Public Service Employees
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The CFIA is a separate agency of the Government of Canada, which allows us to establish human resources policies and programs that meet our specific needs. If you are an employee of the public service who will be joining the CFIA, or considering it, you may have questions about what it means to work for a separate agency and how this may affect you. When you join the CFIA, you will have access to most of the same benefits and entitlements that you enjoyed as an employee in the public service. For case specific information, contact your HR Advisor or, for questions concerning rates of pay and benefits, your Compensation Advisor, who will be able be able to provide you with more details.
Questions and Answers
1. How will my salary or rate of pay be calculated?
Your rate of pay will be calculated in accordance with the same promotion, demotion or transfer rules followed elsewhere in the public service. It is important to note, however, that the pay scales themselves may be different, since the CFIA undertakes its own collective bargaining separately from the Treasury Board. Visit the Rates of Pay page for more information.
2. Will my prior service count towards the accumulation of vacation leave?
Prior service in the public service will normally be counted toward the accumulation of vacation leave, except if you have accepted severance pay upon leaving that employer. However, it is important to discuss this question with your Compensation Advisor.
3. Will my unused vacation leave credits transfer with me to the CFIA?
The transfer of unused vacation leave credits may occur, assuming that vacation leave has not been liquidated.
Such a transfer is subject to the terms and conditions applicable at the CFIA. The collective agreement for the Informatics (IN) group, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) group, the Scientific and Analytical (S&A) groups and the Veterinary Medicine (VM) group all have a provision which limits the amount of annual leave an employee can transfer to a maximum of 262.50 hours.
4. What will happen to any other special leave entitlements I may have?
Any additional leave entitlements granted previously may be treated differently than annual leave.
For example, some individuals may have received a transitional one-time leave credit of 37.5 hours from their employer when marriage leave was discontinued; however, some collective agreements at the CFIA still allow for marriage leave and the one time entitlement leave would not be transferred over for employees coming in under those collective agreements.
If you have additional leave credits of any type and wish to know whether or not they may be transferred over, please contact your Compensation Advisor.
5. Can I transfer my unused sick leave credits to the CFIA?
In general, unused sick leave credits will be transferred. The transfer of sick leave from an organization in the public service to the CFIA is based on the definition of continuous employment. This is a question for your Compensation Advisor to determine.
6. Does a probationary period apply when I come to the CFIA?
A probationary period normally applies to all appointments within the CFIA. This period is one year for individuals appointed to positions in any occupational group (except the Scientific Research (SE) Group, where it is two years).
Delegated managers have the discretion to waive probation or reduce the duration of probation when it is in the best interest of the CFIA to do so and the delegated manager is confident of the competence of the individual and his/her suitability for continued employment at the CFIA. The waiving of probation or the reduced probation period must be reflected in the written offer of employment.
Delegated managers also have the discretion to reduce the duration of probation at any time after the initial offer of employment has been made. The delegated manager will advise the employee of this decision, in writing, indicating the date on which the probation period will end.
7. Are my benefits affected if I accept an appointment at the CFIA? For instance: the Public Service Superannuation Plan, the Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB), the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), the Public Service Disability Insurance Plan (DI) and the Dental Care Plan (DCP).
In general, your public service benefits will not be affected upon being appointed on a term or indeterminate basis to a position in the CFIA. The CFIA participates in all of the plans mentioned above.
Where there is no break in employment between your current position and the one you would accept at the CFIA, and you are already paying into these plans, you will continue to do so upon appointment into the CFIA. There will not be a break in coverage.
However, on movement to the CFIA, new employees should contact their Compensation Advisor to ensure there is no interruption to the benefits provided under their dental plan.
8. What collective agreements are in effect at the CFIA?
The CFIA has negotiated its own collective agreements, separate from those of other public service employers. Agency employees are represented by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).
PIPSC represents the following groups: CS, AG, BI, CH, CO, EN, ES, PG, SE, and VM.
PSAC represents the following groups: AS, CR, EG, FI, GL, GS, HP, IS, PM, PR, and SI.
Not all classification groups at the CFIA are represented. Unrepresented groups include: EX, PE, OM, PL and IM.
Visit the Collective Agreements page for more information.
9. What happens if I have recently returned from a leave without pay for which I received an allowance (e.g. maternity or parental leave) and I have not yet fulfilled the terms of my return to work agreement?
When you return from a leave without pay during which you received an allowance (e.g. Maternity or parental leave), there is an obligation to fulfill the terms of your return to work agreement. Details of this agreement are explained in your collective agreement.
If you are currently employed with a Treasury Board department, Canada Revenue Agency or Parks Canada, accepting an indeterminate position at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency may fulfill your return to work obligation. However, it is important to verify this information with your compensation advisor.
10. Will I lose the opportunity to be considered for other jobs within the public service by accepting an indeterminate appointment at the CFIA?
No, consideration for other positions in the public service will not be affected by accepting an indeterminate position with the CFIA. There are a number of staffing mechanisms available, outlined below, which allow CFIA employees to accept permanent or temporary positions in other organizations within the public service.
Some of these staffing mechanisms depend on whether an organization is considered to be part of the core public administration. The core public administration is made up of the departments named in Schedule I and IV of the Financial Administration Act.
The Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) states that employees of separate agencies, such as the CFIA, are considered to be "employees" of the public service, for the purpose of internal advertised processes. As a result, CFIA employees may be eligible to apply for positions, as long as they meet the other criteria, if any, established for the process.
Under the authority of the PSEA, the core public administration may deploy CFIA employees into their organizations, provided that the move does not result in a promotion or change in tenure (term or indeterminate).
Core public administration organizations may appoint CFIA employees to any position in their organization, in accordance with the PSEA, when:
- Permitted by their organization's policies; and
- When the employee is deemed qualified.
CFIA employees may accept temporary assignments with core public administration organizations at their substantive group and level through the Interchange Canada program. Unfortunately, acting appointments between separate agencies and the core public administration are not possible.
- If you currently meet the education requirements of your position in the core public administration through a grand-parenting clause, you should discuss your particular situation with your HR Advisor before accepting a position in the CFIA, as future opportunities back into the core public administration, in that same group, may become difficult to obtain.
- Individual circumstances may vary. Employees should always speak to their HR Advisor and Compensation Advisor prior to making any decision in order to verify
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