Policies related to the staffing process in the public service
PS 501: Job Evaluation, Appeals and Challenges
Date Issued: 01/11/1986
Date Revised: 23/09/2019
To outline the job evaluation processes, including: the classification of a new or vacant position or re-classification of an existing position; the initiation of an appeal of a classification decision; and/or the challenge of an upward reclassification within the Government of Saskatchewan (GoS).
Pursuant to The Public Service Act, 1998, the Public Service Commission (PSC) is responsible for determining the value of one job in relation to other jobs in executive government and specified order-in-council appointments. This is done by utilizing one of three job evaluation plans, each having their own set of standard criteria, for the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE, Local 600), and out-of-scope positions, in order to:
- provide a base for establishing wages;
- eliminate arbitrary or inconsistent wage setting; and
- provide for fair and equitable treatment.
- Employees will understand the requirements and expectations regarding job evaluation processes;
- Ministry managers, the PSC, and all other parties involved understand their roles and responsibilities regarding job evaluation processes.
This policy is based on the principle of equal pay for work of equal value through the application of common job evaluation factors that assess skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.
This policy applies to all positions in the classified division of executive government, specified order-in-council appointments, and positions effected during a transfer period in which employees are moving in or out of executive government.
The PSC is responsible for preparing classification plans for all positions in the classified division, ensuring plans are appropriate through revisions and new plan development.
- Management Classification and Compensation Plan (MCP) – Maintenance provisions for the out-of-scope classification plan is the responsibility of the PSC. Classification plan maintenance provisions include responsibility for factor interpretations, changes to notes to raters, factors, benchmark descriptors, position description form and guide, and training and educational programs.
- PS/GE SGEU Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value Classification Plan – Maintenance of the SGEU in-scope classification plan is a joint union management responsibility as outlined in Letter of Understanding (LOU) 98-12. LOU 98-12 provides for a joint maintenance committee which has the authority to approve changes to position description forms, job evaluation factors, comparative descriptors, and notes to raters; approve training and educational programs; conduct audits of classification decisions and determine processes for such audits; and change the roles and authorities of appeal panels.
- CUPE 600-3 Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value Classification Plan – Maintenance of the CUPE in-scope classification plan is a joint union management responsibility as outlined in the "Job Evaluation Maintenance Procedures," March 28, 2001. The procedures provide for a joint maintenance committee which has the authority to make changes to the notes to raters and benchmarks, resolve issues regarding sub-factor level definitions, determine training requirements, approve forms to be used, determine and implement an audit strategy, evaluate jobs and conduct appeals.
- Job evaluation sub-factors and benchmarks are available through Total Rewards, PSC, Human Resource Business Partner Teams supporting Social Services and/or Central Services, any office of the Disability Programs—Community Living Service Delivery division in Social Services, Valley View Centre, or the Saskatchewan Hospital, North Battleford.
Classification of New or Vacant Positions
Classification is carried out to document and classify work assigned to each new or vacant position. This includes all new and vacant permanent full-time, permanent part-time, term, and labour service positions. All new positions are considered in-scope until deemed otherwise. If required, a new or vacant position(s) must be approved for scope exclusion and classified before a competition is posted.
The appropriate submission process for classifying a new or vacant position is either: 1) a "same as" review referencing an identical job assignment; or 2) a formal classification review based on the creation of a new job. For CUPE, Local 600 positions, please refer to the CUPE Collective Bargaining Agreement.
| Classification Review Process: New or Vacant Positions |
"Same as" Classification Review
|Formal Classification Review |
- Identifies a need to backfill a vacant position already classified.
- Identifies a need to create a new position based on a position within a previously reviewed and classified banding structure approved by the Public Service Commission.
- If scope agreement is required, completes a Scope Determination form (e.g., to add to the existing complement of a position within a banded structure).
- Using PSC Client, submits:
- Electronic Position Description (EPD)
- Job description of position being backfilled (if available)
- Banding documentation if applicable
- Organizational chart
- Scope Determination form
- Identifies a need to create a new position or add new duties to a vacant position based on a Common Job Description (CJD) or new job duties that have not been reviewed and classified before.
- If scope agreement is required, completes a Scope Determination form.
- Using PSC Client, submits:
- Electronic Position Description (EPD) or CJD
- Previous job description if available
- Organizational chart
- Scope Determination form
|HR Business Partner Team (HRBPT) |
- Receives "same as" submission and assigns portfolio Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP) for initial client consultation.
- Reviews Electronic Position Description form and attachment(s) for accuracy and completeness and confirms appropriate application of the "same as" job assignment.
- If scope agreement is required (e.g., adding to the existing complement), the HRBP submits the required documentation to SGEU and leads the scope determination process.
- Enters the classification details in the Classification Decision section of the EPD.
- Completes position management requirements and notifies ministry when review is complete.
- Receives formal classification submission and assigns portfolio Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP) for initial client consultation.
- Reviews Electronic Position Description form and attachment(s) for accuracy and completeness and forwards to Total Rewards, PSC for review.
- Upon completion of the classification review, completes position management requirements.
Total Rewards, PSC
|No action necessary.|
- Receives classification request/submission from the HRBP Team and assigns Classification Consultant.
- Evaluates EPD/CJD and attachments in comparison to the criteria in the in-scope or out-of-scope classification plan.
- If scope agreement is required, the Classification Consultant submits the required documentation to SGEU and leads the scope determination process.
- Enters the classification details in the Classification Decision section of the EPD, including factor rating rationale, and notifies the HRBPT and the ministry of the results.
*Note: Detailed classification rating rationale is not required for “same as” classifications. However, there must be a position description, organizational chart and reference to how the original decision was rendered.
Reclassification of Encumbered Positions
The purpose of reclassification is to ensure that employees are compensated equitably and in a timely manner for assigned responsibilities, and classification measures are maintained. Request for reviews can be submitted by the PSC, the ministry or permanent in-scope or out-of-scope employees.
Upward classification actions take effect on the first day of the pay period immediately following the day on which the request was received by the PSC. Where applicable, the PSC may make the reclassification effective to the first day of the pay period following the date of the assignment as follows:
Retroactive up to six months from the date the request is received by the PSC where the ministry provides written verification of the date of the assignment (in exceptional circumstances, extensions greater than the six-month period eligible for retroactivity may be reviewed by the parties).
Where the PSC, the ministry and, if necessary, the employee’s bargaining agent agree in advance that the reclassification request may be submitted up to six months after the date of reassignment of duties resulting from a reorganization.
Article 7(2) of The Public Service Regulations, 1999 requires the ministry to submit to the PSC, a request for classification review whenever there has been a material change in duties and responsibilities of a position. In the event a review is not submitted, the PSC will initiate a review and classify the position appropriately. In such circumstances, the effective date should be the first day of the pay period following release of the classification decision.
The appropriate submission process for encumbered classification reviews is either: 1) a “same as” review referencing an identical job assignment; or 2) a formal classification review of new or additional job duties. For CUPE, Local 600 positions, please refer to the CUPE Collective Bargaining Agreement.
|Classification Review Process: Encumbered Positions |
"Same as" Classification Review
Formal Classification Review
Identifies a need to reclass an encumbered position based on a position within a previously reviewed and classified banding structure approved by the Public Service Commission.
If scope agreement is required, completes a Scope Determination Form (e.g., to add to the existing complement of a position within a banded structure).
Using PSC Client, submits:
Electronic Position Description (EPD)
Job description of position being backfilled (if available)
Banding documentation if applicable
Scope Determination form
Identifies changes to an encumbered position based on a Common Job Description (CJD) or new or additional job duties that have not been reviewed and classified before.
If scope agreement is required, completes a Scope Determination Form.
Using PSC Client, submits:
- Receives submission and notifies HRBP.
- Reviews EPD and attachments for accuracy and completeness and forwards to Total Rewards, PSC for review.
- Upon completion of review by Total Rewards, PSC completes position management requirements.
Notifies Human Resource Service Centre (HRSC) of change.
Notifies Staffing Solutions and Client Records Branch, PSC of downward reclass change.
Ensures SGEU/CUPE upward reclassifications are posted on PSC website (Taskroom).
|Total Rewards, PSC||No action necessary.|
Receives classification request/submission from the HRBP Team and assigns Classification Consultant.
Reviews EPD/CJD and attachments in comparison to the criteria in the in-scope/out-of-scope classification plan.
Completes assessment of material change to job assignment; if no material change, sends no review letter.
If material change:
Leads scope determination process as required.
Consults with HRBP, manager, and employee(s) to complete the classification review.
Enters the classification details in the Classification section of the EPD and notifies the HRBP Team and the ministry of the results.
Provides written documentation relating to the classification decision.
|HRSC||Completes employee information management in MIDAS. |
|Staffing Solutions and Client Records Branch, PSC||Adds employee name(s) to Re-Employment list for SGEU
Temporary Assignment of Higher Duties (TAHD) over 90 Days
All conditions of a permanent reclassification apply except that there is an expiry date at which time the position reverts to its former classification. For SGEU employees, the Union must be notified if a temporary assignment of higher duties exceeds one (1) year. For CUPE employees, extension beyond two (2) years must be agreed to by the Union. See the respective bargaining agreements. Managers are responsible to ensure employees are returned to their permanent classification level at the end of their TAHD assignment.
Pay provisions are also subject to the applicable regulations and/or articles of the collective agreement.
Status of Review Upon Termination of Employment
When an employee leaves the government service, any outstanding requests for review of their classification, and any appeals of classification, shall be deemed to have been withdrawn. For out-of-scope and SGEU employees, the above applies only to requests submitted within the 120 calendar day period prior to the effective date of such resignation.
Appeals and Challenges
Appeals are available to resolve classification disputes between employees and the employer. A classification appeal can be initiated by the permanent employee if the PSC agrees that the duties have altered sufficiently to justify a review and have rendered a decision (i.e., no change in level, upward or downward reclass).
Appeal rights are not granted in situations involving new/vacant positions or TAHD/term requests.
Appeal rights cannot be provided on any factor if a final appeal decision has previously been rendered and there has been no change in the job assignment information particular to that factor.
Timing of Appeals
Appeals must be registered on the prescribed form within 15 calendar days of receipt of the classification decision, or within 21 days of receipt of the classification decision for all CUPE employees. CUPE employees affected as a result of an organization or occupational survey must register their appeal within 15 days of receipt of the classification decision.
Where the outcome of an appeal will apply to a group of positions, PSC shall notify affected incumbents of their right to representation at the hearing.
Appeal panels have the mandate to consider only the job evaluation criteria and position duties at the time of the request for review. Appeal panels shall render a decision on one of the following two alternatives:
uphold the classification decision, or
change the classification decision and document their rationale for the change.
SGEU and Labour Service – Classification Joint Council for in-scope SGEU and labour service employees is a joint union-management appeal panel consisting of four (4) members equally split between union and management. All appeal decisions are reviewed by the Joint Audit Committee (JAC) and decisions are final and binding.
CUPE – Classification Joint Council for in-scope CUPE 600 public service employees is a joint union-management appeal panel consisting of four (4) members of the Joint Job Evaluation Committee (JJEC), equally split between union and management. All appeal decisions are reviewed by the JJEC, and decisions are final and binding.
Out-of-Scope – The Commission Appeal Panel hearing for out-of-scope employees consists of the Public Service Commissioners and the Chair of the PSC. The Commission Appeal Panel’s decision is final and binding.
In-Scope Reclassification Challenges
An upward reclassification of any permanent encumbered in-scope position (i.e., part-time, full-time, or labour service), may be challenged by a more senior employee in the same occupation from the same reclassification challenge unit. This can be done if the more senior employee feels that a promotional opportunity has been unjustly curtailed and that the new duties might as readily have been assigned to the more senior candidate.
|Type of Review ||Permanently Encumbered Positions – In-Scope ||Permanently Encumbered Positions – Labour Service|
- Ministries are responsible to post upward reclassifications within the reclassification challenge unit.
- Initiates challenge by submitting resume or completed application form for the designated competition to Total Rewards, PSC.
Rewards, PSC|| |
- Determines validity of a challenge.
- If disagreement as to validity, case is referred to a Challenge Appeal Board.
- Challenge Appeal Board hears evidence and renders a decision.
- If challenge is valid, a staffing panel is convened to determine if challenger is qualified.
- If qualified, the new duties are assigned to the challenger, and the position is permanently classified with no probation served. The incumbent reverts to a position at the former classification level.
Benchmark Description/Comparative Description means a description of responsibility that illustrates the intended application of job evaluation factors or the relative value of skills or responsibilities.
Classified Division means the classified division of the public service as per Section 15 of the Public Service Act, 1998.
Classification Plan means a job evaluation system comprised of standard criteria (job evaluation factors) and benchmarks or comparative descriptions.
Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value means the adjustment of compensation practices so all employees are assigned to a schedule of pay with the same maximum hourly rate of pay as other employees performing work of equal or comparable value.
Occupation means a group of jobs where the nature and type of work is essentially the same.
Encumbered Position means a position that is encumbered or filled by one or more employees.
Position Description means a written statement of the position’s duties and responsibilities.
Position Evaluation means the process of establishing and using standard criteria (factors) to establish relative worth of jobs.
Reallocation means the application of a new or revised classification standards or a correction in application.
Re-employment Lists contains names of persons who are eligible for consideration in staffing vacant permanent and non-permanent positions prior to advertising.
Reclassification means the assignment of a different classification level where substantial changes in responsibility have occurred.
Reclassification Challenge Unit means a group of employees reporting to the same supervisor or manager, who has the authority to, and has, assigned a change in duties.
Public Service Commission has authority to: develop classification plans and standards of application; allocate jobs to new classification plans; evaluate all positions and apply the classification standards; and maintain the currency of job evaluation factors and benchmarks.
Ministries have a responsibility to submit to the PSC a request for a job evaluation review for new and vacant positions, or existing positions where there has been a material change in the duties and responsibilities assigned to an existing position.
Permanent Heads have responsibility for work organization and documentation of work assignments.
The Public Service Act, 1998 Part II Section 11 (2)(b), 12(1), 15, 16, 17(1), 18(1), Part III, Part VI
The Public Service Regulations, 1999 Part II Section 4-9.2, Part III Section 24.1, 39
PS/GE Collective Bargaining Agreement Articles 1.1, 2, 5, 220.127.116.11; 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124 12; LOU 98-12
CUPE, Local 600-3 Collective Bargaining Agreement Articles 2.02 b), 23; Job Evaluation Maintenance Procedures
Resources and ToolsInformation about Classification on TaskroomPSC Client Classification TutorialNotification of Extension of TAHD Exceeding 1 Year (Form)Request for Agreement to Extend Term Assignment (Form)
Policy InquiriesFor inquiries, please contact the Human Resource Service Centre.
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