AuthorChristopher Rootham
 
is book is the only legal text that would dedicate an entire chapter to job clas-
sications. is re ects the impor tance of job classi cation to employees in the
federal public serv ice. e second-largest federal public ser vice union — the Pro-
fessional Institute of t he Public Service of C anada — was founded in  in
response to concerns about classic ation reform, in part icular the host ility of
higher civil ser vants to the U.S. rms that had been h ired to survey the organiz a-
tion and classication structure of the Canadian civil service. e larger bargain-
ing agents in the federal publ ic service have dedicated cl assication “expert s”
to assist their members in c hallenging t he classication of t heir jobs. Manage-
ment also has its own cla ssication “expert s” to review classi cation decisions
and, when necessary, reclassify positions. Employees of the federal public service
are very concerned about their job cl assication, hence the need for a ll of these
experts. Cla ssication is impor tant because the identit y of an employee’s bar-
gaining agent, t he level of pay for an employee, and the employee’s promotional
prospects depend upon the employee’s classication. A s discussed i n Chapter
Five, bargaining u nits in the federal public service t ypically follow classication
lines. Furt her, the various collective agreements i n the federal public service con-
tain dierent levels of pay for each classication level. Finally, some positions in
the federal public ser vice require experience at a part icular classication level i n
order for a candidate to be eligible for that posit ion. erefore, classication can
have a signicant impact on an employee’s career.
Classication in t he federal public service, l ike bargaining, has a lso been sub-
ject to legislative control. e  Public Service Reform Act required the feder al
government to prepare new occupational groups. e impact of th is Act on the
Public Serv ice Reform Act, S.C. , c.  .
434           
bargaining unit structure in the federal public service has already been addressed;
however, creating new occupationa l groups required new job cla ssications a s
well. us began what seems l ike an endless strea m of classication reform. While
attempts to reform the public serv ice classicat ion system date back to the mid-
s, the major reform began in  with t he Universal Classi cation Standard
(UCS) project. e goal of this project wa s ostensibly to make the clas sication
system simpler, less burdensome, and to reduce administrative costs. e original
design was to reform the clas sication system on a un iversal basis applicable to
all occupationa l groups, except the Execut ive Group. ere were two reasons for
this plan. Firs t, it was hoped that a common approach to job measu rement (one
standard versus the s eventy-two in place in ) would greatly simpli fy the sys-
tem, reduce the administrat ive burden on managers and lower the administrative
overhead costs of maintai ning the system. Second, a single c lassication standard
would facilitate the creation of a single corresponding pay structure. Collapsing
all of the occupational group pay structures into one structure also appeared to
be the most promising way to ensure complia nce with the requi rements of the
Canadian Human Rights Act for equal pay for work of equal value.
Despite these good intentions, Treasury Bo ard abandoned the UCS project in
. It decided that a universal approach to clas sication would impair human
resources. Instead , it decided to focus on reforming t he classication sta ndards
for certain occupational groups. While the Public Service Huma n Resource
Management Agency maintai ns that the UCS project provided a benet to the
public serv ice, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the public service wasted
millions of dol lars on fruitless clas sication reform.
On  December , the federal government a nnounced a “free ze” on re-
classications.  at freeze was li ed on  February . At t he same time, the
government an nounced mand atory public ation of inform ation concern ing the
reclassic ation of occupied positi ons in the Public Ser vice of Canada . Every three
months, departments must publ ish a list of positions that have been reclassied.
 See Chapter .See Chapter .
Canadian Human Rig hts Act, R.S.C. , c. H-.
iswasannouncedinaTreasuryBoardPressReleaseeuphemisticallycalled“Govern-is was annou nced in a Treasury Board P ress Release euphemistic ally called “Gove rn-
ment Moves Ahead wit h Classication Reform” ( May ).
ecurrentfocusisontheForeignService(FS)groupclassication(whichhasbeene current focus i s on the Foreign Service (FS) g roup classication (which has be en
implemented) and the Ec onomics and Social Scienc es (EC) Group and Program and
Administ rative Service s (PA) Group. See Public Ser vice Human Resourc es Management
Agency of Canada, Modernizi ng the Classication Syste m: Annual Report –,
online: ww /reports-rapports/mcs-msc _e.asp.
PublicServiceHumanResourcesManagementAgencyofCanada,Public Serv ice Human Resources Ma nagement Agency of Canada , Classication Mod-
ernization , FAQ Manager ( November ), online: Public Serv ice Human Resources
Management Agency of Canada: cation/FAQ/Manager_e.asp.
eseareusuallyfoundonthedepartmentswebsite.ese are usua lly found on the depart ment’s website.

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