BCGEU - B.C.'s Union since 1919 B.C.'S UNION SINCE 1919

BC Emergency Health Services update on classification assignment under Facilities Agreement

The BCGEU continues to meet with the PHSA to discuss the job descriptions that have been submitted to the Union in accordance with the Maintenance Agreement Addendum in the Facilities Health Subsector collective agreement. Forty-six job descriptions of approximately eighty-four positions have been received. We met three times with PHSA in February 2016 to discuss the outstanding job descriptions.

Many of you have been contacted and have provided your feedback to the Union on your job descriptions, and we continue to work with you to conclude the classification of your position. If the Union has not contacted you to solicit feedback on your new job description, then we have not received your job description from PHSA. 

For clarity, the standard process is outlined below. Please be aware that the Union will not agree to any job descriptions, including benchmark matches, without giving the incumbents the opportunity to offer feedback. 

a)    The Employer submits the job description to the Union.
b)    The Employer arranges a meeting with the incumbents, the Union and the Employer to introduce the job description and explain process and answer general questions. 
c)    The Union sends an initial email to the incumbents requesting their feedback about the job description, with a two-week deadline. 
d)    That feedback is reviewed by the BCGEU Classification Staff Representative, then shared with the Employer’s Classification Specialist. 
e)    The Employer Classification Specialist then investigates the feedback with the respective department management team.
f)    Discussion between the parties continue until the job description is corrected and a final working version is created. 
g)    The discussion regarding the job description includes the discussion on the benchmark match(es) to the job description. Once the job description has been agreed to, the Union will specifically discuss the benchmark match(es) with incumbents, as this is what determines the rate of pay for the position.
h)    Once both the job description and benchmark match(es) have been agreed to by the incumbents, the Union will finalize the job description with the Employer Classification Specialist and conclude the file.
i)    The incumbents will receive a letter of confirmation that their file has been concluded.
j)    If the parties cannot agree to a job description, then the Union has the right to file the dispute to arbitration and seek the assistance of a third party to resolve the dispute. Your Classification Rep can discuss this with you when you are engaged in the process. 

Since our last update in October 2015, the Union can confirm that:

(1)    positions with a significant financial component will be reviewed as a group, once all of the job descriptions are completed and submitted to the Union;
(2)    positions that are administrative or clerical will also be reviewed as a group, once all of the job descriptions are completed and submitted to the Union;
(3)    IMIT positions will be reviewed as a group, once all of the job descriptions are completed and submitted to the Union; and
(4)    job descriptions for positions that are vacant and/or new that have been submitted to the Union will be audited within six months of the position being filled with a new incumbent;
(5)    all of the timelines have been protected;
(6)     the Union received a number of new job descriptions in the last month and is working with the incumbents to ensure the job description is correct. 

The Union continues to work on any new finance, administrative or IMIT job descriptions and review them with the current incumbents to determine if we can agree to a job description and the benchmark matches. There have been cases where the incumbents and the Union agree with the job description and benchmark match(es), and we have told PHSA that we agree to suspend finalization of those until the entire group of jobs can be reviewed by the PHSA. 

For vacant and new jobs where there was no incumbent at the time the job description was submitted, the Union has agreed to the job descriptions,  and the Employer will review the job with the new incumbent within six months.  

The most common issue with this process is that the wage rates for the same work are lower than they were previously. We recognize that wages are the biggest concern for members as we go through the process of classifying positions, and we also know that we cannot change the Facilities classification system to match the wages that were being paid. The Union can only dispute the classification of a position if the job description is not accurate, and the benchmark match(es) is incorrect. 

Regular employees whose current wage rate is higher than the wage rate in the Facilities classification system  will continue to have their current wage rate maintained, and will receive half of all general wage increases after the date of transfer on December 19, 2014, in accordance with Section 12 (4) of the Maintenance Agreement Addendum of the Facilitates collective agreement.

The Union will continue to work with incumbents to finalize job descriptions.

Thank you for your continued patience throughout this process.

In solidarity

Amber Warnat, Staff Representative
Selena Kongpreecha, Staff Representative
BCGEU Classifications

Download PDF of notice here.