Northern Ireland

NIPSA clear first stage in legal challenge against PSNI

Image caption The PSNI says the policy of employing agency staff is both essential and cost-effective

Northern Ireland's biggest public sector union has cleared the first stage in its legal bid to stop police hiring up to 1,000 temporary staff on a £180m contract.

A High Court judge has granted NIPSA leave to seek a judicial review of the Chief Constable's plan to outsource support service jobs.

The case will now proceed to a full hearing later this year.

NIPSA has more than 1,200 members working within the PSNI,

The union claims it is unlawful to use external contractors for the work.

It was established in court on Friday that its case has enough merit to proceed.

The police say their recruitment policy is fully compliant with the law.

A barrister for the PSNI confirmed that the union's challenge would be "robustly" contested.

Mr Justice Treacy listed the case for hearing on 14 December 2012.

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