IMPACT has demanded that a civil service interdepartmental competition for promotions to higher executive officer (HEO) posts be opened to technical and professional grades equivalent to HEO.
In a letter to management, IMPACT national secretary Andy Pike said the exclusion of these grades from the competition breached agreed procedures for cross-stream promotions in the civil service, which the union won in 2013.
Many staff in linked technical and professional grades have lower starting salaries and longer pay scales than HEOs, so they regard the HEO posts as a potential promotions.
The grades that have been excluded from the competition include higher legal executives, district superintendents in agriculture, marine radio officers, sea fisheries officers, senior meteorological officers, assistant chief technical officers and many others across a range of departments.
Andy said the exclusion of these workers was particularly unfair and unjustified at a time that management had asked departments to identify of senior professional and technical posts that no longer require a specialist qualification. “It would appear that DPER is now insisting on open and transparent cross-stream recruitment procedures for senior staff migrating into specialist and technical posts, while maintaining old-style restrictive practices at the lower end of the pay structure,” he said.