Updates on Industrial Action

Commissioner’s message

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) fully supports and acknowledges workers’ rights to undertake industrial action, particularly of workers’ undertaking proposed actions that do not have the potential to compromise community and firefighter safety.

It is incumbent on the ESA to ensure that there are strategies in place to mitigate any potential risk, in anticipation of certain industrial actions proceeding. Mitigation of the impact of industrial action may include, but is not limited to, changes to operational orders, policy changes, and calling on resources from other services and agencies. It is through these strategies that the ESA will strive to maintain the highest standard in community safety during certain proposed industrial actions.

It is clear from discussions and questions directed to ESA executives, that many of our workforce, including those in ACT Fire & Rescue (ACTF&R), are not fully aware of all matters in relation to the ACTF&R Enterprise Agreement bargaining negotiations. Many continue to ask questions about the Protected Action and how it will impact the work of ACTF&R, and the ESA more broadly.

The ESA will publish information here to ensure transparency and promote greater understanding of the current situation.

Please be assured that the ACTF&R Enterprise Bargaining team continues work towards resolving this dispute smoothly and with minimal disruption.

Enterprise Agreement negotiations

There has been no major change or reform to successive ACTF&R agreements since the negotiation of the 2006–2010 agreement. The current agreement includes some provisions that are considered inflexible and restricts reform in ACTF&R and, to a lesser extent, the broader ESA.

The Government’s Common Core outcome is 11.4% over four years. The offer to firefighters is a further 10% in addition to the Common Core. When the Common Core and the offer to firefighters is combined, this represents a compounded increase of 22.5% over the four-year life of the next ACTF&R Enterprise Agreement.

The proposed ACTF&R agreement is designed to bring greater alignment of the Firefighters’ Enterprise Agreement to other ACT Government Enterprise Agreements. It is also designed to embed modernised principles within the EA that will increase diversity, improve workplace health and safety, and provide much greater rostering flexibility as we are able to do within our other workforces.

Please be assured that the ACTF&R Enterprise Bargaining team continues work towards resolving this dispute smoothly and with minimal disruption.

The ESA continues an ongoing programme of progressive reform and investment into increased capability to meet the needs of our growing city. To find out more information go to http://esa.act.gov.au/about-us/esa-through-strategic-reform/.


ESA will respond to frequently asked questions here. Send your question to ESAHaveYourSay@act.gov.au


Transcript of Commissioner’s Interview on ABC Radio Canberra on 27 March 2019 [PDF 151KB]

Commissioner’s letter to staff 26 March

Commissioner’s letter to staff 15 February Chief Officer’s email 15 February (relevant information included) Staff minute – 1 April 2019


Fair Work Factsheet

Protection Action Ballot

Canberra Times Article


Staff Minute 27 March: Payroll Data