Further to NIPSA Branch Secretary Circulars issued last week I am writing to provide an update to members on the current situation.  Members will be aware that NIPSA sought urgent legal advice with a view to issuing legal proceedings against the NICS on Thursday of last week initially seeking to halt the process and stop the competitions proceeding.  The pre-action protocol letter was issued last Thursday afternoon and the NICS had until 12 noon to respond.  They sought an extension to 2 pm (which was granted) and it then transpired that they argued that they could not withdraw from the significant media and other costs they had already incurred.  This argument would have been made before the Judge and it was likely the Judge would have ruled that in the event of the Judge ruling against NIPSA that NIPSA would have to bear the costs incurred by the NICS.  Following an urgent legal consultation it was decided that given the very significant costs being indicated that we could not risk members' money on this.

However, NIPSA's legal team have responded to the NICS lawyers advising that they have until 9 May to respond to the further issues we have raised.  NIPSA, via our legal team, are reserving our position until then.  Once a more detailed response is received from the NICS lawyers more detailed consideration will be given as to whether to proceed further with a Judicial Review on the lack of consultation.

I want to assure you that we are actively working to protect your interests.  However, notwithstanding the current potential legal action members should apply for the advertised posts.  NIPSA does not wish to put any member at a potential disadvantage by advising you not to apply.

A further bulletin will be issued later in the week.

Alison Millar
General Secretary