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All the latest news and views from the CPSU team

Gutwein Forced to Reveal Truth and Job Cuts

THE HODGMAN Government is the most secretive government in Tasmanian political history so it was a major breakthrough last week when a Right to Information request by the CPSU forced the Treasurer to make public the facts around his job cuts. When asked why he was releasing this information just a few weeks after his Revised Estimates Report Mr Gutwein said it was ‘for transparency’ and not in response to the union’s RTI request. This caused considerable mirth amongst the assembled journalists.

The 43-page report given to the media showed the number of public sector workers providing vital services to the Tasmanian community was 668 FTE fewer at the end of January than in June 2014. As expected the largest cuts had occurred in Health, Education and State Growth but all agencies had shared the pain. The notable exception was Ministerial & Parliamentary Support which had actually increased in size and comes on top of the Premier giving his senior staff pay increases of over 80% last year.

668 FTE cut in just 4 months when the Premier promised in writing before the election less than 12 months ago he’d cut no more than 500 FTE over a full 4 year term!

The report also revealed the government had spent more than $21 million encouraging public sector workers to leave. It had paid 498 workers a total of $10,704,270 in workplace renewal incentives and 178 workers $10,356,433 in redundancies. Despite paying 676 workers to leave it’s interesting that only 287 positions have actually been abolished.

The government is trying to tell Tasmanians the ‘heavy lifting’ has been done and things will quickly settle down but the truth is that further public sector cuts are already embedded into Agency budgets for 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 so unless the May budget removes these cuts we can expect more jobs and services to disappear for years to come.

State of the State address – Hodgman Gives Hodgman a Big Tick!

“It’s nice to write your own reviews. It is surely not surprising then to hear that Will Hodgman reckons Will Hodgman’s government is doing an excellent job”.

That’s how Examiner journalist Pat Caruana described Will Hodgman’s first State of the State Report. According to the Premier Tasmania is in great shape, his government has done a great job and the future is rosy! Is that your experience?

Tasmanians we speak to are very worried about their local schools and whether the local hospital can provide emergency services and if an ambulance will come when they call one.

They’re worried about their children getting good, secure jobs or whether they’ll have to leave the state to find work and they’re concerned too many kids are slipping through the cracks of the underfunded child protection system.

Tasmanians tell us they’re worried budget cuts will mean pests and diseases will enter our state through a porous border to undermine our agriculture and aquaculture industries, that our Parks and Reserves will be degraded by uncontrolled weeds and feral animals damaging our tourism industry and that cuts to workplace standards will make our workplaces less safe.

The Premier may be pleased with his efforts, and he may think Tasmania is heading in the right direction, but most Tasmanians want more than just another glossy brochure with three word slogans, they want a real plan for growing the economy and creating jobs. Will Hodgman must remember that it’s the people who’ll write the review that counts at the next election.

Support waning for Premier, government

THE LATEST EMRS poll shows Premier Will Hodgman’s popularity has dwindled. He’s down 2 percentage points since November 2014 and down 6% since May last year.

Although support for the government remained steady in February, it’s down 8% since February last year. The graph below shows how support has declined since the election (source: ABC).

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