This morning, I served HACSU's Log of Claims on the Victorian Government, the Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association, and the hospitals where you all work. This is the first step in our campaign for a new - and radically improved- public sector mental health enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) for 2020-2024. I wanted you to be the first to know.
HACSU is campaigning for the boldest and most progressive set of demands in our history. You, the workers, your wages, and your wellbeing are front and centre in HACSU's demands. As State Secretary, these principles will guide everything we at HACSU do over the coming months.
Quality mental health services are built on the foundations of a respected and well rewarded workforce. As this campaign builds, this is the message I will take to the government.
I'm proud to lead a public sector union campaigning for 4% year on year pay increases at a time when the government is hell-bent on capping public sector pay.
I'm proud to lead a union campaigning for public hospitals to step up and respond to the climate crisis.
I'm proud to lead a union that's campaigning for greater recognition and respect for our growing lived experience workforce.
I'm proud to lead the first union to campaign for concrete steps to close the superannuation gap between men and women, and for Reproductive Health and Wellbeing Leave.
I've set out a summary of some of our major claims below. You can read all 113 claims by clicking below. Over the coming weeks, my team will be out visiting workplaces across the state to talk through the next steps we'll be taking as a union.
Our Log of Claims sets out the demands and expectations of our thousands of members across the state, and is based on:
Thousands of ideas and responses from our members across the state to our 2019 EBA survey
Countless workplace meetings with our members and delegates across the state over the last six months
Hundreds of hours of detailed drafting from our industrial team.
Hundreds of meetings with politicians, supporters, community organisations and other unions, as we’ve built up a grassroots coalition of support to ensure we get these claims over the line.
Thank you to all of you who've helped get us to this stage. The ideas we’ve developed together over recent months represent the boldest and most ambitious vision possible for the mental health services in Victoria, and the workers at the heart of it.
Here are some of the landmark claims:
4 year agreement, with minimum wage increases of 4% per year over the life of the agreement and a further increase to wages in first year of the agreement to achieve a work value equalisation.
Introduction of a mental health allowance for all employees in the mental health workforce to recognize the special skills you have (whether acknowledged by a tertiary qualification or not) and use in order to perform your duties, as recommended by the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Mental Health.
An increase in parental leave entitlement to 26 weeks paid.
The inclusion and maintenance of all existing EBA and Award employment terms and conditions, and incorporation of all variations to former Awards and test case provisions.
All services must commit to expand and implement environmentally sustainable business operations during the course of this agreement, through taking active and measurable steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon based energy consumption.
Introduction of Reproductive Health & Wellbeing Leave, and a Gendered Violence and Harassment clause.
Introduction of an alternative disputes settling procedure, in the form of a Health Industry Disputes Panel, where union delegates can attended with pay.
Superannuation contributions will be increased to 15% plus an additional 2% for women employees.
With your support over the coming months, I believe that we can succeed in this campaign. I believe that we can achieve major and sustainable improvements to the working conditions for you, our members. And I believe that together, we can play our part in securing landmark, once in a generation reforms to mental health services in this state for the consumers, families and carers we all work to support.
Now, more than ever, is the time to build our strength as a union. Tell your colleagues about the claims we've built together, and the vision that HACSU has for the mental health workforce in Victoria. Speak to them about joining the union, direct them to your delegate or organiser, and let them know that the more of us there are, the more assured of success we can all be.
Over the coming months, if we reach bumps in the road with the government, I'll be looking to all of you to stand with us and campaign and take action in solidarity. Until then, I will keep you closely informed of next steps.
HACSU State Secretary.