Rescinded - Policy on Classification Grievances

This policy describes the redress process for employees who are dissatisfied with the classification of the duties they perform as assigned by the Employer.
Date modified: 1994-09-06

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Policy objective

To provide a redress process for employees who are dissatisfied with the classification of the duties they perform as assigned by the Employer.

Policy statement

All classification grievances received will be thoroughly reviewed by qualified persons who were not involved in the making of the classification decision being grieved. They will make a recommendation to the deputy head or the nominee of the deputy head whose decision will be final and binding.


The policy applies to all departments and other portions of the Public Service listed in Part I of Schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act.

Policy requirements

Deputy heads will respond to all classification grievances and will make decisions in accordance with Treasury Board classification policy and standards.

The senior departmental officer chosen to act as the deputy head's nominee for classification grievances must be formally appointed by the deputy head (see Appendix A).

Employees presenting classification grievances must do so within 25 working days after the day they were notified of any action or circumstance giving rise to the grievance, or if not so notified, after the day they learned of such action or circumstance.

The deputy head or nominee must respond to the grievance in writing within 60 working days after it is received by the immediate supervisor or local officer-in-charge. If this deadline is extended by mutual agreement, such agreement must be confirmed in writing between the deputy head or nominee and the employee or the employee's representative, if applicable.

Deputy heads must also ensure that mandatory procedures and requirements of Appendix B are met.


Departments will implement appropriate methods to monitor the application of this policy and ensure that the required timeframes are met.

Compliance with this policy will be based on the outcome of classification grievances in relation to Service-wide norms and whether:

  • procedural requirements and prescribed timeframes are observed; and,
  • decisions are fully documented.


  • Public Service Staff Relations Act, Section 7 and Part IV, Sections 91 - 100.
  • Public Service Staff Relations Board Regulations and Rules of Procedure, Part VIII, Sections 71-72, 74-75.
  • Treasury Board Minute 821755 of 23 June 1994.
  • Classification Grievance Procedure, 1 June 1994.


Enquiries from management and personnel staff concerning this policy should be routed to departmental headquarters.

For an interpretation of this policy, departmental headquarters personnel should contact the:

Classification, Equal Pay and Pay Administration Division
Human Resources Policy Branch
Treasury Board Secretariat
3rd Floor, West Tower
L'Esplanade Laurier
300 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0R5

Appendix A - Format for the appointment of a nominee for classification grievances

The format may vary but must contain the following information.

  1. I hereby appoint (name and official title of appointee) to act on my behalf in rendering final and binding classification grievance decisions, effective (date).
  2. (The nominee) shall exercise this authority for all occupational groups and levels for which I have classification authority except for those cases in which the unanimous recommendation of the grievance committee is being rejected. (This clause may be made more restrictive, at the option of the deputy head).
  3. The following types of classification grievance results shall be brought to my attention before final and binding decisions are made:
    1. those which
      • could have a significant effect on the classification or level of other positions under my jurisdiction;
      • could have an effect on similar positions in other departments;
      • may substantially affect program management or union/management relations; and/or
    2. those in which minority/majority recommendations have been made and the minority recommendation is being accepted or a new decision is being made.

Signature of Deputy Head:

Signature of Nominee:

Appendix B - Classification Grievance Process

Notification of Classification Decision

The departmental classification organization or delegated manager must officially notify the employee when a classification decision has been rendered against his or her position.


A complainant wishing to be represented by a bargaining agent or another person of his or her choice must inform the bargaining agent or other representative.

"Classification" does not include the work description or effective date. These matters are resolved through the Staff Relations Grievance Process.


The deputy head or nominee shall inform the bargaining agent or other representative and the complainant of the date and time of the hearing. The complainant, bargaining agent, or other representative shall be given at least 15 working days notice of the hearing.


The employee's immediate supervisor or local officer-in-charge must acknowledge receipt of the grievance by signing and dating the form on the date it is received, and send a copy of the grievance to the deputy head or nominee.

The classification grievance process is the employee's means of redress. Therefore, differences of opinion between levels of management, or management and classification staff concerning the classification of a position must be resolved using the department's internal dispute resolution process, if necessary. If an employee submits a grievance it will then clearly be the employee's grievance against a decision for which the deputy head is responsible, and management must not further advocate against that decision.

Grievance committees

Classification grievances against the operational classification decisions of the department must be examined by committees convened at departmental headquarters, and composed of three people who must meet the following criteria:

  • they did not participate in the classification decision being grieved;
  • they are neither supervising the position in question nor in a position of potential conflict of interest; and
  • they are knowledgeable about classification techniques and experienced in the use of the relevant classification standard(s).

Grievance committees must be chaired by an accredited classification specialist. If the grievance concerns a position for which the department has classification authority, an accredited classification officer (normally from the department in which the grievance occurs) must chair the committee, assisted by a representative of the TBS, and one other person, preferably a line manager, experienced in the application of the classification standard(s) being used. If the grievance concerns a position for which the department does not have classification authority, a representative of the TBS must chair the committee, assisted by two members.

Employees and/or their representative must be given the opportunity to appear before the commitee and state their views on the classification of the position. They must withdraw from the meeting once their presentation is complete. Representations by the complainant or his or her representative may also be submitted in writing. All aspects of the decision being grieved, i.e., group and sub-group allocation, level and ratings (where applicable) accorded to all factors, must be examined even though, in some instances, not all are being challenged.

If invited to appear before the classification grievance committee to provide information on the assigned duties and responsibilities, management must withdraw once the committee has completed its questioning.

Deliberations occur "in camera". The committee must try to reach consensus on the evaluation of the position. Majority and minority reports must be prepared in the event of a disagreement. The committee makes a recommendation on the classification of the position being grieved to the deputy head or nominee. The recommendation will be either:

  • that the current classification decision be confirmed;
  • that the current group and level be maintained with a change in the evaluation; or
  • that the position be reclassified to a higher or lower level within the same or a different occupational group.

Normally, the effective date for the recommendation must be the date, certified by management, on which the duties were assigned to the position.

Deputy head or nominee

In cases where the department is the classification authority, the deputy head or nominee will either:

  • confirm the committee's recommendation;
  • make a decision in cases of minority/majority reports; or
  • make a new decision.

In cases of minority/majority reports, if the minority report is accepted, the nominee must so advise the deputy head. If the unanimous recommendation of the grievance committee is rejected by the nominee, the new decision must be personally approved by the deputy head. In such circumstances, the deputy head must report to the TBS the reasons for non-acceptance, with specific reference to the rationale used by the grievance committee in arriving at its recommendation.

In the following circumstances, the deputy head or nominee may render a final and binding decision, based on the recommendation of a classification grievance committee that does not include a TBS representative:

  • when a grievance submission is identical to another grievance decision against a departmentally recognized generic position; and
  • in the case of a previously grieved decision and the work description submitted is identical to the previous one.

In such circumstances, the deputy head or Nominee shall examine all information available in support of the grieved position and render a final and binding decision. All such circumstances must be reported to the Treasury Board Secretariat.

In all cases, the grievor and/or his or her representative must be invited to make a presentation.

In cases where the Treasury Board Secretariat is the classification authority, the deputy head or nominee must immediately forward the grievance to the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Status of a classification grievance decision

The decision rendered on a classification grievance is final and binding.

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