Last week Peter Gutwein shocked the state by announcing his intention to resign as Premier and from parliament to spend more time with family after two years in the job.
Jeremy Rockliff MP will take on the role of 47th Premier of Tasmania
While we have not always seen eye to eye but the CPSU would like to acknowledge Peter Gutwein’s contribution in leading Tasmania through two years of COVID-19 and for working cooperatively with unions throughout the pandemic and the State Service Review.
On 24 March 2020 as Premier, Mr. Gutwein made the historic move to supporting a Public Sector Income Guarantee to back workers through the pandemic – ensuring no public sector worker, regardless of their employment status, be disadvantaged or put out of work because of an unprecedented and unpredictable public health emergency. This ensured that casuals, fixed-term employees, rostered day workers and shift workers were entitled to continue receiving their regular expected hours over the winter months, despite a drastic decline in visitor numbers.
For some, such as workers at Port Arthur Historic Site where workloads diminished with tourists no longer coming into the state, this meant being redeployed to other parts of our public sector in addition to ensuring workers had income to continue to support their families. This smart planning gave our state the interoperability we needed to tackle a public health crisis – something we will see more and more in a changing climate and post-COVID world.
As incoming-Premier, Jeremy Rockliff will inherit these and other significant challenges: the disbandment of Tasmania’s sole human services department and what this will mean for our ability to deliver services in Child Safety, Housing, Youth Justice Mental Health and more. An ongoing review into unsafe workplace culture in our parliament and the unfinished State Service Review. Being willing to be an advocate for Tasmania in the face of Federal Budget cuts to health and TasTAFE, as well as negotiating in good faith with public sector workers to deliver the next Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement.
We wish Peter Gutwein all the best.