There's been a changing of the guard at the top of Tasmania's public service union.
After nearly 22 years with the union, and 17 years as general secretary, Tom Lynch has passed the baton to Thirza White.
At elections last month, Ms Thirza was elected unopposed as secretary and Mr Lynch as assistant secretary.
Mr Lynch, who worked with six Premiers, said the time had come for new leadership.
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"I've always believed democratic organizations need to regularly refresh their leaders and we are fortunate to have such an outstanding person as Thirza to take up the reins," Mr Lynch said.
"My passion for the role of General Secretary has not diminished, it is just the right time for the CPSU to have a new leader.
"Thirza will bring new ideas, new focus and new engagement."
Mr Lynch was a research technician at Forestry Tasmania in 1999 when he joined the CPSU on secondment for six months as an organiser.
"I never went back.
"In March 2000 I was elected the CPSU Assistant Secretary and in April 2003 I was appointed the CPSU General Secretary.
"I was re-elected General Secretary in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. It has been a privilege to lead our union for the past 17 years."
Mr Lynch said Ms White had extensive experience working for unions in the UK and Western Australia and for the ACTU.
"Thirza and I are a great team and by me undertaking the role of assistant secretary I feel I can support her and the rest of our small team to continue to kick goals for CPSU members and to protect the public services Tasmanians rely upon."
Ms White praised Mr Lynch for his succession planning and his deep commitment to the CPSU.
"There are many leaders who choose to stay or walk away, but great leadership is exemplified by those who empower and encourage others to step forward," Ms White said.
"This change will mean that as an organisation we can continue to rely on Tom's wealth of experience, whilst also building for the next chapter of the CPSU."
She said it was a privilege to lead the union which had worked for 123 years to improve the lives of people providing public services.
"It is a great privilege to lead our union now, at a time when the value and importance of public services has never been greater.
"Our challenge is to ensure the lessons of the pandemic are not ignored and that it is public sector workers who shape the public sector of the future."
Ms White said she had dedicated her working life to "amplifying the voices of workers".
"Early on I learnt that work impacts not just those who do the job, but the people they love.,"
"Not long after our immigration to Australia, my dad found himself unemployed. This experience changed him and while he found secure work again, I am not sure that feeling of insecurity ever left him.
"Security at work is critical to being able to get a home loan, to go home on time when you know the long hours are impacting your health, to providing frank and fearless advice, to asking for the value of the work you do to be respected and, most importantly, to having the ability to advocate for yours and others' rights."
Mr Lynch thanked members who had supported him over the past 22 years.
"The world has changed significantly over that time and the CPSU has changed too. I have loved every day working as general secretary."
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