Dear S&A Group Members,

As we enter a new year we continue to work with external legal counsel and the employer to move forward on the SR classification and mapping grievances you filed in the late summer of this 2022. Due to unforeseen personal health concerns, I have not been able to provide you with sorely overdue updates on how this file continues to evolve. I am now back at 100 percent and looking forward to accelerating our work on this file.

Classification Grievances

We have scheduled a first classification grievance hearing for the Supervisor, Science Laboratory Standards Compliance job description in April 2023. We expect to arrange for a classification grievance hearing every 2 to 3 months thereafter until all 6 grieved job descriptions are completed.

Members who grieved this job, including those with a grievance the employer rejected, can expect further communication in the next few weeks as we look to gather additional information to build our case.

By using the best examples from a sample of current and former incumbents, a classification grievance seeks to demonstrate the job description has been incorrectly classified. A classification decision applies to everyone who has that job, subject to certain exceptions currently under dispute. PIPSC continues to assert that anyone who had a job description which is reclassified should be entitled to the outcome of a classification grievance - even those who have retired, changed jobs, did not grieve, etc.

Mapping Grievances

We expect to obtain more information on moving forward with mapping (job content) grievances in the coming weeks. Once we know more, individual grievors will be contacted regarding next steps and to schedule hearing dates. To make the grievance process more efficient and to increase the likelihood of a desirable outcome, PIPSC will prioritize grouping members with similar situations together so that several individual, related grievances can be heard together.

Employer-Initiated remapping/Job Description Changes

Last summer, a small portion of members were informed that the employer intends on developing a new job description or giving you a job description outside of the SR group (ex: job represented by PSAC). We are not aware of any movement on these files. Should the employer contact you to investigate changes to your assigned job description (which may include a Job Validation Review, also known as desk audit or onsite), please communicate with so that we may support you during this process. We will continue to make inquiries on your behalf and provide updates on the expected timeline.

Rejected Grievances

The employer has contacted approximately thirty members to inform them that the classification grievances filed on their behalf this summer are, in the employer’s view, invalid because the individual was not in the job at the time the grievance was filed. As we stated in our informational materials, we were expecting this outcome. PIPSC has or will be filing for judicial review on behalf of members whose grievance was rejected for this reason. 

A judicial review is a type of legal complaint where a judge reviews the action of a party to determine if it was fair and reasonable. At hand is the CFIA policy which does not allow former incumbents to file a grievance. PIPSC believes this policy does not respect the basic principles of justice for several reasons because it grants the employer full discretion over classification without any dispute mechanism, creates perverse incentives to delay addressing classification issues, and creates classification inequity between individuals who did the exact same job but changed jobs or retired at different times.

Once again, we thank members for their immense patience over these past few years and, especially these past several months. We know this process has been very frustrating for many of you and look forward to concrete solutions in 2023.

In solidarity,

Colby Briggs
Compensation Team Lead, PIPSC