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Mental Health Strategy Day 2024



On March 21, HACSU members across the whole span of the mental health workforce came together to talk about the upcoming Public Mental Health EBA campaign.

Focusing on the results of our recent log of claims survey, three issues came to the forefront: wages, parity of pay and conditions, and staffing levels. HACSU members from every discipline agreed that to fight burnout, increase worker retention, and build a stronger mental health system for workers and consumers, these need to be our priorities for the next EBA.

Sitting down in person gave us an opportunity to get into the specific needs of each discipline. We discussed the work HACSU member committees have done to build new classification structures to reflect the real skills and experience of workers, as well as the need for strong staffing profiles to ensure that workers are supported and consumers are receiving the care they deserve. 

Too often in mental health, workers are pitted against each to distract from poor wages and unsafe conditions. But we know that the system doesn’t work without allied health, nurses, admin, and lived experience workers all pulling together. The resounding message from the day was one of unity. To make the wins we need in the next EBA, we need to stand together in solidarity as one workforce.

The Mental Health Strategy Day was the culmination of many months of work — but it was also the beginning of a new member-led campaign. Thank you to everyone who took part, to everyone who completed our surveys, and to everyone who has been part of our workforce reference groups. With bargaining for the Public Mental Health EBA beginning in July, this is a crucial step towards creating an ambitious and thorough log of claims.


What is a log of claims?

When HACSU talks about a 'log of claims', we're talking about a list of improvements to pay and conditions that our members want in their new EBA. This could include things like pay increases and supplements, classification structures, changes to disciplinary procedures, or new leave entitlements. Some claims we put forward are brand new ideas; other claims can be tweaks and adjustments to make sure existing clauses work as they’re intended.

When we begin bargaining a new agreement, we present our log of claims to our bargaining partners. This lets them know our key bargaining priorities and gives us a clear position for beginning negotiations. 

Preparing a log of claims for a new agreement involves extensive consultation with members. We want to make sure our claims are robust, actionable, and accurately represent the wants and needs of workers. 

For the upcoming Public Mental Health EBA, our log of claims will be built from our member surveys, from conferences like the Mental Health Strategy Day, from our workforce reference groups, and from direct communication with members.

Once we've put together a log of claims that we think our members will be happy with, we hold a series of meetings with members to endorse the log. Held across all the services covered by the agreement, these meetings give you a chance to talk with HACSU's industrial officers about the contents of the log, and ultimately vote for whether you approve the log of claims.

Get involved

As we get closer to bargaining the new EBA, it’s more important than ever that you encourage your fellow workers to join HACSU. The more members we have, the greater leverage we have in bargaining for better pay and conditions. When it comes to campaigning, every member makes a difference.

If you’ve been thinking about getting more involved with organising, then now is the perfect time. You can join one of our workforce reference groups by contacting our Mental Health Policy Officer Rebecca Sprekos at