Fórsa has secured an agreement that will see an additional 10% of all executive officer (EO) posts filled through internal or interdepartmental promotion.
The union had called for an increase in internal promotions for clerical officers (COs) on foot of a grade merge early last year, which saw the staff officer (SO) grade abolished and all existing SOs regraded to EOs.
Fórsa national secretary Derek Mullen explained how the eradication of the SO grade affected promotions for COs. “The main promotion outlet for the COs in the civil service is to EO, particularly since the merger of the SO and EO grade last year. As a result of this merger we sought more internal promotion to EO,” he said.
Competitions previously worked on a 50-50 basis between open recruitment and internal promotions. But Fórsa secured an agreement under the Public Services Stability Agreement (PSSA), which increased internal recruitment to 60%.
“During the PSSA talks we successfully achieved a reduction in the open recruitment percentage to 40%, which brings hundreds of EO posts back into the internal promotion stream for the CO grade. This was in part compensation for the loss of the SO promotional outlet. As part of this discussion we also had to reach agreement on the difficult issue of EO open recruitment liabilities which have been accruing across departments,” said Derek.
A new EO liability agreement has now been secured. This will see the open and interdepartmental liability for EO competitions fall from 1000+ posts, to 400 posts. The process of equalising the sequences is expected to be done over three years to minimise the impact on internal promotions.