Next month all mental health Job Reps will receive ANMF merchandise to circulate to their member colleagues. Packages should start arriving in early to mid-November.

Become a Job Rep

If you wish to nominate a colleague to be a job rep, or to be nominated yourself, please download the form.

Stay informed and involved

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

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

Victorian Collaborative Mental Health Nursing Conference – 9 and 10 November

ANMF (Vic Branch) is a member of the event committee 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.

This event provides an exciting opportunity to network in a virtual forum. The online format also makes it easier for regional and rural members to attend.

Keynote speakers include Victoria’s Chief Mental Health Nurse Anna Love, men’s health expert Dr John Ollife, the Humane Clinic’s Matt Ball and consumer academic Cath Roper. The conference also includes a special event consumer panel titled ‘You can ask that?’.

View the conference program via

Registration – students $110, standard registration $165 – via