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Three claims outstanding in mental health EBA negotiations

Three claims outstanding in mental health EBA negotiations

Three priority claims within 67 public sector mental health EBA claims remain outstanding.

These are:

  • staffing profiles and improvements to existing staffing
  • the Community Workload Management System (CWMS)
  • discipline mix and backfill in community mental health teams.

The majority of members’ priority claims have been agreed including relevant claims achieved as part of the 2020 general public sector nurses and midwives enterprise agreement.

The employers’ representative, the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association (VHIA), has continued to refuse to progress the staffing claim. This would involve asking employers to clarify the outstanding areas of difference between ANMF’s staffing profiles data and VHIA data.

The Andrews Government made an election commitment to legislate the staffing profiles in mental health and ANMF is committed to ensuring that this election promise comes to fruition. However, existing staffing profiles must be confirmed and embedded in the EBA.

VHIA has voiced employer supportfor ANMF’s staffing claim for an uplift for staffing in  in aged persons mental health and  secure extended care units. ANMF have made it clear that this is just one part of our total staffing claim, given there has not been an increase in staffing in these areas for some time.

ANMF continues to offer to meet with the Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) about claims where we hold a shared view, including the Community Workload Management System.

ANMF has also continued to push for nurse-to-nurse backfill in community mental health rather than nurses being replaced with other workers. The VHIA had put forward a replacement skill mix clause which supported ANMF’s proposal for nurse-to-nurse backfill but unfortunately HACSU has not agreed to the clause.

Forensicare negotiations

Forensicare EBA negotiations continue against a backdrop of immense workload and staffing pressures for Forensicare staff.

ANMF understands that members’ claim for increased prison nurses is more important than ever, given the mental health royal commission’s recommendations for 127 additional beds at Thomas Embling Hospital and the expansion of the forensic community mental health model.

ANMF staff and executive members have met with Forensicare staff in person prior to COVID restrictions and met online on 1 June to talk about the EBA campaign, royal commission outcomes, and the need for members to keep reporting occupation violence and aggression.

At the online meeting and in the newsflash following, Forensicare members were asked to pledge their commitment to ANMF’s campaign for better staffing, safety and professional development for nurses at Forensicare.