Further to NIPSA Bulletin B-9-19 issued on 16 May 2019 entitled External Deputy Principal and Staff Officer Competition I am writing to update members on the current position.

NIPSA is continuing to legally challenge the lack of meaningful consultation over the whole process regarding the above external competition.  The Judicial Review process is continuing and will be heard before the courts in due course. 

As previously indicated it is NICS Management’s view that the default position for all future recruitment competitions should be external so this is a major concern to NIPSA and to NIPSA members.  Career and promotion opportunities will be severely diminished in the future if Management Side and the NICS Board are allowed to get away with changing members’ terms and conditions without proper and meaningful consultation.  There has been no meaningful consultation on this process and therefore NIPSA believe that this is a fundamental issue and this is why we are continuing with the Judicial Review process.  At this point in time I cannot advise members on whether the current competition will be halted and hence that was the reason we advised from the outset that any member interested in applying should do so.

NIPSA were advised that there were approximately 4300 applications for the Staff Officer post and 3000 for the Deputy Principal post.  As members will be aware from the outset of these two competitions there have been many problems with IT failures, changes to process (I understand additional tests have been added into the process – again without consultation with NIPSA).  It is a disgrace given the amount of problems that have beset these competitions that Management Side supported by the NICS Board have continued with the current discredited process.

Members can be assured that NIPSA continue to challenge the process both through the registered disagreement and the courts. 

For these reasons it is important that when members receive their ballot papers next week they vote “Yes” for Strike Action and “Yes” for Action Short of Strike Action.  The ballot is two-fold – both pay and attacks on terms and conditions.

Alison Millar

General Secretary