The union has reached a draft agreement with local government employers on confined promotion competitions in local authorities. It intends to put the outcome to a ballot once the final details have been worked out.
The proposal, which was brokered in the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), would see 20% of promotion posts confined to the specific local authority where the vacancy arises. Another 30% would be filled by open competition, while 50% would be filled through competitions confined to the national local government sector.
The WRC talks followed an industrial action ballot of Fórsa members after the local government employers’ body said it intended to scrap the ‘common recruitment pool,’ which currently governs promotion competitions in the sector. Instead, it wanted all promotion posts filled by open competition.
The proposal applies to competitions for grade IV, V, VI, and VII vacancies. The current arrangement is that half the posts are filled by open competition, and the other half through the common recruitment pool.
Fórsa’s head of local government, Peter Nolan, said the outcome was “ground-breaking” and a significant improvement on existing arrangements.
“The proposals are a massive improvement on the employers’ opening position, and the creation of a sectoral category for local authority employees will enhance members’ opportunities to develop a career in local government,” he said.
The union is now engaged in talks on details including regional assemblies, the sequencing of competitions, and issues around posts that require specific technical or other qualifications.