Main Content

EBA update 6: Public sector mental health services negotiations continue

EBA update 6: Public sector mental health services negotiations continue

Negotiations update

Weekly discussions started on 14 May for a new public sector mental health services agreement.

These negotiations are 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).

To progress negotiations the parties have agreed to the department’s offer to provide a mediator, former Fair Work Commissioner David Gregory.  Mr Gregory attended negotiations on 13 August.

We expect this assistance to extend to resolving the impasse between ANMF and HACSU whereby HACSU wants to exclude ANMF from bargaining despite our members’ concern that HACSU’s claims are relevant to ANMF members.

HACSU disputes ANMF’s attendance at discussions for what they consider to be non-nursing claims. However the lack of detail about these claims does not allow ANMF to make an informed decision about whether they will impact directly or indirectly on nursing.

ANMF has identified HACSU claims that are either nursing related, or have an impact on nursing, and requested to be present at those bargaining meetings.

We have also identified some HACSU claims that we understand to be suitable for separate discussions. However, in respect to those claims it is our expectation we are provided copies of:

  • any proposed draft clauses
  • information provided as part of discussion around these claims and
  • minutes from any discussions held in relation to the claims.

ANMF member claims are aimed at improving entitlements, conditions and physical and psychological safety for nurses working in public mental health services. 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.

The status of the ANMF claims to date

The employer representative (VHIA) has responded to both unions’ claims.

The responses to ANMF claims broadly range from agreeing in principle e.g. to a four-year agreement, foreshadowing that VHIA will provide drafting amendments to some clauses; items that are cost related and reliant on funding from DHHS; and requests for clarification of claims. The VHIA also identified claims that may be connected to royal commission outcomes.

In addition, the VHIA has identified in its response some claims it believes could be referred to an alternate committee forum.

Forensicare talks have commenced

Like public mental health services, these negotiations take place between ANMF (Vic Branch), VHIA, DHHS and HACSU. In addition, the Victorian Psychologists Association Inc /Health Services Union Victoria No. 4 Branch (VPA), which is also a bargaining representative, has tabled a log of claims and is attending meetings.

Forensicare management has attended meetings and discussed the employer claims.  ANMF claims have not yet been properly discussed. These discussions will be resuming in September.

Thank you to ANMF members in Forensicare for participating in our survey and for providing information regarding your working conditions. This information will add value to member claims.

Victorian mental health services enterprise agreement 2016–20 – additional EFT update

Please find below the additional EFT outcome from the EBA 2016–20, implemented as Phase 4 from 1 July 2020. The outcome includes a total of 12 nurse educator positions and an additional 8 nursing EFT.

This breakdown of the Phase 4 -2020–21 outcome includes:

  1. 3 X PEN 4 educator support roles
  2. Further 8 nursing EFT as below:
Acute inpatient unit AM Shift PM Shift Night Shift  
Austin SECU 0.4 Weekends to be the same roster as weekdays
Northern Unit 2 1
RMH John Cade 1
Dandenong Unit 2 1
St Vincent’s First Floor 1 * Additional K Shift for First Floor (10-6.30)
Total shift lines
Total EFT 3.8 1 4.2 8         EFT

3. 9 Clinical nursing educator RPN 4 x 1 EFT

These positions have been allocated in the following services:

  • Peninsula Health – 1 x Aged Persons Mental Health
  • Monash Health – 1 x Aged Persons Mental Health
  • NWMH – 2 x Aged Persons Mental Health (1 @ Sunshine Campus, 1 @ BECC Campus)
  • GV Health – 1 x Aged Persons Mental Health
  • Eastern Health – 1 x Aged Persons Mental Health
  • Bendigo Health – 1 x Aged Persons Mental Health
  • Barwon Health – 1 x Aged Persons Psychiatry
  • Ballarat Health – 1 x Aged Persons Psychiatry

The ANMF has sought confirmation from the DHHS that the funding to enable the allocation for these positions has occurred. We understand recruitment has commenced.

If you have any information, including whether the additional EFT has not been implemented, please inform the ANMF via your organiser and

Job Reps

ANMF organisers have recently made contact with ANMF Job Reps and members to obtain some information relating to our claims, and may be in contact with you again during our EBA campaign. ANMF is aware of the stressful work environment currently, so thank you for your assistance.

Due to stay-at-home restrictions all Job Rep training is now being delivered online, including Job Rep Foundations and a restructured Keeping It Organised program. Find a program and register at

We recommend that you review the Job Rep Resources page at on the ANMF website. This section offers useful tips and resources to assist you in your role as a Job Rep.

Stay informed and involved

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

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