NIPSA's Civil Service Executive Committee considered correspondence from Management Side regarding notification of their intention to advertise a number of volume external recruitment competitions.  The Civil Service Executive Committee are totally opposed to the unilateral attempt by the Management Side to push through external recruitment exercises for Staff Officer and Deputy Principal Grades using the guise of the impact of Brexit to seek to justify an urgent external competition at these grades.

In addition Management Side have indicated their intention to run competitions at administrative level which would include recruitment to different AO roles - one operational delivery and another generalist plus AA.  It is also indicated that longer term an EOI competition may be advertised.

Management Side indicated in late January 2019 that they wished to engage with Trade Union Side (TUS) on a Transformation Project on Resourcing Principles.  TUS did agree to engage over the next 12-18 months, however TUS now have serious reservations about Management Side's intentions to engage in meaningful negotiations on key principles. 

Management Side have been reminded of the Chapter 1.05 - Career Opportunities and Promotion which states:

"3. Internal Promotion/Selection Board - General Principles

3.1 It is 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."

There was absolutely no consultation with TUS on any proposed amendment to the handbook and the lack of consultation on this decision is a clear breach of the handbook terms.

In addition the Central Whitley Constitution also states at Para 14

"The functions of the Council shall include the following:

i. Provision of the best means for using the ideas and experience of the staff.

ii Consideration of means for securing for the staff a greater share in responsibility for the determination and observance of the conditions under which their duties are carried out.

iii. Determination of the general principles governing conditions of service, e.g. remuneration, recruitment, hours, leave, grading, promotion, discipline, tenure and superannuation.

iv. Encouragement of the further education of civil servants and their training in higher administration and organisation.

v. Improvement of office machinery and organisation and the provision of opportunities for the full consideration of suggestions by the staff on this subject.

vi. Proposed legislation so far as it has a bearing upon the position of civil servants in relation to their employment."

NIPSA have demanded that these proposals are put on hold until a formal meeting is held.  TUS is clear this is totally unacceptable and is a further attack on hard working civil servants.

Further bulletins will be issued to keep members informed of developments.

Alison Millar
General Secretary