HSPBA Classification Review 2023: Frequently Asked Questions

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Text reading Classification Review 2023

Starting by September 22, all HSA 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. Have a question that isn't listed? Please drop us a line at redesign [at] hsabc.org.

Finished with the FAQ? Please click here to return to the main Classification Review page.

Frequently Asked Questions — General

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 health care system as a whole.

The bottom line is this: while the health care 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.

All full- and part-time HSA 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.

HSA members covered by collective agreements for Community Social Services, Community Health, Nurses, Westcoast Medical Imaging, and Paragon Orthotics are NOT affected by this process.

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 no later than September 22, 2023.  

Once you receive this information from your employer, you must use HSA’s classification review tool before November 15, 2023.

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 use HSA’s classification review tool, 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.

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 redesign [at] hsabc.org.

If the employer did not provide you with the required documentation in a timely manner, then you have an automatic extension of the objection filing deadline of two weeks after the employer provides you with your profile match.

If you, any of your colleagues, or HSA’s classifications staff objected to the profile match of your job description and the result of that objection is that the profile match of the job description changes, then everyone under that job description will be affected.
 
Additions to the P2A – Special Procedures/Techniques profile are slightly different. If a special procedure/technique is added to the P2A profile, it will impact all P1 – Working Professionals in that profession who perform the special procedure/technique, either by changing their classification to P2A (if they perform the special procedure/technique for the majority of the time) or by permitting them to code up to the P2A rate (for either 4 hours or a complete shift) on days when they perform the special procedure/technique. Members in jobs that are already classified above the P2A level (i.e. P2B and S1 – S4) will not have their classification or rate changed when they perform special procedures/techniques.

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 complete your own personal assessment using the online classification review tool.
 
If you use the classification review tool on behalf 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.

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. HSA Classifications 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.

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.

Please don’t let concerns with your job description stop you from participating in the classification review, which is focused on ensuring that members are matched to the correct profile of the new profile-based classification system.
 
If you feel that your employer has matched you to the wrong classification profile (P1, P2A, P2B, or S1 – S4), it is important that you file a profile match objection by November 15, 2023.
 
If you have concerns about your job description, please review Article 33 of the HSPBA collective agreement or speak to your steward, as you have the right to offer your input regarding your job description.

Just as you can file a grievance under Article 11 of the current collective agreement to seek a change in your classification, when the new profile-based classification system is implemented in 2024/25, you and/or the union will continue to have the ability to file a grievance seeking a change in your classification.

Frequently Asked Questions — The New Profile-Based Classification System

For the purposes of the classifications review, individual HSA members simply need to use the classifications review tool.

The tool 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.

Working Professional Classifications

The working professional classification profiles are divided into the P1 and P2 profiles.

The P1 Working Professional profile encompasses what was formerly called the grade 1 or staff level but also includes responsibilities such as sole charge, supervision of students, and working without general supervision. The majority of health science professional jobs fall within a P1 profile.

There are 18 P1 Working Professional profiles, divided into different professional groupings. These are intended to assist you in determining which profile (p1, P2A, P2B, S1-S4) correctly matches with your job.

Click here to see a chart listing which professions are in each professional grouping and then review the corresponding P1 Working Professional profile, which is linked below:

P2 Advanced Working Professional profiles have six classifications/subclassifications. The P2 profiles encompass the many former classifications that were above what is now the P1 level.

The six advanced working level classifications/subclassifications are:

Supervisory/Leadership Classifications

The supervisory/leadership classifications include four profiles, which are based upon the classification level of staff supervised:

The four profiles each have four pay levels, which are based upon the number of full-time equivalent staff (FTEs) supervised. The pay levels are:

  • Up to 8 FTE
  • More than 8 FTE and up to 16 FTE
  • More than 16 FTE and up to 24 FTE
  • More than 24 FTE

No, this isn’t true. Being matched to the P1 Working Professional profile means that you are a highly-trained, highly-skilled professional and a valued member of the health care team.

Here’s the backstory: For a long time we have seen the expectations and responsibilities of Grade 1 staff growing and growing, and the work that all health science professionals do becoming more demanding and more acute. Grade 1 in so many cases was feeling like more and more work for wages that weren’t keeping up with the volume of work. This was the impetus for the 2010-2012 HSPBA collective agreement, which included an agreement to redesign the entire classification system. 

As part of that agreement, the parties agreed that the new system would include a new working level professional classification that we now call P1. This new P1 working professional classification includes all the duties and responsibilities of the pre-existing Grade 1 and most of what is currently within Grade 2, including student supervision, working without general supervision, and sole charge. It was also agreed that the P1 working professional classification will be paid at what were previously the Grade 2 rates, raising the floor on wages for health science professionals. 

Just like late last year, in every bargaining year since 2010 both HSA’s membership and the employer have ratified collective agreements that have continued the commitment to completing and implementing the new profile-based classification system, including the P1 working professional classifications and rates. And now, we’re almost there – the new system will be implemented by February 28, 2025.

When the new system is implemented, the majority of health science professionals will be classified at the P1 working professional classification. And they will be highly-trained, highly-skilled professionals who are a valuable part of the health care team.

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 redesign [at] hsabc.org with as much information as you can share.

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 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.

The majority of health science professionals will see an increase when the system is fully implemented. In fact, almost 60% 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 HSA 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, no later than February 28, 2025.

When the new profile-based classification system is implemented in 2024-2025 the P1 Working Professional salary structure will be the current Grade 2 salary structure of the respective profession. This means P1 pay rates may vary between one health science profession and another just as they do today.
 
In terms of pay recognition, the new system ensures that within every profession every supervisor and advanced practice working professional is paid in the same way relative to the P1 salary structure for their profession. Again, this means rates for P2A, P2B, and S1 through S4 professionals may vary between health science professions.
 
In imaging and some other work areas, there can be supervisory positions that can be filled by workers of any number of professions. For such jobs, the parties will negotiate which of the respective supervisor wage levels will be applied. There are also provisions that guarantee that the salary structure of any supervisor is, at minimum, 3.8% above the salary structure of the highest paid job that they supervise.
 
In addition, wages will inevitably be part of the discussion as HSA members prepare and establish our priorities for bargaining the next collective agreement, as the current agreement expires in the spring of 2025. We encourage you to participate in this important process by attending chapter meetings and helping to draft bargaining proposals, likely starting in the second half of 2024.
 

There are several different reasons for being coded up under the current collective agreement, which can be broken into several groups.

The first is coding up for duties which are currently at the grade 2 or sole charge level, which includes working without general supervision and student supervision. The new P1 Working Professional classification will see you paid at the former grade 2 or sole charge rates all the time, not just some of the time. This means that there is no longer any need to code up to a higher rate when working without general supervision or providing student supervision.

The second is coding up when performing a recognized special procedure. Performance of special procedures (as found in the P2A – Special Procedures profile) will be paid exactly as it is paid now, i.e. if you perform special procedures the majority of the time you will always be paid the P2A Special Procedures rates, and if you perform special procedures less than the majority of the time you will be coded up for either 4 hours or the entire shift when you perform them.

The third is coding up when relieving in a higher-classified position. This too is unchanged. When relieving in a higher-classified position, one is paid according to that job’s salary structure.

What does change, in all cases of coding up, is that you will be paid the increment step rate of the higher salary structure that is at a minimum 3.8% above your current pay rate.

The classification and pay levels are based upon 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.

Yes. Providing work direction to support staff is part of the P1 profile, just as it always has been part of the grade 1 and grade 2 level of work.

Work direction is different from supervision. To be considered a supervisor, you must be delegated responsibility and accountability for support staff as seen in the S1 –Supervisory/Leadership profile.

If the employer miscounted the number of FTEs you supervise, don't panic. The important part of this process is ensuring you end up with the correct classification profile, whether that is Supervisory/Leadership 1, 2, 3, or 4.

At the time of implementation in 2024/25, we will need to be sure that your employer has the correct FTE count. But do remember that even then, it is about ensuring you are in the correct range of FTEs:

  • Up to 8 FTE
  • More than 8 FTE and up to 16 FTE
  • More than 16 FTE and up to 24 FTE
  • More than 24 FTE

Yes. The P1 profile includes providing orientation, guidance, and collegial information or demonstration of equipment or work methods and processes to others including peers, new staff, and students, or providing instruction and/or supervision to students/interns while you are doing the other aspects of your P1 work with patients/clients or conducting diagnostic procedures.
 
At first glance, supervising students might appear to qualify you for the higher-level P2B(E) – Educator profile, but it does not. A P2B(E) position has delegated responsibility and accountability for the development, planning and delivery of clinical/technical education programs for health science professional staff and/or administration of student training program/s for the profession through the identification of educational needs, development and provision of educational content and accountability for learning outcomes. The main purpose of a P2B(E) position is not delivering patient/client care or conducting diagnostic procedures.

The parties have not yet specifically negotiated a revision of Article 10.01.

In the meantime, it is HSA’s view that employers should award P1 positions by seniority, provided the member is qualified for the job.

For positions above P1 (P2A, P2B, and S1 through S4) the selection process should not change, i.e. if candidates are relatively equal in performance, capability and qualifications, then seniority is the tiebreaker.

Frequently Asked Questions — Objections

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 the 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.

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 HSA classifications staff for clarification or additional information. You’ll be notified when your profile match is finalized.