CODE 2, VOL 36, NO 12 : 01 july 2022


In CA22 Update 1 (emailed to members on 31 May 2022), I reported to you that commencement of your new certified agreement is waiting on a formal wage offer from the state government and then the authority from the state government to QFES to provide your union with a notification of an intention to bargain.

I am pleased to report that discussions between the state government and your union (and other public sector unions) regarding the wage offer are well advanced and I hope to be able to report the formal offer to you in the very near future.

That formal offer will then trigger the notifications required by the Industrial Relations Act 2016.

With the formal notification of intention to bargain seemingly very near, it’s now clear that your union will (finally) be bargaining with QFES on your behalf by the end of July 2022.

That will mean some months of intense negotiations with QFES and with the state government on what will form your new terms and conditions of employment in CA22.

I’ll provide another update once the wage offer is published and the notification of intention to bargain is issued.

The WHO IARC has escalated the profession of firefighting from ‘Group 2B – Possibly carcinogenic to humans’ to ‘Group 1 – Carcinogenic to humans’

On 30 June 2022, the medical journal The Lancet reported that the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified occupational exposure as a firefighter as “Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans”.

This decision was made by a working group of 25 scientists from eight countries, including Australia, and upgrades the classification of occupational exposure as a firefighter from “Group 2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans” as was determined in 2009.

This is an important decision for all firefighters. The upgrading of the IARC classification now means that there is a global consensus about there being enough evidence to conclude that firefighting can cause cancer.

Your union is now considering the outcomes of the assessment made by the IARC working group and what this means for firefighters in Queensland.

I have no doubt that I will be updating members on this matter further in the near future.

John Oliver - General Secretary

Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary 
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD