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Public sector mental health EBA discussions begin

Public sector mental health EBA discussions begin

The ANMF (Vic Branch) has begun preliminary discussions with public sector employer representatives about a new enterprise agreement for nurses working in public sector mental health services.

The log of claims for enrolled and registered nurses working in the public mental health sector was lodged with employers on 6 May. The 2016 enterprise agreement expired on 30 June 2020 and will continue to operate until a new agreement is in place. (link to the enterprise agreement )

The log of claims seeks to maintain wage parity with general public sector nurses – a nine per cent wage increase during the life of the Agreement, recognising the significant wage uplift ANMF secured for nurses working in public mental health sector in the 2016 -20 enterprise agreement negotiations and realised in April 2019.

The log of claims also incorporates achievements secured in the general public sector agreement 2020-2024 negotiations and endorsed by members in April.

These conditions include:

  1. increased notice requirements for issuing a roster and changing a roster, including on-call requirements.
  2. access to six weeks annual leave for all nurses who meet the definition of weekend workers.
  3. access to long service leave at seven years.
  4. periods of unpaid parental leave counting as service.
  5. increases in paid parental leave for primary and secondary carers.
  6. superannuation to continue to be paid through unpaid absences on parental leave, not just the paid component.
  7. confirmation when previous experience applies for an internationally qualified nurse.
  8. ensuring employers cannot implement punitive performance improvement plans.
  9. portability of psychiatric/clinical nurse specialist between employers.

ANMF is seeking provisions that set out all previously agreed staffing profiles for all bed-based services as a minimum. There are also claims to ensure all planned leave is backfilled.

Claims also include rostering nurses on all shifts in prevention and recovery care centres, a director of nursing for each mental health service and increased clinical nurse educators.

The log of claims includes a provision to extend the registered undergraduate student of nursing (RUSON) model currently in operation for general nursing students to the mental health sector.

There are also claims designed to build the nursing workforce in community mental health, including community mental health teams to be led by mental health nurses with role clarity and two thirds of community mental health teams to consist of nurses.

Several claims have emerged from the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Interim Report. These claims support the re-introduction of standalone mobile support teams and standalone community assessment and treatment teams (CATT) for all mental health services.

ANMF is also seeking an extension of the Police Ambulance Clinical Early Response (PACER) to 24 hours, and expansion of the intensive mobile youth outreach service to all youth mental health programs and the successful Pre-Hospital Response of Mental Health and Paramedic Team (PROMPT) model.

There is a comprehensive list of claims for improvements including earlier and equitable long service leave access, change of roster allowance, improved overtime and on call/ recall provisions, payment for meal breaks not taken, overtime rates for casuals, expanded definition of study leave to support  workforce development initiatives.

ANMF (Vic Branch) is also seeking that all nurse unit managers, associate unit managers and supervisors receive training and support to undertake OHS incident investigations, conduct consultation with staff about OHS issues and undertake risk assessments.

ANMF (Vic Branch) has also submitted a log of claims for enterprise agreement negotiations with Forensicare. For more information about the Forensicare log of claims, see the Forensicare enterprise agreement campaign update #1.