On the Radar Volume 3 Number 5

On the Radar” is an electronic news bulletin for members of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff at UBC.  It is published via email (text version) and on our website on a periodic basis throughout the year, under the guidance of the AAPS Communications Committee (Chaired by Wendy Ma).  Writing and editing by David Harvey and Karin Wills.  Layout and design by Petra Ormsby.  Web design and graphics are by Michael St. Claire. Other contributors to this issue include: Sharon Cory (AAPS), Gordon Rein (Sauder School of Business). Members wishing to make submissions please contact Karin Wills at karin.wills@ubc.ca .


In This Issue

(The hyperlinks below will aid you in jumping to the articles you would most like to read.)


Call for Volunteers for Site and Member Profiles for AAPS Annual Report

The AAPS Communication Committee is seeking volunteers from each site: UBC-Okanagan; UBC-Point Grey; Robson Square; Children’s & Women’s Hospital; Vancouver General Hospital; and St. Paul’s Hospital, for our Annual Report due out March 2008.

We are looking for volunteers to help us to draft a profile for each site, and for volunteers who are willing to be profiled individually within each site section. The first draft deadline for content is January 31, 2008 with final submissions due on February 15, 2008. If you would like to volunteer to produce the profiles for your site, or are willing to be profiled, please contact Petra Ormsby atpetra.ormsby@ubc.ca

arrow up    


Meet Your Executive Board Members

justin bonzo

Justin Bonzo is one of the newly elected Members-At-Large on the Executive Board of AAPS.

Justin joined UBC Faculty of Medicine in 2001. Justin is currently an Assessment Manager in the Division of Educational Support and Development at the Faculty of Medicine.  His work includes student and instructor assessment in several undergraduate and postgraduate areas.

In his “down” time he enjoys traveling extensively (~15 countries in the past 2 years).  His most recent trip was to Istanbul and the Aegean coast of Turkey.

“I believe that AAPS has an essential role at UBC in providing a voice for the many administrative and professional staff.  My main interest in joining the AAPS Executive Board is to help ensure that our members are heard and well represented.  I’m happy to be a new member of the Executive Board.”

arrow up    


AAPS Office Holiday Hours

The AAPS office will be closed on December 24-28, 2007 and on December 31, 2007 and January 1 st, 2008 for the holidays.

arrow up    


Holiday Tips and Greetings

With tongue firmly in cheek, following are some of the best ideas we have garnered from a number of years of previous holiday celebrations:

  1. The mere existence of turkey dinner carries with it no obligations to consume 3rd, 4th or 5th servings (seconds however …).
  2. While chocolate is the 5th of Canada’s food groups (no really!) it is best consumed in some moderation (insert own definition of “moderation”).
  3. Even though the “weather outside is frightful” getting some outdoor activity does contribute to reducing the total weight gained during “the season”.
  4. Having a designated driver really is safer.
  5. While there are often many, many things to do over the holidays, one of the best is to just slow things down and spend some quality time with friends and family.
  6. Wouldn’t it be great if we all arrived back in January well rested?!

The Executive Board and Staff of AAPS wish you all a safe and merry holiday season and best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.

arrow up    


Board of Governor Election

We extend our congratulations to AAPS Member, Anne-Marie Fenger on her election to on the Board of Governors as the Staff Representative. Anne-Marie’s term begins in the spring of 2008.

arrow up    


Member Professional Development

Professional Development Funds Update:

We are pleased to advise that a new Letter of Agreement has been signed between the University and AAPS which increases the amount of Professional Development funds available each year (Letter of Agreement #4, page 30 of the ACTE). Effective July 1, 2007, AAPS members will be eligible to participate and access funding up to a maximum of $400 per fiscal year. The previous maximum was $250. Any applications received between July 1, 2007 and December 14, 2007 will be reviewed for eligibility to receive the difference between the prior ceiling and the current $400 maximum. Any additional payment required will be processed automatically. Please remember that access to individual PD funds will continue to be on a first come, first serve basis. If funding is exhausted in any one year, employees and AAPS will be notified that no further applications will be approved during that fiscal year. Here is the agreement to amend Letter of Agreement #4.  (pdf)

 

AAPS Professional Development Events - FYI Only

Keynote Speakers and Noon Hour Learning Sessions are free and are for AAPS Members only. (Registration for each will open when a separate email is sent a couple of weeks in advance of the session. At this point in time just mark the following dates in your calendars):

Keynote Speaker

Presenter:Terry Small, B.Ed., M.A
Topic:Brain Boosting Secrets
Location:Neville Scarfe Building - 2125 Main Mall, Room 100
Date:January 30, 2008
Times:

This event will be presented twice for greater access: 9:30am-11:00am, then again at 
Noon – 1:30pm

Your brain is involved in everything you do! 90% of what we know about the brain has been learned in the last 2 years and yet most people never think much about their brains. You simply trust your brain to do its job.

Brain dysfunction is the #1 reason people fail at work, school, and in relationships. Your brain is the supercomputer that runs your life. This session has 2 bottom lines: “when your brain works right, you work right” and “everyone needs a little help”.

When you look after your brain, the results are amazing. This session will give you the tools to boost your brain power, improve your thinking, and your health. It is based on the latest cutting-edge neuroscience research. You will learn:

  • the #1 job of your brain
  • how to eat right in order to think right
  • how to get rid of negative thoughts
  • the #1 food for your brain (you probably don't eat this right now)
  • how to improve your reading skills
  • how to improve your memory
  • how to outwit Alzheimer's disease
  • the 3 things every  brain must have
  • and much more!

Terry Small is a master presenter and learning skills specialist. He has presented his ideas to over 100,000 people. His knowledge, warmth, humour and dynamic presentation style have made him a much sought-after speaker at workshops and conferences.


Noon Hour Learning Sessions

A) Personal Financial Planning

Location:Vancouver General Hospital, Paetzhold Education Centre
Date:January 16, 2008
Time:

Noon – 1:00 PM

Thomas Tsiaras, Investment Advisor; Paul Shwaikoski, Investment Specialist and Alicia Gatrill, Mutual Fund Advisor of Vancity will discuss :

  • Cash Management
  • Investment Planning
  • What are the six steps of financial planning

 

B) Home Exchange Vacations

Location:Chemical and Biological Engineering Building, 2360 East Mall Room 101
Date:January 24, 2008
Time:

Noon – 1:00 PM

Jack Graber of Homelink International will present. Every year thousands of people enjoy wonderful holidays other people only dream about. A Paris flat, a villa in Spain, or another marvellous home somewhere in Canada. And it costs them nothing, except their travel fares. They do it all by exchanging homes through Homelink International’s directories and website. You will learn about the concept of home exchange vacations, what kind of people do it, how it works, and what the service provides in terms of worldwide access, logistical guidance and technical support.

 

C) Ergonomics at Work and Home

Location:Woodward (Instructional Resources Centre) 2194 Health Sciences Mall Room 2
Date:February 07, 2008
Time:

Noon – 1:00 PM

Harro Lauprecht, Manager Health Promotion Programs, Department Health, Safety and Environment will present this informative session on Ergonomics at work and at home.

arrow up    


Workshops

Two popular courses held this past year will be offered again in February 2008.

Process Mapping –Taking Control of your Business Practices , will be offered on February 12, 2008.

Project Management Phase I , which is a two-day course will be held February 20-21, 2008.

The above courses each have space for 25 participants. Emails announcing registration details, including costs, will be sent out well in advance of each session.

If you have any questions regarding any of the AAPS PD Events please contact Karin Wills via email karin.wills@ubc.ca or phone (604) 822-1935.

arrow up    


Campus Wide Professional Development Events

Other interesting Professional Development opportunities that are available campus wide are listed on the following websites:

Sauder Executive Education Programs

UBC Employees receive a 25% discount for the two- and three-day Executive Education coursesopen link in new window (or tab) held at Robson Square. There are close to 100 events to choose from annually.

MOST Workshops

The Spring 2008 roster of MOST workshops is now open for registrationopen link in new window (or tab)

arrow up      


UBC’s People Focus Report

AAPS was asked by Lisa Castle, Associate Vice-President, Human Resources, to provide input on the recently published People Focus Reportopen link in new window (or tab)This document is intended to be the University’s Human Resources strategy for the next few years and we strongly urge members to review it, discuss it amongst their colleagues and provide HR with any input you deem appropriate.

AAPS convened a committee of members who are employed in HR capacities outside of central HR to review the Report. Those members provided us with a set of issues and comments that formed the basis of a first draft response which your Executive Board then considered. The Executive Board made its own amendments to the draft response and that reply was sent to Lisa Castle on Dec. 11, 2007.

You can review the AAPS reply.  (pdf)

arrow up    


New Income Replacement Plan Governance Structure

The AAPS Executive Board has struck a sub-committee to work with staff and our benefits consultant on developing a new approach to governing the “Income Replacement Plan”. Members of that committee include: George McLaughlin, Jess Roebuck and Justin Bonzo and they will be supported by staff members David Harvey and Sharon Cory. We will be meeting with UBC and the other employee groups early in the New Year to resolve how the plan will be governed going forward and as UBC relinquishes sole trusteeship of it. Once the new governance model is in place we want to work on redesigning the plan to produce the best benefits for our members in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.

arrow up    


Staff Pension Plan Proposed Changes

The Board that administers the UBC pension staff plan is proposing significant changes aimed at making the plan fairer for all. These changes affect all of us so we urge you to go to the website, review the proposals and provide your feedback to the pension office.

http://www.pensions.ubc.ca/staff/ open link in new window (or tab)

arrow up    


Advocacy Update

The Advocacy Committee with the assistance of staff David Harvey, Sharon Cory and Karin Wills ensures that members concerns are promptly addressed. The Committee members have invested a great deal of their own time in training to serve the needs of their fellow members.

AAPS Advocacy Issues 2007

Category of Issue

Main Article

YTD # 
of Issues Handled

YTD #
of 
Issues Resolved

YTD # 
of 
Issues Remaining

YTD # of Issues Grieved

Hours of Work

10.4/10

6

3

3

 

Workload Overtime

10/10.4

2

2

0

 

Discipline

8/8.1

2

1

1

 

Terminations Cause

8

1

 

1

1

Terminations Without Cause

9.1.9/9/9.3/9.1.2/3.1.3/9.1.8/2/6/8
6/

27

9

18

1

Terminations Probation

9.3.1/9/8

4

2

2

 

Resignation/Retirement

14.5/LOA#7

6

3

3

 

Term Appointment Ends

9.2.2/9.1

3

3

0

 

Classification

LOA#1/5.4.5/5.3

6

3

3

 

Pay

LOA #1/10/5.1.2

18

9

9

 

Bargaining Unit

 

 

 

0

 

Exclusions

FA 4.0

1

 

1

1

Discrimination - 13 Grounds

14.2/12.5.5.1/14.1

3

 

4

 

Harassment - Personal

14.1/14.2/

8

5

3

 

Work Environment

12.3/14.1/14./14.2/FA

9

2

7

 

Reorganization

9/10/14.2

3

3

0

1

Sick Leave

12.3

3

 

3

 

Leaves of Absence

12.5/12.5.8/12.3.2/12.7

5

4

1

 

Return-to-Work

12.3/

2

1

1

 

Benefits

13.5/10/13.413.3

6

2

4

 

Evaluation Post -Prob'n

6/6.3/8.1/8.6.2

9

6

3

 

Evaluation Probation

6.11/6./6.8

4

2

2

 

Appointments

9.1.11/5.5/10.1/9.1.4/5.4.1

8

4

4

 

Service

11.2

1

 

1

 

Attendance

10.3

1

 

1

 

Professional Development

12.1/12.2/13.6/LOA 4

1

1

 

 

Interpretations General

8.1/12.7/14.3.1/14.36/14.1/9.1.11

6

2

4

 

TOTAL

 

145

67

79

4

arrow up    


Arbitrations Update

1. Service Recognition of Re-hired Member

We recently received the reasons for the decision of arbitrator Bob Pekeles which granted UBC’s preliminary objection, putting this matter off into the future. Our concern was with UBC’s stated intent to reduce the service recognition of members who were laid off (terminated “without cause” under Article 9), had been on salary continuance and then re-hired into another job. The University intends to reduce such members’ service entitlements in the event they are again laid off in future by whatever number of months of salary continuance they had received during the first layoff. UBC was successful in having the matter deferred until such an event occurs apparently on the belief that service recognition is not important to employees. Should you be one of these members who has been rehired after being on salary continuance, we ask that you notify the AAPS office. We will do our best to track these situations and will be able to proceed to arbitration directly in the event one of you being laid off again.

2. Without-cause Terminations in Place of Addressing Performance Concerns

We are awaiting the decision of arbitrator Sullivan that will decide whether UBC can avoid its obligations under Articles 6 and 8 (evaluation and progressive discipline respectively) and simply dress up performance concerns as “without cause” terminations under Article 9. When the University does this it evades due process and precludes the opportunity for the member to fully understand what the employer’s concerns are. It further denies the member the opportunity to address and rectify any problems that may exist. Even in the absence of the words of our agreement we would hope that the University would provide due process to any of its employees as part of a forward thinking retention strategy. We all want to believe that we work in an environment where we are provided with honest feedback and are given a fair opportunity to address the issues that may arise during our employment. Since the arbitration in November, we are dealing with another such termination that occurred just 2 weeks ago.

We don’t yet know what the outcome of the arbitration is. However, we hope that win or lose UBC comes to understand the damage it does to the morale and engagement of its remaining employees when it treats members in such a cavalier fashion.

arrow up    

Hours of Work

As the calendar year draws to a close and individuals prepare to spend time with friends, family, travel or just relax and breathe we start to remember the all the extra time that we may have put in supporting a project or day to day workload.

The hours I speak of are not a few minutes here or the odd half hour but ongoing 2, 3, 4 hours per day or full days or evenings or weekends when you have already worked a full work week. You should never assume that these extreme extra hours are being documented for compensation.

Whenever you begin to discuss the potential or identified additional hours that may be needed to be worked in your department, ensure that you clarify how this additional time worked will be compensated. The form of compensation may vary for you personally and may depend on the department’s service needs. Article 10.4 states “The University does not expect staff to perform significant additional hours of work on a regular basis without additional compensation, time off with pay or other offsetting arrangements”. Individuals and departments may work out a variety of compensation schemes including any or a combination of: overtime pay, time off in lieu, banked compensating time off etc.

AAPS has supported numerous members who have worked excessive hours. In most of these cases the initial compensation discussions between the employee and manager had not taken place prior to the accumulation of these hours. It is important that you document the information of time worked, such as the date, number of hours, and the reason for the work. Also note the supervisor and/or the department that have requested this commitment (attach any correspondence which confirms this requirement). Follow up with the appropriate individual on a regular basis, possibly every two or three weeks with the information you have prepared. The above will confirm you have identified your commitment and requirements and it will keep the manager or supervisor aware of the payment commitments that are being incurred.

arrow up    

Sick leave and Probationary Periods

A question recently arose regarding accumulation of sick leave under Article 12.3. Sick leave accumulates during the probationary period at a rate of 1 ¼ days for each month worked. Once the probationary period is completed in a position, sick leave is granted up to six (6) months for each illness or injury. It is UBC’s position that if you change jobs and therefore begin another probationary period prior to completing your first probationary period, sick leave continues to accumulate at a rate of 1 ¼ days per month worked. In the University’s view you must complete a probationary period in one position before the six (6) months sick leave comes into effect.

arrow up    


Market Salary Surveys 2008

We have reported previously (June 2007) our request for UBC to conduct new salary surveys for our 41 job families. Prior surveys in 2000 (Mercer) and 2004 (Hay) noted significant gaps between existing salaries and the 50th percentile of the comparator market (as provided for in our agreement). However, in each case UBC declared that it did not have the ability to pay the amounts required to bring our salaries up to the 50th Percentile level. UBC did make some inroads particularly last year through the Don Munroe mediation/arbitration process at dealing with the “worst first” classifications.

The other vital step forward last year was the severing of “internal equity” from our market survey and classification process. This involved first comparing our jobs to market and then making internal comparisons between our job families. From now on when we gather market data we will simply compare our jobs within a single family to similar jobs in the external market without subsequently trying to make comparisons such as between Research Family jobs and Finance Family jobs.

The current shortage of skilled people has put serious pressure on pay structures in virtually all Canadian markets. The Coalition of BC Business has examined the need for skills and has determined that in the next 8 years (prior to 2015) the Province needs some 1 million new people in the workforce but only some 650,000 will be available assuming all graduates of all schools remain in B.C. (The complete report can be accessed online via the CBCB website: www.coalitionbcbusiness.caopen link in new window (or tab) Ensuring that our compensation package at least meets the 50th percentile of market is a key component in ensuring the University’s ability to attract and retain the best talent. We are working with UBC towards new salary surveys in the coming months for each of the 41 job families. UBC Human Resources has asked for a “place-holder” in the budget process so that there will be funds available to deal with the results of market surveys. AAPS intends to make its own budget submission on this matter based on information provided by our compensation consultants.

A Board committee which includes: Anne-Marie Fenger, Dave Rowlands, Bernice Urbaniak and George McLaughlin is working with staff members David Harvey and Karin Wills on this important matter. Members having ideas or concerns about market surveys are urged to contact the office either via e-mail: aaps@interchange.ubc.ca or via phone at 604-822-9025.

arrow up    


Safety Tips

Many AAPS members spend a lot of time at a desk, in a lab or on a computer. You are susceptible to injury in those locations most especially from repetitive strains. Here are a couple of tips you should consider.

  • UBC’s Health, Safety & Environment Ergonomics Service

HS&E employs ergonomists who can assist departments in ensuring that work stations are set up to best suit the user. They are also offering a “lunch & learn” through the AAPS PD Program early in the New Year where you will be able to learn all the basics about making your UBC and home offices safer places to work.

  • Stretchware ® For Your Computer

This really inexpensive software is based on the best-selling book “Stretching” (now in its 20th edition). For a one-time licence fee (quite reasonably priced) you acquire a little program that runs in the background on your computer. You tell it how frequently you want it to pop up on screen at which time it gives you 6 quick stretches that take no more than two or three minutes to do, either at your desk or standing beside it. You have the flexibility of choosing from an extensive menu of routines or letting the program just cycle through the list. Available from www.stretchware.com open link in new window (or tab) for $24.95 or you can try the 30-day free demo.

arrow up    


Community Announcements

These announcements are provided from UBC-related organizations where the content may be of interest to AAPS members or their departments

Quitting smoking is a powerful way to improve your health. In celebration ofNational Non Smoking Week, January 20 – 26, 2008, the Health Promotion Programs Unit (Department of Health, Safety and Environment) presents the following seminar:

Helpful tools to quit smoking

The first eight people to register for the seminar will receive a free lung functioning test at the UBC Respiratory Clinic. To register and/or to obtain posters & pamphlets for your own campaign, please contact HSE Coordinator (Health Promotion Programs), Suhail Marino at marino@hse.ubc.ca or 604.822.8762.

For information on upcoming HSE monthly health awareness campaigns and free seminarsopen link in new window (or tab)

arrow up