Friday, February 11, 2011

Equality Commission Monitoring Report for 2009

On 7 December 2010 the Equality Comission published its 20th Monitoring Report. This report gives us a breakdown of the numbers and percentage of Protestants and Catholics in the both the public and private sectors of the workforce. In 2009 Protestants represented 54.6% of the workforce. Catholics in the workforce stood at 45.4%. The Protestant percentage has again declined as the Catholic percentage has increased. This trend has been constant as is represented in the following graph

The reason why this graph is converging is due to the fact that the numbers of Catholics entering the workforce is significantly greater than the amount of Catholics in the overall workforce and the numbers of Protestants entering the workforce is significantly lower than their representation in the entire workforce.

The Equality Commission Report for 2009 also shows us the composition of applications to join the workforce by community background. In 2009 the Catholic percentage stood at 51.0% and the Protestant percentage was 49.0%.

For the first time ever the number of Catholics seeking employment is greater than the number of Protestants (by 10,465). As current trends continue expect further 'greening' of the workforce in the years ahead and a majority Catholic/Nationalist workforce around 2015.


  1. RESPECTED councillor Philip Weir has been dumped by the Craigavon DUP for the May 5 local government elections - the second time within eight months that the local party has rejected him.

    After being overlooked as David Simpson’s replacement at the NI Assembly last June, in preference to former Craigavon Mayor Sydney Anderson, he was de-selected this week as a council member.

    Mr Weir has made way for Louise Templeton, the party secretary in Upper Bann, and that has prompted the former hospital doctor and current DUP adviser to fight the elections in Banbridge District Council.

    It has caused one of the biggest rifts in local DUP circles in years, following the selection meeting at Mr Simpson’s office where 11 Craigavon candidates were chosen to run for the council.

    Mr Weir, and his DUP colleague Robert Smith, were devastated in June when Anderson was co-opted to fill Mr Simpson’s Assembly seat, in line with DUP policy on double-jobbing. Mr Smith, who works in the local DUP office, held his counsel, but Mr Weir rankled the local party hierarchy when he made no secret of his annoyance.

    The local DUP officers are refusing to comment - they will only say that the names of the 11 candidates have still to be ratified by the central party.

    But a source told the Portadown Times, “The vote was taken by the Craigavon delegates. Louise Templeton put her hat in the ring and made the selection. Philip Weir lost out in the vote, in line with party democracy.”

    Mr Weir works as a political adviser in the Assembly, and in consultation with party officers in Belfast he decided to try his luck in Banbridge, with a view to seeking the Assembly nomination for Upper Bann in four years time.

    There is a perception in Banbridge that their area is under-represented at Stormont, with Craigavon being the power house for Upper Bann. Mr Weir refused to comment this week.

    Miss Templeton will contest the Weir seat in Craigavon’s Central Area, along with the Central’s sitting councillors Woolsey Smith and Robert Smith. The Smiths and Mr Weir made it comfortably into the Civic Centre in 2005.

    Meanwhile, the Portadown Times has learned that - in the four electoral areas of Craigavon - the DUP have chosen 11 to fight for seats in the Civic Centre in May.

    In PORTADOWN, there are four - sitting members Gladys McCullough, Sydney Anderson and Alan Carson, the fourth hopeful being YMCA worker Darryn Causby.

    In CENTRAL - sitting members Robert and Woolsey Smith with Louise Templeton.

    In LURGAN - sitting members Stephen Moutray and Carla Lockhart with Donacloney man Mark Baxter.

    And in LOUGHSIDE - Philip Carson, brother of Councillor Alan Carson.

    The DUP had nine elected in 2005, and since then Carla Lockhart was co-opted to replace the late Fergie Dawson in Lurgan, Gladys McCullough replaced David Simpson (Portadown) who quit the council, and Mark Russell (Lurgan) moved from DUP to TUV, then resigned from the Civic Centre, after which Craigavon’s last by-election was won by the UUP’s Jo-Anne Dobson. The DUP did not contest the by-election which was in January last year. The party currently has eight councillors in Craigavon. Text us your views to 84555, starting your message with PTTEXT and then a space.

  2. THE Presbyterian Church in Ireland has called for an end to the temporary 50:50 rule currently applied to recruitment within the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

    The call from the Presbyterian church and society committee is contained in a response made on behalf of the Church to the consultation by the Northern Ireland Office on the Review of Temporary Recruitment Provisions which closed last week.

    In its eight-paragraph response, the Church cites as reasons for its view that: - the percentage of Roman Catholics now in the policing service, 29.38 per cent, has reached the Patton recommendation of between 29 per cent and 33 per cent; the provisions used to operate the recruitment rule are temporary and there has been enough time for the temporary legislation to give freedom to Roman Catholics to join the service.

    The Presbyterian response points out that when the Patten recommendations were originally adopted in 2001 it was always a challenge inside Irish Presbyterianism to accept the 50:50 recruitment process.

    Over the years it has remained a matter of concern that many Presbyterians who would have liked to become members of the PSNI were excluded on the basis of their faith tradition. This has caused heartache and disenchantment.

    However, as the consultation response points out, Presbyterians are aware there is a bigger issue of the development of a genuinely shared society in which everyone takes their responsibilities seriously. “That includes responsibility for dealing with crime which is a matter for everyone in society, every community and every locality and for this to be a reality then the PSNI would have to better reflect the diversity within society,” says the Presbyterian response.

    To achieve this bigger goal of a shared society gathering around a mutually respected and accepted policing service Patten set the target at between 29 per cent and 33 per cent.

    The Northern Ireland Office consultation document indicates that as of October 2010 representation of the Roman Catholic community stands at 29.38 per cent. “This,” says the Presbyterian response, “would suggest to us that a continuation of the temporary arrangements is not essential to achieving any bigger goal but has made its contribution.”

    The Presbyterian response also sees the ending of the temporary provision as a further sign of the normalising of society.

    “What this [the ending of the temporary provision] would effectively do is to allow a society to grow up which gives people the opportunity to be where they are best suited on the basis of who they are and the gifts they have as opposed to the tradition from which they come.”

    However, there is also recognition that such normalising is dependent on changed hearts and minds.

    “The dissident groups, for example, and our conversations with some who represent the nationalist and republican communities would suggest that such changes of heart, mind and action have not yet occurred. This is true for both sides of the community - there remain those who would like return to the old style of policing and whose hearts are not in the changes and there are those who are not yet prepared to sign up to the new arrangements despite the proven track record that has been developed over the last 10 years.”

    The Presbyterian Church is clear in its response to this. “Society cannot wait for ever for those who do not want to change,” it says.

    Concluding its response, the Presbyterian Church emphasises its conviction that “no one should be excluded from the policing service because of their cultural background or faith tradition.”

    It calls on the Policing Board to “keep careful watch so that the PSNI does not fall back into a position from which it is not trusted by the broad spectrum of Northern Ireland society and in which it is not representative of society.”

  3. A veteran Ulster Unionist councillor has warned the party “committed suicide” in its electoral tie-up with the Conservatives.
    The attack from Roberta Dunlop, a North Down councillor for 14 years, came just a few weeks after her husband Harry — also a UUP councillor — defected to |the DUP.
    The couple are the latest in a |series of senior figures who have quit the UUP in recent months, including former candidates Harry Hamilton — the Freddie Mercury impersonator — Paula Bradshaw and former rugby international Trevor Ringland.
    Former mayor Mrs Dunlop said she was resigning “with deep |regret and sadness” following her deselection for this year’s council elections, but now intends to run an an independent rather than also join the DUP.
    “My natural home is not in the DUP,” the Abbey ward councillor said, after she and her husband were replaced on the UUP ticket by newcomers Heather Steele and Aaron Jamison.
    Mrs Dunlop last year refused to canvass against the party’s former MP Lady Hermon, who finally resigned over the electoral tie-up with the Tories and now sits as an Independent.
    She said the Tory link had been “the downfall” of the party, which had “committed political suicide” in agreeing to the pact, failing to win a single seat in the last |Westminster election.
    “And the relationship is still going on, allowing the DUP to hammer us at every opportunity. My party was not loyal to me,” Mrs Dunlop added.
    But last night the party accused Mrs Dunlop of lacking loyalty and insisted more new members are signing up than those leaving.
    Colin Breen, a UUP candidate for the May Assembly elections, who is secretary of the North Down Association, said: “I certainly don’t agree the Conservative electoral pact was our downfall, and I’m surprised because before she joined us, Roberta sought to be elected as a Conservative.”
    The UUP link-up with the Conservatives has sustained several blows, however. After Secretary of State Owen Paterson refused to change legislation to prevent Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness becoming First Minister, local Conservatives announced they will field their own candidates in the council poll.