About this directive

HR Directive No. 06/2023
Reference to applicable legislation (act or regulation): Part 1, Section 12, Public Service Act
Part 5, Sections 24 to 27, Public Service Employment Regulation (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Application: All employees appointed or employed pursuant to the Public Service Act within a department, as defined in sections 1(b)(i) and 1(b)(ii) of the Public Service Act.
Last updated: March 2023
Last reviewed: March 2023
Amended by: Alberta Public Service Commission:
Strategic Services and Public Agency Secretariat, Workforce Policy, Compensation and Job Evaluation Policy

Purpose

To provide clarity and transparency on the classification appeal boards and processes for Alberta Public Service (APS) employees appealing a classification decision.

Overview

The directive describes the 2 levels of classification appeal available to employees and related processes.

This directive also outlines the establishment and composition of the classification appeal boards:

  • Classification Appeal Board
    • Hears classification appeals for bargaining unit, opted out and excluded, and position exempt employees appealing their classification within the Point Rating Evaluation Plan (PREP).
  • Management Job Evaluation Appeal Board
    • Hears classification appeals for employees within the Management Job Evaluation Plan (MJEP) and appleaing classification decisions into MJEP from PREP.

Definition of terms

Disclaimer: If there are any discrepancies in how the terms are defined below and the Public Service Act and Public Service Employment Regulation (PDF, 1.1 MB), the act and regulation supersede.

Bargaining unit: employees under the Public Service Act designated to be represented by a trade union as the certified bargaining agent, as defined by the Public Service Employee Relations Act.

Benchmarks: are jobs representative of types and levels of work in the APS, at a point in time. Benchmarks are the official comparators used in the classification process and provide a reference point against which all other jobs are measured.

Classification: distinct kind (stream of work) and level of work (level 1, 2, 3) allocated to a position based on the nature of work, responsibilities, scope and complexity.

Dimensions: dimensions are sub-elements of factors used in evaluating positions. For example, the Knowledge factor in PREP is sub-divided into the following dimensions: Content Knowledge, Complexity and Diversity, and Human Relations Skills. The dimensions are assigned a point value, the total of which is the point value of the factor.

Factors: factors are common attributes of a job (such as knowledge, creativity/problem solving, and responsibility) that are assigned a point value based on their pre-determined value to the APS.

Management: employees appointed to a position in the MJEP, and paid in accordance with Schedule 2, Management Official Pay Plan within the Public Service Employment Regulation.

Management Job Evaluation Plan (MJEP): the management classification plan based on a modified Korn Ferry Hay Group job evaluation plan using a factor comparison and point rating methodology that measures attributes of the job, such as know-how, problem solving and accountability.

Non-management: includes employees in bargaining unit, position exempt, and opted out and excluded employment groups.

Non-union: includes employees in management, position exempt, and opted out and excluded employment groups.

Opted out and excluded: employees in a classification not included in the bargaining unit, who are appointed to a position in the PREP, and paid in accordance with Schedule 1, Part 1-A, Part 2-A and Part 2-B of the Opted Out and Excluded Official Pay Plan in the Public Service Employment Regulation.

Pay zone: an established boundary, within a pay band, for the Manager (Manager Zone 1, Manager Zone 2) and Senior Manager (Senior Manager Zone 1, Senior Manager Zone 2) classifications.

Point Rating Evaluation Plan (PREP): The non-management classification plan based on a modified Korn Ferry Hay Group job evaluation plan using a factor comparison and point rating methodology that measures attributes of the job, such as knowledge, creativity/problem solving and responsibility.

Position exempt: employees in a bargaining unit classification who are excluded from the union in accordance with Part 3, Division 3, Section 12 of the Public Service Employee Relations Act.

Work day: any day on which employees are expected to be at their place of employment.

Classification appeal process

The Classification Process, Effective Dates and Over-Classified Positions Directive establishes the classification process and timelines associated with rendering a classification decision to an employee. The employee may access the classification appeal process if they do not agree with the classification decision of their position.

If the employee leaves the position for another position within the APS during the appeal process, they are still eligible to participate in the classification appeal of their former position. If the employee resigns from the APS during the appeal process, they are no longer eligible to participate in the appeal process. Classification decisions for vacant positions are not eligible to be appealed.

There are 2 levels of appeal as described below that are applicable to both management and non-management employees..

First level

If an employee does not agree with the position classification decision, they may appeal within 5 work days of receiving written notice of the classification decision by emailing their intent to appeal to [email protected].

The Director, Classification and Compensation Delivery Services (Director) is accountable for the first level of appeal (referenced as departmental appeal in the Collective Agreement). When an appeal is received, the Director will:

  • Establish and direct a panel to undertake a review of the job classification. The panel consists of:
    • a Classification Team Lead as chair
    • 2 Employer representatives with classification knowledge
  • Ensure panel members have not been involved in the original classification decision to avoid potential conflict of interest.
  • Direct a Classification Consultant to advise the employee of the first level appeal process and coordinate the appeal meeting. Upon request, the Classification Consultant will provide additional information and education on the classification system.

The first level appeal is an informal meeting with the employee, group of employees or a designated spokesperson to clarify position information that is relevant to the classification of the position.

The review panel will consider the information provided, and make a recommendation on the appropriate classification (stream and level) and allocation of points to the Director. The panel may recommend changes to stream allocation, classification factors or dimensions. These changes may or may not impact the classification level. The Director will issue their written decision within 20 work days of the request, unless the parties agree to an extension.

Second level (appeal boards)

The first level classification appeal must occur prior to proceeding to an appeal board.

An employee or a group of employees may appeal the classification decision to an appeal board in writing, on the applicable appeal form, within 15 work days after receiving the first level classification appeal decision in writing. The Chair of the Appeal Board may extend the timeline within which an appeal must be filed, in cases of extenuating circumstances, at the request of the employee.

An employee may appeal if the:

  • employee does not agree with the first level appeal classification decision, and
  • classification requested is a higher classification than the classification decision

Note: Movement between management pay zones (for example: Manager 1 to Manager 2, and Senior Manager 1 to Senior Manager 2) cannot be appealed.

The appeal information in the form must specify the classification requested and address the factor(s), including dimension(s), which the employee believes have been inappropriately evaluated.

Classification Appeal Board (non-management) form:

Management Job Evaluation Appeal Board form:

The request to appeal must be submitted in writing to the appropriate appeal board:

Email: [email protected]

or

c/o Classification Appeal Board, or
c/o Management Job Evaluation Appeal Board
6th Floor, Peace Hills Trust Tower
10011 109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3S8

The Appeal Board will advise the employee or group of employees appealing of procedural matters, and the information required for submission and presentation of the appeal to the Board. Management, opted out and excluded, and position exempt employees can request classification appeal support from Public Service Commission’s Classification Delivery Services (CDS). Bargaining unit employees have access to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (union) for classification appeal support.

The employee or group of employees and delegate of CDS are required to submit information to the relevant appeal board at least 10 work days prior to the appeal hearing date.

At the classification appeal hearing, the parties (employee or designated spokesperson and delegate of CDS) will have the opportunity to present their rationale and answer the board’s questions.

In reaching its decision, the Appeal Board will consider:

In reaching its decision, the Appeal Board will not consider:

  • making a decision regarding positions which are not under appeal
  • new responsibilities assigned to the position since the classification decision
  • the employee's qualifications, except that the Board will not grant the reclassification of a position when the employee does not meet the mandatory qualifications or minimum recruitment standards of the position
  • comparators which are not on the cross-APS benchmark listing
  • compensation issues
  • revising or establishing new classifications
  • altering the assignment of points of cross-APS benchmarks
  • altering the government classification plan guide charts
  • the assignment of the position to a non-management classification if the management appeal is denied

The Appeal Boards will grant or deny the appeal as submitted and will issue a written decision within 10 work days of the appeal hearing, unless the parties agree to an extension.

Effective date

The effective date of the classification appeal decision will be set according to the Classification Process, Effective Dates and Over-Classified Positions Directive.

Classification Appeal Boards

The Minister responsible for the Public Service Act establishes one or more classification appeal boards. These are internal boards to the APS and are not established pursuant to Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act (APAGA). The boards operate independently and use consensus decision making when hearing classification appeals.

Classification Appeal Board

This Classification Appeal Board hears appeals from bargaining unit (see Collective Agreement), opted out and excluded, and position exempt employees appealing their classification within the PREP. Pursuant to the establishment of the board, the Minister appoints one or more Chairs, maintains a list of eligible members (employer and Union representatives) to participate in classification appeal hearings, and prescribes their remuneration, if applicable.

The Public Service Commission nominates one or more non-union APS employees as employer representatives and Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (union) nominates one or more union employees as representatives. Nominees are then considered, by the Minister, for board appointment.

  • Bargaining unit

    Appeals to a bargaining unit classification will be heard by a Classification Appeal Board comprised of the Chair, one member selected by CDS, and one member selected by the union.

  • Opted out and excluded, and position exempt

    Appeals to an opted out and excluded or position exempt classification will be heard by a Classification Appeal Board comprised of the Chair and 2 employer members selected by CDS.

To avoid a potential conflict of interest, employer members do not hear an appeal from the ministry in which they work.

Classification Appeal Board decisions are final and binding on the employee and employer. The board may also provide observations and recommendations to the Public Service Commissioner (Commissioner) regarding the appeal process, or use of the classification plans and related benchmarks.

Management Job Evaluation Appeal Board

The Management Job Evaluation Appeal Board (MJEAB) hears appeals from employees appealing their classification within MJEP (for example: Manager to Senior Manager) and into MJEP from PREP (for example: an employee in a position classified in non-management requesting a management classification). Pursuant to the establishment of the board, the Minister appoints one Chair and maintains a list of eligible members (employer representatives) to participate in classification appeal hearings. The hearing board will consist of one chair and 2 members.

MJEAB decisions are final and binding on the employee and employer, except in the case of appeal into MJEP from PREP where the board makes a recommendation to the Commissioner. In these unique circumstances, where MJEAB must consider 2 classification plans with different scopes, the Commissioner makes the final and binding decision.

Resources

Appeal forms for classification designated officer:

Classification Appeal Board (non-management) form:

Management Job Evaluation Appeal Board form: