Council workers in Ballymoney and Moyle will not have to face outside competition when the new super councils come into being in the next two years.
For many, the fear of having to re-apply for new positions was bad enough without the added pressure of competing with other applicants from the wider jobs market, has now been allayed.
It follows the announcement from Environment Minister Mark Durkan that open competition will not extend beyond the appointment of Chief Executives in the 11 new councils.
Mr Durkan explained: “My predecessor announced in the summer that Chief Executive appointments to the new councils will be made through open competition. This was ratified by the Assembly and remains unchanged.
“However, I am aware of a growing concern that open competition will be extended to other posts within local government and as a result current employees are worried they could lose out. I can assure council staff that this is not the case.
“All other posts will be filled using procedures that are being negotiated and agreed by Trade Unions.
“I have listened to council staff across the north and their representatives. I have taken this decision so that I can bring certainty to staff and reassure them that these procedures will also minimise the risk of redundancy.
The Minister concluded: “I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank staff in the sector who, along with councillors and central government colleagues, are working extremely hard to deliver this challenging programme.”