I advise members in the ICT Discipline that NIPSA had been in consultation with NICS HR on an ICT Recruitment Plan across all grades. We raised significant matters that were rejected by Management Side (MS), including our analysis of the equality data provided and they remained committed to their proposal to widen the candidate pool and move to external recruitment for ICT level 4 posts and above.

CTUS view is that MS are failing to follow agreed policy. The Career Opportunities & Promotion Policy, Paragraph 3.1 policy states that:

“It is the normal practice to fill vacancies in a grade above the basic recruitment grades by promotion of eligible officers from the next lower level. However, Departments reserve the right, subject to consultation with TUS, to fill vacancies by other means including open competition”.

Current policy has been in place for some time and therefore, it is our view that as previous competitions including Grade 7, DP x2, SO x2, EO1, EO11 and AO have all been external with no internal promotion up to now, except an ICT3 competition, we would argue that the “normal” policy has not been followed and external recruitment has been the norm.

NIPSA are not opposed to external recruitment but it cannot be to the exclusion of internal promotion opportunities and career progression for our members.

In our response to the MS we included concerns and points about the equality statistics being relied on and whilst we have no difficulty that equality considerations should be taken into account, we believe the data available is outdated at this point (2011 census) and we are therefore doubtful that it can serve the purpose required. Further to that, MS have informed us that 4 out of 5 internal candidates have been successful in the General Service competitions and in the ICT 8 competition where there were no successful external candidates. Yet Management Side continue to repeat the same process which produces no meaningful results.

CTUS have agreed with the recruitment plan for the ICT 1 apprenticeship, ICT 3 internal and ICT 5 Cyber recruitment competitions.

However, I want to inform you that after careful consideration of the overall plan, CTUS concluded that we had no choice but to register a disagreement (which lodged on 7 July) on the proposed external recruitment competitions at ICT 4 - ICT 7 as we believe that MS are in breach of the staff handbook, specifically the Career Opportunities & Promotion Policy.

Aside from the roles above where we have stated that we can agree, CTUS have asked that Management Side do not proceed with the other plans until the Registered Disagreement is dealt with.

NIPSA are aware that members are currently frustrated and we wish to reassure you that we will continue to raise your concerns. Should you have any questions about this bulletin please discuss with your Branch Secretary.

Maria Morgan
Deputy General Secretary (Acting)