Employment Assistance Worker (EAW) - Classification Update - BCGEU

Now that the 18th Main Public Service Agreement has come into effect, the EAW appeal related to the former benchmark review will come out of abeyance. The BC Government and Service Employees' Union (union) and BC Public Service Agency (PSA) will be arranging on-site appeal meetings at various work locations, to be determined in consultation with some of you. Details, timing and logistics of these meetings will have to take into account a variety of factors, including participant availability on both sides, and the PSA has indicated that it will need some time to make its own arrangements with management. It is likely the on-site meetings will take place after the summer.

Please note the following important information:

• The appeal will follow the procedure set out in Article 28 of the collective agreement.

• The appeal meetings are intended to allow the Union and PSA to see representative examples of your work and work environment in order for us to be able to rate your job against the 13 factors in the Public Service Job Evaluation Plan (the Plan). Our job will be to understand your work.

• The Plan includes previously agreed upon benchmark jobs. The existing but outdated Family Assistance Worker benchmarks will be used for comparison purposes. However, we will be assessing the EAW's current work to determine the extent to which your work today compares to or is different from the former benchmarks.

• Your work will be evaluated and rated for each one of the 13 factors in the Plan. As with many appeals, it is possible for one or more factor ratings to change (up or down) and for others to remain at their current level.

• The test for changing a factor rating is whether the work being evaluated has changed significantly enough to change the factor at issue from its current level, in comparison to benchmark jobs, including yours and others. We know some aspects of your work have changed. We will take those changes into account along with everything else to assess the significance of the changes and whether they are enough to change any of the factor ratings.

• The EAW benchmark job currently has 607 points which places it within the grid 14 point band range (545-624), paid at grid 15 pursuant to agreement between the parties. The overall grid level will change if or when enough factors change to move the overall total to 625 or more points.

• We must also take into account the Costa arbitration decision made in 2007. That decision dealt with factors 5 (Work Assignments), 6 (Financial Responsibility), 10 (Sensory Effort/Multiple Demands) and 11 (Physical Effort). This is a precedent for those factors, however, again, we can determine the extent to which your work may have changed for each of those factors.

• Some of you already provided information when we were conducting the benchmark review. We will consider that information and, if necessary, ask for updates and/or clarification. We want to ensure we take everything into account because, under the Plan, credit for each factor is recognized as the highest level of work required to perform the job's "typical duties", defined as "those duties which are performed at least 20% of the time, or are performed on a less frequent basis but are an integral and inherent part of the job (i.e. the job cannot be successfully carried out without the performance of these duties)."

• This is a classification appeal. Classifications involve job evaluation, and it is important to understand that job evaluation is not about:

  • Compensation (which is a bargaining issue)
  • Individual or employee performance (rather it is about the position)
  • Credentials of an employee over and above what the employer determines it requires for the job
  • Volume of work or workload
  • External job or market/wage comparisons
  • Comparisons to other jobs of the same employer, unless formally agreed as benchmarks, or
  • Recruitment and retention issues (also a bargaining issue)

• The first step in the appeal process will be the on-site visit, after which the PSA will send the Union a rationale. If the PSA's rationale does not add enough points to change the overall grid level, the Union will undertake its own analysis to decide on the next steps as outlined in Article 28.3.

We will keep you posted as the appeal moves along.


In solidarity,

Judy Fox-McGuire – Component 6 Vice-President
Jennifer Jordan – Staff Representative, Negotiations

Download PDF of notice here