The Victorian Coalition Government has welcomed the finalisation of negotiations with unions representing the majority of Victoria's public mental health workers.
The Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge said that she was pleased that the terms of the Victorian Public Mental Health Services Enterprise Agreement (EBA) have been endorsed by the Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association, the Health & Community Services Union and the Australian Nurses Federation.
"This new agreement will help us to continue to improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in the Victorian community," Ms Wooldridge said.
"It will also give mental health workers a pay rise consistent with the government's wages policy."
"This is a good deal for people with a mental illness, it's a good deal for mental health workers, it's a good deal for taxpayers and it's a good deal for our mental health system."
Ms Wooldridge also said that for the first time anywhere in Australia, an agreement had been reached that includes classifications and pay scales for consumer and carer consultants.
"People who have experienced mental illness, or those caring for people with mental illness, have a very real contribution to make in supporting clients and advising services on how to improve the safety and quality of care provided," Ms Wooldridge said.
Ms Wooldridge said the new enterprise agreement will operate until 31 March 2016, providing certainty of pay and conditions for mental health staff for four years.
The draft agreement, as with all enterprise bargaining in-principle agreements, will be the subject of an employee ballot in the coming weeks before it can be submitted to Fair Work Australia for formal approval and commencement.