Classification notice and retroactivity

The CFIA has confirmed it will meet the June 30 deadline to issue classification decisions on the new Regulatory Science (SR) job descriptions written in collaboration with PIPSC. Current SR members should expect to receive a written notification stating the classification of their current job.

If you do not receive a notice within a few days of the June 30 deadline, please communicate with your supervisor and HR contact person.

The job descriptions and their classifications are retroactive to the introduction of the SR standard in 2015. The employer will only be issuing classification decisions for your current job; however, they have agreed to retroactively apply classification decisions to any former SR position you have held since 2015 on a case-by-case basis (with exceptions for short-term acting assignments).

Disputing the classification decision

Once the classification decisions are issued, PIPSC will be reviewing the employer’s breakdown by factor of all the SR job descriptions. While we anticipate most job descriptions will remain at the same classification level, we do expect a small number of jobs to be reclassified to a higher level.

In the event we disagree with the employer’s decisions, we will contact members via email in affected jobs to request they file a classification grievance. Only members in jobs PIPSC has identified as possibly misclassified will be contacted. If you are not contacted and you believe your job description is misclassified, you are welcome to independently pursue a classification grievance.

Retroactive salary adjustments for your current job

If the employer reclassifies your current job to a higher level, you will be entitled to a retroactive salary adjustment. This will automatically be processed; however, please allow a few months for the employer to make arrangements to issue payments.

We will provide you with additional information as it becomes available. Payments will be backdated to the later of the introduction of the SR standard (April 1, 2015) or the date you started in an affected job.  

Retroactive salary adjustments for former jobs

If you previously held a SR job since April 1, 2015, that is reclassified upward, your entitlement to a retroactive salary adjustment for the former job is not automatic. We continue to work with the employer to seek clarity on how to address this issue.

PIPSC has long made it clear that we expect the employer to retroactively implement the job descriptions and classification across the board (except for short-term acting assignments).

Following the release of the SR classifications, we will post a list of reclassified jobs with instructions on how to request a retroactive adjustment for a previously held job. Note that the employer may impose further eligibility criteria.

Grievance grace period

To allow members and your union additional time to review the employer’s classification decisions, we have signed an agreement with the employer to extend the deadline to file a classification grievance by 30 calendar days. This means that members will have 65 calendar days from the day they received their classification decision to file a grievance.

Classification grievances submitted after the 65-day deadline cannot be considered by the employer, except in extreme circumstances (such as medical incapacity). To allow PIPSC time to review and submit a grievance on your behalf, it is critical that you communicate with us at least 7 business days prior to the grievance deadline.


In late 2020 and early 2021, members were invited to submit a remapping request to PIPSC. We, in turn, submitted this to the employer so that they could look at the work certain members performed to see if it accurately corresponded with the assigned job description.

The employer has not yet confirmed the outcome of this work. We expect that most members who submitted a remapping request will receive a classification decision on their assigned job description. In the weeks that follow, we expect to hear back from the employer on the status of the remapping requests.

In the event that the employer does not provide a satisfactory response, we will contact members with further information on escalating the process to a formal grievance presentation.

Special circumstances

The employer has informed us that they have identified a small number of members who are not performing the work described by their assigned job description and for which no other SR job description suits the work. This is not necessarily the same group as those who submitted a remapping request.

The employer confirmed that they intend to address this mismatch on a go-forward basis only. At the time of the issuing of classification decisions, the employer will inform affected individuals that their assigned job description does not match their work.

Depending on your preferences and the departmental needs, the employer may propose either the creation of a unique job description, a change to the work being performed, or the assignment of a job description from another occupational group (which may belong to a different bargaining agent). Members who are given such a notice are strongly encouraged to contact PIPSC for immediate support.

Outstanding grievances

Members with an outstanding grievance will be contacted by PIPSC within 2 months of the issuing of classification decisions to discuss next steps. Depending on the retroactivity of the classification decisions, we expect many grievances to no longer be relevant and thus eligible for withdrawal.

Issues that are not resolved by way of the new SR job descriptions and classification will be addressed via grievance presentations, which will resume in the months that follow the classification decisions.

Former SR members

The employer has not confirmed if it will apply the classification decision to former SRs, such as those who have retired, resigned, or taken a position elsewhere in the agency. There is an exception for those with an outstanding job content/classification grievance.

PIPSC continues to advocate for the retroactive implementation of these job descriptions and classification to everyone (except short-term acting assignments), including those who have retired, resigned, or taken a position elsewhere in the agency. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Information sessions

English: Wednesday, July 13, 7:30 PM ET

French: Tuesday, July 12, 7:00 PM ET

Sessions will be recorded and shared with members.

Contacting us

Please direct any questions or concerns to It is important to include your official SR job title (for example, Inspection Advisor) in your email to us.