HACSU has just filed Protected Action Ballot Order applications with the Fair Work Commission and served notices to Monash Health, Mildura Base Public Hospital and the Royal Children’s Hospital.
After HACSU Mental Health members took stop work action across Victoria on Wednesday, it is clear that mental health workers are fed up with the Victorian Government’s inaction on mental health. This application to the Commission represents a further escalation in the campaign for a safer mental health system that delivers for workers and for all Victorians.
The Victorian Government only put forward an offer on Tuesday 3rd August, the day before the state wide stop work — waiting 18 months to step in with an offer that was nowhere near what is needed for the sector. Their proposal would leave mental health nurses, occupational therapists and social workers worse off than their colleagues in general nursing, occupational therapy and social work. The offer also didn’t address vital claims for administrative staff.
Currently, HACSU members across 15 Area Mental Health Services are taking Protected Action. These are public mental health staff at Albury Wodonga Health, Alfred Health, Austin Health, Ballarat Health Services, Barwon Health, Bendigo Health Care Group, Eastern Health, Forensicare, Goulburn Valley Health, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Melbourne Health, Mercy Health, Peninsula Health, South West Healthcare and St Vincent's Hospital.
HACSU members at Monash Health, Mildura Base Public Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital are encouraged to vote in the upcoming Protected Action Ballot, so they can join their Mental Health Public Sector colleagues in the fight for a fair EBA deal!
In February 2020, HACSU served a Log of Claims on the VHIA, outlining the bargaining position of HACSU members for their next multi-year EBA. Multiple proposals were put forward; encompassing staffing, workload, safety, pay, conditions, career structures and pathways, greater prominence and protections for Victoria’s growing lived experience workforce, and measures to address systemic health and safety failures in Victorian public hospitals. The recent offer put to mental health workers ignores the majority of what HACSU has been addressing for the last 18 months of bargaining.
Quotes attributable to HACSU State Secretary Paul Healey
“It’s absolutely disgraceful that the Victorian Government has taken so long to intervene in bargaining, and when they finally step in they offer pay that’s lower than other areas of public health.”
“Our members are frontline healthcare workers. They deserve better than to be left without pay rises for over two years due to the Andrews Government’s inaction on mental health.”
“Today we’re serving notice for three more services to join the collective action that thousands of members have taken part in. Our members care deeply about Victoria’s broken mental health system. They’re standing strong and demanding real action on the mental health crisis.”
Róisín McGee, HACSU Media & Communications Officer
0499 221 525
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