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Public sector mental health services negotiations continue

Public sector mental health services negotiations continue

Negotiations update

The weekly discussions that started on 14 May for a new public sector mental health services agreement have now become formal negotiations for a new EBA.

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).

ANMF member claims are aimed at improving entitlements, conditions and physical and psychological safety for nurses working in public mental health services. You can read the ANMF public sector mental health services claim and the ANMF Forensicare claim.

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.

At our most recent meeting on 9 July, the employer representative (VHIA) commenced responding to the unions’ claims and will continue its responses at our next two meetings.

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

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

Recent meetings have also included discussions about HACSU claims, including their relevance 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 has requested to be present at those bargaining meetings

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

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

ANMF has now received the employer log of claims ( ) which was tabled at the meeting on 11 June.

Whilst VHIA provided a brief overview of their claims, ANMF will have more to say when more detail is provided.

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) who is also a bargaining representative have tabled a log of claims and are attending meetings

Forensicare management attended our meeting on 9 July and has now tabled its log of claims (

The ANMF will be asking our Forensicare members working in units to participate in a survey. The information regarding your working conditions will add value to member claims and we encourage your participation.

This survey will be emailed to members soon. If you know a colleague who is not receiving these campaign update emails please ask them to resubscribe via

Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR)

VHIA have advised that the Notice of Employee Representational Rights for public mental health services has now been issued by the 17 employers covered by the current Mental Health EBA, and we expect Forensicare to follow soon.

ANMF is a default bargaining representative and members in public mental health services or Forensicare do not need to take any action regarding the NERR.

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