Making an application to the Public Service Arbitrator for reclassification
To make an application to have your salary, classification level or position title reviewed by the Public Service Arbitrator, you must file a Form 8A - Application for Reclassification - Government Officers.
Prior to lodging the application, you (or your union) should ensure you have first made a request for reclassification directly to your employer. You should have had the opportunity to consider your employer's reasons for rejecting your application for reclassification before proceeding to lodge your application for review with the Arbitrator. Reclassification applications must be substantiated by evidence of a significant net addition to the work value of the position that is not related to work value used for any previous reclassification of the position.
Formal notification generally requires you to submit your complete case, including all supporting evidence, rather than simply raising the issue with your employer and providing supporting documentation later. There is no time limit for claims for reclassification, however, a claim should be pursued within a reasonable time after the employer's decision.
After you file the Form 8A, the Registrar will serve a copy of the notice of application on each of the parties, other than the applicant.
Applications for review made to the Public Service Arbitrator will be listed for a conference. If there is no agreement, the parties will usually engage in discovery on an informal basis, and the matter will proceed to hearing where the Arbitrator will make a binding decision on the matter.
If your claim is successful, the operative date of the reclassification of your position will be the date you or your union formally notified the employer you were seeking reclassification.
What constitutes an increase in work value?
In claims for reclassification, work value is determined based on the requirements of the position, not the personal qualities, qualifications, attributes, or diligence of the individual who happens to occupy the position at a given time. For the position to warrant an increase in classification level on the basis of increased work value, the employee needs to demonstrate that since the position was last reviewed:
- the work;
- responsibility of the position; or
- the conditions under which the work is performed,
have changed, AND that such change constitutes a significant net addition to work value to warrant upgrading to a higher classification. A change may occur subtly or gradually, but on examination prove to be significant.
The work value test is set out in Schedule 2, principle 7 of the State Wage Order which can be downloaded here. You should check with the Commission’s Registry to make sure you have the most recent version as the State Wage Order is revised every year.
What is not an increase in work value?
Applications for reclassification are decided on a case by case basis, however, there have been instances where certain reasons proposed for increase in work value were rejected by the Arbitrator. Please note that this is only a guide and not an absolute, determinative tool. This information applies only to Public Service Officers defined by Part 3 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (WA).
In certain cases, the Arbitrator decided the following situations did not mean an increase in work value: