Reporting to a different discipline

The Report: April / May 2003 vol.24 num.2


I am a physiotherapist. I used to report to a physiotherapy supervisor, but our hospital has restructured our work so that I now report to a nurse. How are employees who report to a different discipline evaluated against the classification definitions?*

A paramedical who is required to report to an employee in a different discipline can be considered to be in charge of the work/operation of a section or sub-section of their own discipline, and will be paid at the Grade II level.*

The paramedical professional collective agreement contains a very detailed classification system that provides a career ladder for paramedical professionals, including those occupying the job families listed at pages 71 to 73. For those disciplines, there are classification provisions for Grades I through VI.

It has long been HEABC’s intent in bargaining to flatten that structure, but the PPBA has managed to keep the classification provisions intact. Nevertheless, many employers are hoping to achieve a cheaper structure through reorganization, often at the expense of, and in violation of, appropriate classifications. With increased frequency, HSA members find themselves working in departments where the only other position classified higher than Grade I is the Chief Paramedical.

A position is classified at Grade I where the paramedical professional is working under the general supervision of another paramedical of their same discipline. It is an entry-level classification.

Some employers have (explicitly) delegated positions to be responsible for the work/operation of a section/sub-section of a department, and the positions are properly classified above Grade I. However, many questions and classification disputes arise where an employer has implicitly delegated this responsibility without compensating the employee in accordance with the classification provisions.

Some employers, but not all, require their Section Heads to report directly to their Chief Paramedical. Some employers have decentralized the department and may require employees to report to a supervisor of another discipline, instead of or in addition to their same-discipline supervisor. Regardless of the reporting structure, if an employee has responsibility for the work/operation of a section or sub-section of the department, their position should be classified above Grade I.

*The Q&A appearing above in italics specifically addresses one such reporting structure. It is an excerpt from a Classification Definitions interpretation document used by HSA and HEABC.

Kathy McLennan is HSA’s Membership Services Coordinator (Classifications).