Civil Service Classification Appeals Process and Grievance Process

There are two ways you can try to change your classification. One is the ‘appeal’ to a different classification, like appealing from Clerk III to Clerk IV. Or appealing from an Inspector Specialist II to III. You do this when you think your job actually should be rated as a higher classification.

The other route is when you are not grieving for a particular job, but you know that your job, its complexity, in particular, has changed a lot. That is the grievance route. To pursue this, you have to be able to describe, in writing, how your job has changed significantly. Every job changes over time, so if the changes are modest and not significant, the grievance will not have the merit to proceed.

Here are the steps for each:


Send your Appeal request to the Public Service Commission, attn. Shelly Hubley, Manager of Classification Public Service Commission, PO Box 943, Halifax NS B3J 2V9 or electronically to: Shellyjoann.hubley@novascotia.ca

At some point, your appeal will come to the top of the agenda of discussions between the Union and the Public Service Commission consultant. That will take several months because there are many older appeals already filed that are outstanding. If the consultant does not agree with your appeal, the Union decides whether or not the Union will proceed to the Classification Appeal Tribunal (see Article 43.03). The decision will be based on your input, the consultant’s findings, and largely comparable with the standards, benchmarks, and other similar jobs.

Note that the appeals are considered based on the existing classification system that is right in the Collective Agreement. Results or pay bands under the BUCR system won’t matter. If your role still does match its own benchmarks better than another set of benchmarks, then you likely won’t have success. If the Union thinks there is a good match between your group and higher benchmarks and jobs, we can go all the way to a Tribunal, which does take months to schedule, and where we may or may not prevail.


If you have good examples and documentation of how your job has changed, but you don’t think there is another classification you match, you can consider the grievance route.

  1. Gather your documentation and examples of how your job has changed, like job descriptions, performance appraisals, examples of projects, any duties downloaded on to you from Managers. The change must be significant because every job evolves somewhat over time and this is not sufficient to grieve. Write out examples of the top ways your job has become more complex and more independent and any examples of duties that have been downloaded onto you.
  2. This should be a group effort of those in the classification, yourself, and others.
  3. Raise this information with Management in a meeting that you request on the topic. Ask them whether they agree and whether they will support this request to the Public Service Commission.
  4. Advise the Union of the results of that meeting.

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