The CFIA has issued classification decisions on the new SR job descriptions. They have classified all SR jobs at the same level as the obsolete 2015 SR Role Descriptors, despite many additions to the new SR Standardized Job Descriptions (SJDs) that speak to the complexity of the work. 

If you have not received a decision letter, please contact your supervisor immediately. 

Disappointing process, unacceptable decisions

PIPSC has not been provided with classification rationales to do a deeper analysis on why CFIA classified all SR jobs at the same level. However, we have identified some classification decisions which, in our view, significantly misunderstand the value of the work being performed. 

Other concerning details:

  • CFIA has informed some members that their grievances are canceled
  • CFIA intends to change some members’ assigned job descriptions to a unique or non-SR job description, which may negatively impact their pay or working conditions  
  • We haven’t received any update on the remapping requests submitted during the Job Validation Review process

PIPSC President Carr invited CFIA President Dr. Mithani to discuss implementation plans to avoid the current situation, but her invitation went unanswered.

The employer’s lack of communication over the past several months has been dismaying. The result of their frustrating process is, as predicted, immensely disappointing. Their decisions may even violate your rights.

PIPSC is calling on members to take immediate action to continue to hold the CFIA accountable.

Next steps

Members affected by certain CFIA classification or mapping decisions should submit a request form to us so that we can pursue a grievance or negotiation on your behalf. 

See below for details on the different forms and whether or not they apply to you.

We recognize that the employer has an immense amount of leeway to apply or misapply the classification system and that the grievance process may take years to resolve. Your help in providing the documents and answers the questions contained in the form helps us build a stronger case.

Grievance request form – misclassification of your current job

PIPSC has identified 6 job descriptions we consider to be under-classified.

We recommend you submit a grievance request using our request form if you have one of the following jobs:

  • Senior Inspector
  • Supervisor, Science Laboratory Standards Compliance
  • Supervisor, Inspection and Advisory Services
  • Policy and Programs Team Leader*
  • Inspection Advisor*
  • Excellence Systems Specialist*


Jobs with an asterisk indicate that the jobs are unlikely to change levels (pay scale) as a result of re-classification, but we consider one or more factors to be incorrect in the employer’s classification decision. 

Grievance request form – misclassification of your former job

The CFIA said it will not accept grievances from individuals against a job they aren’t currently performing. This is despite classification decisions and job descriptions being retroactive to 2015.

PIPSC believes this policy disrespects the principles of justice and procedural fairness. While we consider strategies to challenge this CFIA policy, we recommend that current and former members submit a classification grievance against any job they have held since 2015 (for 3 or more months) that we have identified as under-classified (see above). 

This includes:

  • Any under-classified job you had for 3 or more months since 2015, including acting assignments
  • Your current substantive position if you are on an acting assignment
  • Grievances from former SRs who have retired, quit the CFIA, or work at the CFIA in another occupational group (e.g. VM, ES, EX, etc.)


Request form – employer-initiated remapping 

As a result of the Job Validation Review, the employer has identified approximately 30 positions with incorrect mapping. This means the employer believes that the person doing the work has the wrong job description. 

They propose to address this on a case-by-case basis by:

  • Creating a unique or regional generic Standardized Job Description that will be classified to an unknown level/group (SR or other – including other unions/non-unionized)
  • Using an existing job description that belongs to another occupational group
  • Changing to the work assigned to the position to preserve the existing mapping

We don’t yet know the employer’s intentions or rationale behind this decision –  it comes as a surprise. PIPSC supported most of the selected candidates in their Job Validation Reviews. During this process, almost every member provided clear evidence that the work they regularly perform corresponds to their assigned SJD and the SR group.

If the employer has informed you of a discrepancy between your work and the assigned job description, please fill out the employer-initiated remapping form


Depending on your preferences and the employer’s intentions, we can work with you to negotiate a preferred outcome (to prevent the problem before a grievance is needed), which might include:

  • Changes to your work to preserve your current mapping (you keep the same job description)
  • Co-developing a unique or regional generic job description that reflects your work as an SR more precisely
  • Priority hiring for another SR job
  • Other options depending on the circumstances

Grievance request form – member-initiated remapping

Following the 2020 confirmation of the new SJDs, PIPSC invited members to submit a remapping request if they felt the work they did was better described by a different job description.

PIPSC submitted this request to the employer and supported these members with Job Validation Reviews.

The employer has failed to act upon this remapping request.

We are asking these members to submit a member-initiated remapping grievance request form so we can pursue a formal grievance on your behalf. We have the information you already provided on file, but this new form asks for information that will be helpful for updating your file given the new circumstances.

Other members who should submit the form:

  • Members who previously grieved their mapping, but recently had their grievance canceled by the employer
  • Members in special circumstances, such as Inspection Advisors in Quebec, who believe they do both the work of Senior Inspectors and Inspection Advisors
  • Members with a new mapping issue (since 2020) not previously reported to PIPSC


Grievance request form – legacy grievances

The CFIA has issued letters to members with outstanding classification or job content grievances stating that their grievance is no longer relevant as it disputed the obsolete role descriptors and/or their classification. This is in line with CFIA’s classification grievance policy, but PIPSC doesn’t believe this policy respects the law or the recent precedent. 

While PIPSC investigates ways to challenge this policy, we are asking certain members to re-grieve. If the employer has told you that your grievance is rejected or canceled here are the next steps:

Deadlines for filing grievances



Only grievance requests submitted via the forms will be considered, unless you request an accommodation.

Other actions

PIPSC is also exploring options outside the usual grievance process to advance your rights, including:

  • an appeal to the CFIA president or the Minister of Health
  • a Public Service Integrity Commission complaint
  • a press campaign to raise public awareness on the serious risk to CFIA’s work given the recruitment issues caused by its poor track record on classification

In the meantime, if any of the above scenarios apply to you, please fill out the corresponding request form.


Frequently Asked Questions

Webinar Presentation on Deployment and SR Classification Decisions