1. Can anyone help me understand how the classification system works for FI positions?

    The FI classification standard is used to evaluate FI positions in all departments. The Standard rates all jobs using three factors:

    • Expertise; which includes subject matter and managerial expertise
    • Nature of Work; which considers independent action and work intricacy
    • Impact; which is where size and nature of resources are rated.

    All positions are described in a job description and evaluated to determine the classification level. Classification level is determined as follows:

    • FI 1 155-440 points
    • FI 2 441-575 points
    • FI 3 576-710 points
    • FI 4 711-1000 points
  2. Are these the same factors and point boundaries used to rate other positions in other groups?

    Not at all, each occupational group has a different classification standard, different factors and different point boundaries. As a result it is impossible to compare positions in different occupational groups using the current public service standards.
  3. Is the FI Classification Standard good for comparing one FI position with another?

    The FI Classification Standard is very limited. It is traditional in that work value is determined by the position’s place in the organizational hierarchy, the reporting relationship and the size of budget and staff supervised. This is important information about any job, but it is not the only information that should be considered. Several skills required to perform our jobs are not considered in the current FI Classification Standards. For example Modern Comptrollership activities such as risk management, performance measurement, integration of financial and non-financial data, business planning are not defined in the FI Standards.
  4. Are there examples of other factors that could be considered?

    If you remember the UCS work descriptions written some years ago, there was a lot more information about work. Things such as accountability for information used by others, for the well being of others, responsibility for compliance, contextual knowledge, in addition to financial knowledge, as well as intellectual effort were some of the UCS Factors used.When a UCS type classification standard is used to evaluate positions the results can be very different than those achieved by the current FI Standard.

    UCS was developed because the government is well aware of the inequities in the current classification system and the need for change. The extensive work that went into the development of a Universal Classification System (UCS) was an attempt to be fair.

  5. Why wasn’t UCS implemented?
    After 12 years of work and untold amounts of money and time the cost of correcting the problems of inequitable pay throughout the public service was considered too high. There just wasn’t political support and the UCS was shelved.
  6. Is it possible to have an independent classification evaluation of my position done if I file a classification grievance?
    No. There is no independent impartial review of classification decisions. Your department is responsible for the initial classification decision as well as the grievance decision. Furthermore grievance decisions are severely limited. There is no comparison with similar work, no consideration of salary levels and no investigation into Classification Standard deficiencies.
  7. Doesn’t the employer realize that something is terribly wrong here?

    Yes they do. The employer’s website talks about modernizing the classification system. The FI Group is noted for needing revision. In addition, it was most recently addressed at the most recent FMI PD Week in Ottawa by Anne Marie Sahagian, Assistant Comptroller General, that they anticipate the work to be completed in 12 to 18 months on the classification renewal.
  8. Is ACFO going to do something about this?
    Absolutely; action has already begun. The ACFO Compensation and Benefits Committee has approved a bargaining demand requesting a joint union management approach to studying the problem, collecting the necessary information and recommending changes including the development of a new approach to classification which treats everyone fairly, and considers all work being done, to decide on work value and pay.
  9. What happens next?
    The Chair of the Compensation and Benefits Committee and ACFO Negotiator met with the Treasury Board Negotiator and Compensation Analyst on November 20th and exchanged proposals.ACFO will now begin the process of reviewing the Employer’s proposals and developing a bargaining strategy in preparation for bargaining sessions in January, February and March.