RE: Important Update - Joint Job Evaluation

In the late 1990s, CUPE, SEIU, SGEU and SAHO, through a joint job evaluation project, agreed to develop and implement a sustainable plan using the principles of Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value and Pay Equity.

Minimum qualifications were determined and the skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions evaluated for all jobs in the organization. The Job Evaluation Plan can be downloaded at the bottom of the following web page:

Once the process of joint job evaluation was completed a Maintenance Plan was developed. This is described in Letter of Understanding #27 (p.159) of the collective agreement. Through this maintenance plan jobs are periodically reviewed as per the job evaluation plan. The Job Evaluation Plan evaluates jobs using four factors: skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions. Each of the factors is divided into sub-factors. Sub-factors include education, experience, supervision, physical demand and so on. The Joint Job Evaluation Maintenance Committee (JJEMC) is bound by the plan and the rating notes in the plan. Jobs are rated and ranked by comparing the specific requirements of the job to the sub-factor definition, guidelines and explanations and notes to raters. Incumbents in the reviewed jobs also provide information in the form of submissions which are used by the committee.

As per the LOU, the JJEMC endeavours to review 20% to 25% of all jobs each year. These are called “provincial reviews.” Recently, we have seen a number of these reviews result in decreases in pay bands primarily due to a reduction in the education hours which impacts the skill rating factor. This has occurred in a variety of positions including clerical support and technicians and technologists. Educational institutions are reducing the number of hours required to obtain a certificate, diploma, degree, etc. The “degree” that the JJEMC can assign to the education factor is related to the education required and the course hours involved. As a result, we have seen the pay bands for a number of jobs lowered simply because an educational institutional has reduced the number of course hours involved with obtaining a certificate, diploma or degree. The JJE plan doesn’t have enough flexibility here to allow the JJEMC to overlook these external changes.

These decreases are very concerning to CUPE. CUPE (together with our coalition partners SEIU and SGEU) has submitted a proposal at the bargaining table asking for a review of the education factor analysis and factor ratings. This proposal is to amend the JJE plan so that the education factor and associated factor ratings reflect the true and ultimate value of the education of the health care members.
The following language protects members by maintaining their wage rate in the face of a downgraded wage band through the Maintenance Plan:

Article 20 – Creation of New Classifications or Changes to Existing Classifications
Where the rate of pay for an existing classification is adjusted downward by the Maintenance Committee, the incumbent(s) shall retain their current rate of pay and shall not receive any negotiated wage increases until such time as the pay equity rate of pay for that classification equals or surpasses the incumbent(s) current rate of pay. New hires to the classification shall be paid at the pay equity rate of pay for that classification.

We will continue to address this issue at the bargaining table and keep members informed of our progress.

In Solidarity,

Sandra Seitz
President, CUPE Health Care Council