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Copy of Workers. Wages. Wellbeing.

Updated Friday, August 6, 2021



After over a year of bargaining, Victoria's public mental health workforce is still waiting for a genuine offer for their EBA.

The public mental health agreement expired over a year ago.

It has been 14 months since our log of claims went in — it's been long enough! Workers are struggling, and so are the consumers, carers, and families we all work to support. 

We know that to fix the mental health system, we need to address the issues plaguing the workforce. 

Mental health workers are fed up. The Victorian Government and its bargaining representatives are not listening. The recent Royal Commission named the workforce the "heart" of the mental health system — shouldn't the heart be treated with more respect?
We're demanding action in the bargaining process—no more stalling tactics.
Thousands of HACSU members have spoken to us over the last 14 months, and it's clear that we need to escalate our campaign to ensure Victoria's mental health workforce gets the EBA they deserve.
Increased staffing. Manageable workloads. Safer workplaces. A pay rise. Secure retirement. Reproductive health and wellbeing leave for all workers. A mental health allowance in recognition of your specialist skills. And so much more.
This is what is on the line.

The offer issued on Tuesday, August 3 2021, was a slap in the face to thousands of mental health workers who continue to work on the frontlines of a pandemic.

Quality mental health services are only built with a respected and well-rewarded workforce.

This is the message we have taken to the Victorian Government.

This is the message we will continue to take to the Victorian Government.

HACSU members are standing strong because they know their worth. They know that collective action works. They know they can win.

We're proud to be a public sector union campaigning for 4% year on year pay increases when the government is hell-bent on capping public sector pay.

We're proud to be a union campaigning for public hospitals to step up and respond to the climate crisis.

We're proud to be a union campaigning for greater recognition and respect for our growing lived experience workforce. 

We're proud to be the first union to campaign for concrete steps to close the superannuation gender gap and for Reproductive Health and Wellbeing Leave. 

We're not backing down. HACSU remains the only union taking industrial action in this round of bargaining because we know that simply asking isn't enough. We're demanding a better mental health system.

Join us.


Our log of claims sets out the demands and expectations of our thousands of members across the state.

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.


We need ALL public mental health members to get involved in the campaign. There's a couple of simple things you can do right now to help build a great EBA including:

  • Stick to the bans in place at 15 services (Albury Wodonga, Alfred, Austin, Ballarat, Barwon, Bendigo, Eastern, Forensicare, Goulburn Valley, Latrobe, Melbourne, Mercy, Peninsula, South West and St Vincent's)
  • Attend workplace and EBA zoom meetings with HACSU Organisers (call your organiser to arrange one)
  • Talk to your colleagues about the benefits of being a HACSU member for a better EBA.