Great career opportunities, but inconsistent pay, and some clueless "people leaders"
Manager (Employé actuel) – Calgary, AB – 10 mars 2019
The union positions have good pay and some of them have very high starting pay with only a few step levels meaning you can reach 100-107k within 2-3 years from the bottom of the range. However, in management there has been a general range freeze and also an in-range increase freeze for many years now. It means someone new could be hired in a Program Services role starting at 87k and within 3 year reach the top of their range which can be as high 100-107k. Whereas a junior Manager could start at 80k flat and be at the same pay 4 years later due to freezes.
Union positions can also have significant overtime and limited responsibilities which basically means higher pay and more opportunity for time off and things like working from home, flex days etc.
Opportunities wise, there is no such thing as a "promotion" although there can be acting roles for more senior staff. Permanent promotion means you have to apply to a different position via a competition just like anyone else, and often times they are open competitions open to the public. If you want to apply to a higher level position you simply apply to different competitions, get interviews, and eventually you will be hired somewhere (usually in a different area). It only takes a few years to go from PS level (about 3 years minimum required) to Manager, and then probably another 4-5 years or so as a Specialist (policy units) or Manager to jump to Director. This can be very different in smaller internal policy units versus larger front line service delivery units. After that there is nowhere else to really go other than lateral moves or maybe in time to an Executive Director position. Each higher classification only has a marginally higher pay range. The difference is only significant if at the bottom of each range.
The amount of stress, workload, and management really depends on the ministry, division, branch, and unit. They can be very different. And it also depends on the type of work the branch or unit does.
People who claim there are no advancement opportunities are either not applying broadly outside their work areas, or not understanding that true promotions only come from applying to competency based competitions screened by HR (again usually outside the work unit or even ministry). The only exception would be when someone was already acting and then applied to the competition for the position they have already been working in.
Low Starting Pay, Salary Freezes