Mental health workers stopwork

LATROBE Regional Hospital’s mental health workers will stopwork today for eight hours in the next step of their enterprise bargaining claims.

Some workers are expected to attend a meeting at the Victorian Trades Hall “to consider the next stage in their long campaign for fair pay and improved staffing,” according to a Health and Community Services Union spokesperson.

HACSU state secretary Lloyd Williams said the stopwork followed 10 months of negotiations with the State Government and over eight months of protected industrial bans and action by members in the workplace.

“We are now at the pointy end of negotiations and a crucial point of the campaign,” he said. “If the Government does not adequately address the concerns of our members and the issues in mental health services in the very near future, our members will increase their protection industrial action.”

Psychiatric nurses, mental health clinicians and support staff from the Latrobe Valley will stopwork for eight hours while staff from at least 25 other hospitals will also take action for between four and 13 hours.