25 September 2023

NORTHERN IRELAND: Union opposes recruitment plan

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A Northern Ireland Public Service union has launched a legal challenge to the recruitment of hundreds of Public Servants.

The move is linked to a row over plans to hire middle-ranking staff, with the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) accusing the senior PS staff running the Province of “intransigence”.

The fallout has emerged amid accusations of a lack of consultation between the union and managers about the recruitment for 300 or more Deputy Principal and Staff Officer positions.

NIPSA is unhappy the process will result in the new jobs being filled largely through external recruitment rather than via internal promotion.

Many of the roles will attract salaries in the £30,000 (A$55,600) to £40,000 (A$74,100) range.

The union claimed it was told about the recruitment drive just one working day before it was due to be launched, despite it being usual practice for it to receive a “candidate information booklet” outlining plans for any new posts several weeks ahead of the process beginning.

NIPSA said it regretted taking the “unprecedented step” of a legal challenge.

“However, given the intransigence of the management side we have been left with no alternative,” NIPSA said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance said the recruitment drive would go ahead and existing staff at all grades would have the same opportunity to apply as external applicants.

“This recruitment competition provides us with the opportunity to attract as wide a range of candidates as possible including those from areas which are currently underrepresented across the Northern Ireland Civil Service, including younger people, people from minority ethnic backgrounds and those with disabilities,” the spokesperson said.

Belfast, 5 May 2019

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