PIPSC has now presented two Classification grievances. The first, regarding the role of Policy and Program Team Leader, did not intend to change the overall classification, but rather a single factor (leadership). The employer denied our grievance in spite of ample evidence. While this outcome is puzzling, we don’t believe it rises to the level of “manifestly unreasonable” - which is the level needed to justify an appeal to the courts.
Another classification grievance for the Supervisor Inspection and Advisory Services was held recently. We await a response on our proposal to increase the classification level of the job from SR-03 to SR-04.
Concurrently, PIPSC is continuing to advance its policy grievances against CFIA’s classification policy. CFIA does not allow former incumbents to grieve their jobs, even when changes to the job description or classification apply retroactively. PIPSC believes this creates an impossible situation where members can be stripped of their legal right to challenge the employer’s job content or classification decisions.
We will continue to schedule Classification Grievance hearings on a rolling basis, likely completing the remaining files by early 2025. Because classification grievances are based on the technical interpretation of the Job Description and Classification system, grievors are, generally, not part of the hearing process. This said, we intend to do a better job keeping members informed of developments and will reach out proactively should information be required.
After several months of review, PIPSC has approved additional resources to the Classification team in order to accelerate movement on these files. Please keep in mind that a mapping grievance is for when you want to change your job description to one that better suits the work you regularly do. We expect to assign a dedicated officer to the over forty mapping issues raised by members. Given the extent of this web of files, we would hope there is newfound interest in settling; however, the employer’s recent track record suggests they wish to drag out each and every disagreement. PIPSC continues to explore other legal avenues, including a complaint at the Public Integrity Commissioner for gross mismanagement of the HR portfolio.
Grievors will be contacted as their file becomes ready to review. An officer will work with the grievor to better understand the conflict between the work being performed and the assigned job description.
Employer Initiated Mapping/Job Description Changes
Several members were informed the employer did not find coincidence between their work and their job description, or that their job description did not correspond to the SR group. For example, the employer might have informed you that they do not think the work you do matches the Senior Operational Advisor job description you were previously assigned; or the employer might say that your Senior Science Advisor Complaints & Appeals job description should not be part of the SR group (this could result in you being assigned to a classification that is not represented or part of a different union). To the best of our knowledge, no further action has been taken by the employer to date that would result in you changing your classification or occupational group.
If the employer takes further steps, such as asking you to participate in a job description review or provides you with a new job title and description, it is imperative that you reach out to email@example.com. We cannot proactively assist you if we are not made aware of developments.
Generally, the employer must inform the union if they wish to change the occupational group of an occupied position. There is also an onerous process that protects the interests of SRs who are subject to such a review.
Because classification matters are not subject to bargaining, and because the many job content issues date back to 2015, this situation remains exceptionally complex. We are working with the employer to attempt to resolve Classification grievances by the start of 2025; however, various factors may expedite or delay the process. As each job content issue is unique, it may take a few years to address all outstanding issues. We will continue to push for a global settlement and reach out to mapping grievors about their file.
We understand the significant frustration this delay causes for members, including those seeking some clarity prior to retiring or changing jobs. Rest assured, PIPSC is doing everything it can to protect your rights. There is no need to delay career moves or retirement decisions if you have an open grievance pertaining to your issue.