HSPBA Classification Review 2023: Frequently Asked Questions

Starting on September 22, all CUPE members in the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association will have the opportunity to help modernize the classification system. By taking part, you can ensure your role in that system is clearly recognized and confirm that your job is classified and paid appropriately.

This page contains the most frequently asked questions about this process. If you have a question that isn’t listed, please drop us a line at bchealth@cupe.ca and include the word “classification” in the subject line, along with any other info, to help us make sure it gets to the right people.

Why are we doing this?

The current classification structures are mostly unchanged since 1990, even though your work has become more complex and acute. In some cases, there aren’t enough classification/pay levels, leaving some health science professions without recognition for the work they do. In other cases, members are paid less than colleagues in other health science professions who perform work of the same scope and level of responsibility.

Starting this fall, the classifications system is being updated. When this process is done, it will apply uniformly to workers across the full spectrum of health science professions to reflect the reality of the healthcare system as a whole.

The bottom line is this: while the healthcare system has become much more complex in the last thirty years and continues to evolve, the system that determines your rate of pay has not kept up.

Improvements to the classification system will recognize advanced practice work and supervisory/leadership work in the same manner for every profession, resulting in a fair and equitable system that uniformly applies to all health science professions.

How do I know if my job is part of the classification review?

All full- and part-time CUPE members who work in health science professions under the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) are affected. You can contact the union to confirm if you are a member under the HSPBA.

CUPE members covered by collective agreements for Community Health and Nurses are NOT affected by this process.

When will this happen?

Your employer will provide all members with full-time and part-time positions with their current job description and employer-assigned classification profile in the early fall. While the timing is up to individual employers, they are required to do this by no later than September 22, 2023.

Once you receive this information from your employer, you need to complete the classification review questionnaire. If you believe your job has been matched incorrectly or your job description does not reflect the duties and responsibilities of your job, send in your filled-out profile match objection form before November 15, 2023.

What do I need to do?

The first step will be taken by the employer, who will provide you with your job description and notification of what classification profile they’ve assigned to your job. They will provide this directly to you by September 22, 2023.

If you are a casual, you do not need to do anything: your colleagues in full- and part-time positions will receive the employer notifications and respond to ensure each job is classified and paid appropriately.

Before November 15, members in full- and part-time positions need to complete CUPE’s classification review questionnaire, which will guide you through an assessment of your job to determine if the employer has assigned your job to the right classification profile.

If the employer has misclassified your job, you must report this by submitting a profile match objection form to your employer before November 15.

My colleagues and I have exactly the same job responsibilities. Can I just do one classification review submission on behalf of all of us and save time?

No. What looks identical may not actually be. If you wish to be assured that your job has been matched to the correct profile, you should conduct your own personal assessment by completing  the classification review questionnaire.

If you apply the classification review to the work of a group of union members, the union will have no record of an assessment done for your colleagues, which makes it harder to follow up and advocate for all members.

What if my employer hasn’t given me my job description and notification of my classification profile?

Your employer is required to provide all full-time and part-time members with their current job description and employer-assigned classification profile by September 22. If you do not receive them by this date, please email your employer to request them.

If your employer does not provide a timely and satisfactory response, please forward your email to bchealth@cupe.ca.

Some employers are still reviewing and updating job descriptions. If your job description is one that is under review, we have asked the employer to notify you of that by no later than September 22, but in some instances there may be a delay. Further instruction will be provided to these members.

I’m on leave (maternity, parental, LTD, etc.). What should I do?

If you are away from work on a longer-term leave, you do not need to do anything. All current job descriptions and classification profile assignments will be provided to the union. CUPE staff will review them and may file objections.

Additionally, if your job has been backfilled, the current incumbent will receive the job description and assigned classification profile and will be able to file an objection if necessary.

What if I’m in a temporary position during the classification review?

You should complete the classification review for the position you are currently in. This means that if you are in a temporary posting, you should receive the current job description and classification profile assignment for the role you currently occupy and file an objection if necessary.

What are the new classification levels, and what do they mean?

For the purposes of the classifications review, individual CUPE members simply need to complete the classifications review questionnaire.

The questionnaire is designed to assist you through the process of confirming that your job has been matched to the correct profile, without requiring you to spend a lot of time learning how the entire profile-based classification system works.

However, if you’re curious and would like to know more about the new profile-based classification system, please keep reading.

A profile is a document that describes the nature of work performed and includes a representative sample of the responsibilities found in a level of work within professions, and that is used specifically to classify jobs. Profiles are general enough to encompass all areas and levels of each health science profession within the bargaining unit but specific enough to differentiate between them.

The new profile-based classification system is based on two types of classification profiles: working professionals and supervisory/leadership.

Will every classification get a pay raise under the new system?

The majority of health science professionals will see an increase when the system is fully implemented. In fact, almost 60 percent have already started to see the increases with the phase-in of the P1 profile rates that began on April 1, 2022.

When the new system is fully implemented, there will also be some jobs that will have lesser salary structures. However, the implementation agreement ensures that no CUPE member will take a cut in pay. In fact, union members who hold these jobs at the implementation date will receive their current superior rate plus all future general wage increases while they occupy their same position.

The new profile-based classification system will be fully implemented in year three (2024-2025) of the current Collective Agreement, by no later than February 28, 2025.

What is the timeline for the wage schedules of the new profile-based classification system?

The new profile-based classification system will be fully implemented in year three (2024-2025) of the term of this Collective Agreement. The precise implementation date is not yet determined but it will be no later than February 28, 2025.

The wage schedules that align with the new classifications system will be finalized in advance of the February 28, 2025 implementation date.

I don’t think my classification profile takes my advanced education into account.

The classification and pay levels are based on the required educational qualifications of any given job and are not based on the educational qualifications of the incumbent.

Some health science professionals, however, hold qualifications above and beyond the educational requirements for their job and those qualifications are utilized in the normal course of their duties. In these cases, the qualification differential language of the current HSPBA Collective Agreement will continue to recognize these additional qualifications.

I think my job should be added to the list of special procedures. What should I do?

For the purposes of this fall’s classification review, it has been agreed that only currently recognized special procedures will be assigned to the P2A Special Procedures profile.

However, when the new profile-based classification system comes into effect in 2024/2025, there are provisions that allow for the union to advocate on your behalf to recognize additional special procedures by adding them to the P2A Special Procedures profile.

Special Procedures are defined as:
“A recognized level of expertise or competency in a specialized area of practice. This qualification is obtained through specialized education, training, and experience, which is over and above the full-scope working level and is required in order to carry out duties. To qualify for an increased pay level under the special procedure/techniques qualification clause it will be necessary for the employee to have the qualifications related to the required special procedures/techniques.”

If you think that your work meets the above definition and should be recognized as a new special procedure, please send us an email at bchealth@cupe.ca with as much information as you can share.

Why do I need to file a profile match objection? Can’t my union do this for me?

Your bargaining committee fought to ensure that each HSPBA member has the opportunity to review their classification and file an objection if necessary.  As the person currently working in your position, you have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the work you perform every day. Your perspective is essential to the review of your job description and classification because what you actually do may not be fully recognized in the content of your job description.

Just like other types of grievances, you need to let your employer know if you disagree with how they have classified the work you do by providing them with a profile match objection form before November 15. Once you file a profile match objection, your union and union staff will move your objection through the agreed-upon process that will determine the final profile match of your job.

How long will the profile match objection process take?

All profile match objections will be handled using the agreed-upon process, beginning after November 15, 2023 and ending in spring 2024. Members who file profile match objections may be contacted by CUPE staff for clarification or additional information. You’ll be notified when your profile match is finalized.

Job Profiles

What are the P1 profiles?

What is the P2A classification?

What are the P2B Advanced Working Professional classifications?

What are the supervisory classification levels?