Implementing the Profile-Based Classification System: Next Steps
Thank you to all full- and part-time HSA members who took part in the first stage of the move to a new profile-based classification system for health science professionals working in BC’s public health care system. Over the last several weeks, thousands of health science professionals used HSA’s online classification review tool to double-check how the employer matched their jobs with the new classification system that will come into effect by February 28, 2025.
This is a complicated and significant change, and thanks to those who participated, many concerns have been raised. Working first with members who have filed profile match objections, HSA will be addressing these in several stages.
1. WORKING TO RESOLVE PROFILE MATCH OBJECTIONS
While there are still a few full- and part-time members who have yet to complete the classification review, due to delays on the part of the employers, HSA’s classification review tool — and your hard work — has uncovered a number of problems with how the employer has matched jobs to the new classification profiles. HSA has received several thousand profile match objections from members who have identified concerns with their employer-assigned profile matches, and your union’s in-house classifications and legal staff are now working hard to resolve these objections.
Time is tight. Your union has a very short timeline to get all the facts we need to resolve these profile match objections. Unresolved objections will be referred to hearings scheduled in early 2024 with the classification referees rendering their decisions by February 29, 2024.
If you submitted a profile match objection, HSA’s classifications and legal staff may need more information from you to resolve your case. If union staff contact you with a request for information, please respond as quickly as you can. Your objection could fail if your union doesn’t receive the necessary information in a timely manner.
2. ADVOCATING FOR NEW SPECIAL PROCEDURES/TECHNIQUES
Later in 2024, HSA’s staff will focus on advocating for new special procedures/techniques to be added to the P2A profile. Currently only three professions have special procedures classifications, but the new P2A profile will, for the first time, recognize advanced working level procedures/techniques for many health science professionals who work with patients or perform diagnostic procedures. This is a big opportunity for many members to be properly compensated for the advanced work above the P1 level that they do, and your union will be working hard to ensure the best outcome.
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/technique added to the P2A profile, please send us an email at email@example.com with information about the “specialized education, training and experience” required in your particular area of practice.
3. FINALIZING THE NEW WAGE SCHEDULES
The new P1 – Working Professional classification salary structures are fully effective on April 1, 2024 and will be, where applicable, the current grade 2 or sole charge salary structure for the respective profession and can be seen in our wage calculator. The P2A, P2B and S1 – S4 rates have not been finalized. Your union will be meeting with the employer to finalize the salary structures for these classifications before the new system is implemented.
It’s important to remember that no matter what, your salary will not go down as a result of the transition to the new classification system.
The vast majority of HSA members will see pay increases as a result of the implementation of the new profile-based classification system.
However, there are some jobs where the salary structures will decrease under the new system. In order to protect members in these jobs, we have negotiated “green circling” for as long as they remain in the same positions. If you are “green circled” you’ll keep the same increment step pay rate and additionally receive all future general wage increases.
4. SEEKING IMPROVEMENTS THROUGH CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS
Your current collective agreement expires on March 31, 2025, shortly after the full implementation of the new profile-based classification system, which means your union will begin preparing for negotiations soon. We expect that union members will be seeking general wage increases, improvements to the salary structures of certain professions, and possibly adjustments to the new classification system as part of their bargaining objectives.
As part of preparation for bargaining, you will be invited to attend chapter meetings and draft bargaining proposals, likely starting in the second half of 2024. We encourage you to participate in this important process.
5. SUPPORT AFTER IMPLEMENTATION
While the exact date of implementation has not yet been determined, the new classification system will come into effect no later than February 28, 2025. At that point, if there are concerns about your job’s profile match, you and/or your union will be able to grieve your classification under the new profile-based system.
This is a big change that we’ve been working towards for many years, and we’re happy that the current government has finally funded it. The salary structure improvements of this new profile-based classification system will make significant contributions towards improving recruitment and retention, and helping to address shortages, workload and the overall quality and sustainability of our public health care system.
We’re pleased that this incredible amount of work and change has resulted in a classifications system that is now fairer and more equitable than it ever has been, and that will positively impact most health science professionals. However, a systemic approach for over sixty different and sometimes incredibly disparate health science professions inevitably means that there are some areas that will need further refinement. By working and bargaining together, we hope to improve these areas in future collective agreements.