Home Media Resources Union Agrees to Lift Work Bans in Psychiatric Services - 8 April 2004
Union Agrees to Lift Work Bans in Psychiatric Services - 8 April 2004
The union representing Victoria’s 5,000 Psychiatric Nurses and Mental Health professionals has offered to lift work bans effecting Victoria’s psychiatric services.
The Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) has had work bans on non-clinical paperwork and other non nursing duties since Monday April 5.
HACSU State Secretary, Lloyd Williams, said "the work bans have been in place following the government's refusal to negotiate a key elements of our enterprise bargaining claims".
The union's offer to lift the work bans comes after three days of hearings in the Industrial Relations Commission and agreement by the government to negotiate all aspects of the union's claims.
Mr Williams said "we have lifted the bans partly because the government has agreed to negotiate, but to also give the Commission some clean air to attempt to conciliate an agreement".
Mr Williams said "This dispute is not about wages. There is a work force crisis in mental health in Victoria that the government has been refusing to address in negotiations."
Mr Williams said "The government must address specialist training for psychiatric nurses; safe staffing levels; and manageable community caseloads".
"To date the government has refused to discuss the skills and training needed to work in this highly specialised area".
"However after four days of low level industrial action and three days in the Industrial Relations Commission, the government has now conceded it must and will negotiate all aspects of our claims, including training and education and workforce issues".
Further hearings are scheduled in the Commission next week before Commissioner Cribb who will attempt to mediate an agreement between HACSU and the government."
Mr Williams said "The government is still on notice. We have a members meeting scheduled for 21 April. If there is no substantial progress to report to members by then, it is likely that further industrial action will be considered".
Contact:Lloyd Williams, State Secretary, 0418 542 799 or
Level 2, 102 Victoria St CARLTON 3053
Health Services Union of Australia