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Mental Health Update: June


Hello members,


I wanted to provide you with an update regarding the Public Mental Health enterprise bargaining negotiations.

We’ve been bargaining for several weeks now, after serving HACSU members’ log of claims (LOC) in late February on the Victorian Government, the Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association, and the hospitals where you work.

We’re asking for a new - and radically improved - public sector mental health enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) for 2020-2024. Thanks to members like yourself, we were able to serve a log of claims that encompassed the needs of workers across the sector and to build a complimentary and holistic service system for consumers and families across Victoria.

It was only recently that we finally received the employers’ LOC and suffice to say, we weren’t surprised by the lack of acknowledgement of the hardships workers face or what is needed to improve the sector, on the basis of the ongoing Royal Commission into Mental Health in Victoria.

So far, bargaining meetings have consisted of the HACSU bargaining team relaying the claims we’ve put forward in our members’ log, in order to thoroughly discuss each claim. Unfortunately, we’ve been met with little in the way of responses, other than an acknowledgement of the claim and commentary around whether it is or is not a ‘cost item’ (meaning, it costs the employer money).

I believe in the union and members and I know that when the time comes, members will stand up and support better mental health for Victoria. We’ll continue to campaign 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. 

Very soon, we’ll be delivering new materials to your workplaces to help you support the Workers.Wages.Wellbeing campaign. I hope that you’ll take the opportunity to use these materials to start a conversation with your colleagues around the importance of being a HACSU member during this year’s EBA campaign.

If there is one thing you can do right now to support the campaign, it’s to update your details. We’ll need all public mental health members to ensure your personal and employment details are up to date.

You can check and update your details via MyPage today or by calling us on 1300 651 931.

Mental Health EBA Assets (3)


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.

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. 


In unity,

Paul Healey
HACSU State Secretary.

Mental Health EBA Assets (6)