Further to NIPSA Bulletin B-3-19 issued on 14 March 2019 I am writing to advise members on the actions taken to date.
NIPSA met with the Management Side on 4 April 2019 and one of the key issues on the agenda for the meeting was the proposal to move to an external competition for Deputy Principal and Staff Officer. Members will be aware from the earlier bulletin that NIPSA demanded that these proposals were put on hold until a formal meeting was held. It is very disappointing and frustrating to report that the Management Side really had no response and advised they would need to speak to the Strategic HR Director for NICSHR.
It is clear that Management Side are intending to proceed irrespective of the legitimate concerns raised by TUS a decision which has rightfully angered NIPSA members.
NIPSA is aware that Management Side continue to prepare at a pace to externally recruit at Staff Officer and Deputy Principal levels which again is in breach of the principles of Central Whitley.
As a direct result I have written to the Strategic HR Director NICSHR advising that TUS wish to register disagreement on the proposal for the External Corporate Competitions and that we now expect these competitions to be put on hold.
NIPSA have agreed that there is supply at DP level arising out of the 2013 competition. While NIPSA accepts there may be some equality issues given the length of time since the competition we have argued that given there are 250 on the list and there are almost 300 vacancies at this level then this list could be used in tandem with an internal recruitment exercise. To date Management Side continue to reject this argument.
TUS were also alarmed to hear that in at least one Department (DfC) Management Side were seeking expressions of interest for volunteers AO (Operational Delivery). It is NIPSA's view that members should not become involved in this process as it would undermine our objectives of retaining one Grade at AO level which is a primary entry level to the NICS.
Given the seriousness of this and other issues NIPSA has written to the Head of the Civil Service regarding consultation and negotiation and ongoing breaches of Central Whitley. An urgent meeting has been sought with HOCS and/or the NICS so that we can address our concerns at the highest level.
Further bulletins will issue in due course.