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When is a promise a promise and when is it just an aim or an objective? For the past 2 years the Tasmanian Liberals have told us all that, if elected, any cuts they make to the public sector will be achieved without resorting to forced redundancies. In an email sent to every Tasmanian public sector worker during the election campaign the Treasurer Peter Gutwein said:
“We will achieve the sensible savings we have set by using natural attrition, intra-agency and inter-agency management and vacancy control. There will be no forced redundancies – there is no need for that – and we will use the money saved to reinvest in hospitals, schools and public safety, employing more teachers, nurses and police.”
Today in the first question time of the new parliament Premier Hodman was asked to recommit to the promise there would be no forced redundancies – and what did he say? Well he certainly didn’t say clearly and unequivocally there would be no forced redundancies. He spoke in general terms that they had an intention to keep their promises but wouldn’t say the words public sector workers deserve to hear ‘We will not resort to forced redundancies to reduce the size of the public sector.’ Until he says these words every public sector worker will rightly feel their job is at risk.
Over the next few weeks we will be ramping up a campaign calling on Mr Hodgman to ‘Say the words’! We will keep you posted on how you can be involved.