Job postings fertile ground for grievances

Evaluation process must be carefully designed and managed
By Gordon Sova
||Last Updated: 11/14/2007

Promotion, and the role of seniority in deciding who gets promoted, is an area of frequent disagreement between unions and management. Collective agreement clauses on job posting can be grouped along a continuum based on how much of the decision on promotion is governed by seniority and how much is the employer’s unfettered choice. The two extremes of seniority alone and management rights alone are prone to obvious abuses and are uncommon.

The majority of clauses fall under two headings: threshold clauses and competition clauses. In a threshold clause, applicants must demonstrate the ability to do the job. Of all the applicants who pass this threshold, the one with the greatest seniority is given the position. In a competition clause, seniority becomes a factor only if the two or more highest-scoring applicants are relatively equal in skill and ability.

There are several pitfalls to be aware of when posting a job.