SUBJECT: Progress Report on the SR Job Classification Grievances

Dear Members of the CFIA-S&A Group:


In 2015, the CFIA initiated a process to review its classification system and invited PIPSC to participate.

The employer ended up implementing a new classification directive that came into force on April 1, 2015.  The directive ignored the comments, suggestions and recommendations made by your PIPSC representatives.

On April 27, 2016, the employer sent employees their new role descriptors. These role descriptors belong to one of the 26 generic descriptions. Each generic description belongs to one of the five SR levels.

Dissatisfied with the outcome and the way this exercise was carried out , your union launched a campaign of content and classification grievances in order to force the employer to do the job properly.

Job content grievances

In this case, the recommended strategy was first to hear the content grievances. Through this type of grievance, the employer tried to establish that the role descriptor did not accurately reflect the tasks performed.

Two hundred and seventy-five (275) content grievances were filed between April 27 and June 1, 2016, opposing 17 role descriptors. To speed up the process, it was agreed with the employer that a single grievance per generic description would be heard directly at the third level.

If, in response to the grievance, the job description is not satisfactorily modified, PIPSC can refer the grievance to the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB).

Following the grievance hearing, if a job description is amended, the new description will have to be assessed and a new classification decision will be rendered.

In some cases, the changes may be so significant that a reclassification to a higher or lower level will be necessary. In other cases, the classification will not change. Any employee dissatisfied with this classification decision can challenge it through a classification grievance.

Classification grievances

Two hundred and seventy-one (271) classification grievances were filed contesting the employment category in which 17 role descriptors were placed. These grievances are now on hold, with the actual content of the job descriptions being challenged at this time. The grievances associated with modified role descriptors will therefore fail.


In March 2015, the CFIA and PIPSC agreed on a special process to proceed expeditiously with the hearing of this spectacular number of grievances.

The fact of the matter is that the enormous amount of work resulting from this grievance campaign has not advanced much since then. Claiming that there have been organizational changes at the senior management level, the CFIA has failed to follow up on our many requests.

It was not until January 2018 that the content grievance hearings involving role descriptors could finally begin for the Science Division; the Operations Division grievances should be heard next.

At the present time, we cannot give you any idea of the schedule, as the CFIA is typically slow with all these HR procedures (classification and negotiations).

If you wish to get further information, we ask that you contact Stéphanie Fréchette at

The Classification Team