On the Radar Volume 4 Number 4

“On the Radar” is an electronic news bulletin for members of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff at UBC. It is published periodically via email and on our website, under the guidance of the AAPS Communications Committee (Chaired by Jason Congdon). Writing and editing by David Harvey and Jasmin Deol. Layout and design by Petra Ormsby. Web design and graphics by Michael St. Claire. Other contributors include: Sharon Cory (AAPS), Johann Boulter, Stephanie Dunn and Nancy Hogan (Coaching Advantage). For information on contributing articles to future issues please contact:jasmin.harry@ubc.ca or call 604-822-1935.


In This Issue

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



Staff Pension Reform Update

Background

We have previously written about the changes being planned for the staff pension plan (SPP).  The changes contemplate a “flat formula” which will make the whole SPP more equitable.  In the past it appears that employees in higher wage brackets were receiving a higher percentage benefit from the plan than those in lower wage brackets.  The planned amendments will address that inherent inequity.  However, for a relatively small number of members in higher wage categories, there is no doubt that they will be paying more for the same or lower benefits.  AAPS is generally supportive of the plan to address the inequity in the SPP but is examining ways to ameliorate the effect on any of our members who would experience an adverse impact. 

Update: AAPS View & Action In Support of Our Members

Earlier this year we held a meeting with the members most adversely affected by the planned SPP changes.  At that meeting a number of options were identified.  We have written to Lisa Castle, AVP Human Resources outlining our concerns and listing the options that may be available to deal with the situation.   Any SPP changes require the approval of the Board of Governors of UBC and we hope that the administration will take these concerns into account before approving significant changes.

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Salary Surveys 2008 – Update

Update

UBC is in the final stages of selecting a consultant to perform this year’s surveys. Members who were here in 2006 will recall that part of the settlement of the “Munroe Arbitration” was agreement that salary surveys are now conducted job family by job family. That way the results from family ‘A’ do not have to be compared or integrated with the results for job family ‘B’. The outcome should therefore be much closer connection with the market for each job family.

Background

The Mercer organization conducted the 2000 survey and the Hay Group did the 2004 survey. The agreed target for our compensation plan is the 50th percentile of a representative comparator market (collective agreement Letter of Understanding #1 and the Framework Agreement section 7.4.C). The 2000 survey indicated that salaries were generally 7% to 9% below target and the 2004 survey found that salaries were generally 9% to 11% below target. The mediation and arbitration process of 2005/06 resulted in substantial improvements (nearly $7 million worth) but not complete amelioration of the situation.

It has been 4 years since our last survey and the University has undertaken to do one this year . UBC has issued the Request for Proposals (RFP) for consulting firms interested in doing the salary surveys for M&P staff for 2008. An AAPS committee is working with Human Resources on issues of concern to us in the design of the process. The UBC timeline extends into early 2009 for implementation of any changes flowing from the surveys. We will continue to keep members apprised as the process unfolds.

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Long Term Disability: Update

Background

AAPS is working with UBC and the other employee groups to find a new governance model for the LTD plan (known colloquially as IRP “Income Replacement Plan”). The plan is “self-insured” and backed up by an all-employee fund of over $35 million of which UBC has been sole trustee without any formal trust agreement. AAPS has retained a consulting firm (Pointbreak) to assist us in gathering data and evaluating four different options. These are:

  1. A self-insured plan with the other employee groups (new version of status quo)
  2. A self-insured plan with just the M&P group in it
  3. A fully or partly insured plan with the other employee groups
  4. A fully or partly insured plan with just the M&P group in it. 

Update

At this point in time AAPS has ruled out Options 2 & 3. Both our consultant and UBC’s have advised that the M&P group is a bit small to prudently “go it alone” in a self-insured plan (Option 2). The other employee groups have not indicated any interest to date in entering into an insured form of plan. A committee of AAPS Executive Board and staff members is now working with our consultant to identify the pros and cons of Options 1 & 4 in order to create a recommendation for the AAPS Executive Board and Membership. We hope to be able to have this before the members prior to our Annual General Meeting in October.

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Using Your Vehicle on UBC Business? Mileage Reimbursement

A number of our members regularly use their personal vehicles to conduct UBC business. The mileage rate for “travel” at UBC is much lower than for either the provincial or federal government employees and does not completely reimburse the employee for their costs. The Canadian Automobile Association in their annual brochure “Driving Costs” estimates the “all-in” cost of operating two typical vehicles. View the brochure.

The per kilometer cost drops with the distance driven as the ownership costs are then spread over more kilometers.

Annual Driving Costs of Chevy Cobalt LTZ 
With Gas at $0.925 per Litre

Km’s Driven

Variable Costs

Fixed Costs

Total Cost

Cost per Km

12,000

$1500

$7081

$8581

$0.715

16,000

$2000

$7081

$9081

$0.578

18,000

$2250

$7081

$9331

$0.518

24,000

$3000

$7261

$10,261

$0.428

32,000

$4000

$7501

$11,501

$0.359

AAPS has been working with UBC since 2006 to enable a change to the current “travel” mileage program. After our first presentation to the Travel Committee it was thought that a separate mileage rate was required for “regular and normal use of personal vehicle on University business”. Responsibility for developing this seems to be somewhere between the Travel Committee and HR. In any event in May we conducted a survey to determine what the extent of the problem is.

Over half of the 109 respondents regularly use their vehicle on UBC business at least once per week. The survey showed that 53 respondents accumulate over 1000 kilometers per year and for 18 people the total is over 3000 kilometers per year.

We are hoping that with this information in hand that UBC will enact a rate for “regular and normal use of personal vehicle on University business” that fully compensates our members.

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LTD (IRP) Premiums: Are Yours Being Deducted?

Recently it has come to our attention that one of our members has never had LTD (also known as the “Income Replacement Plan” or IRP) premiums deducted throughout his entire four years of employment at UBC . Enrolment in the long term disability plan is required after a 12 month qualifying period.

Under the LTD plan employees pay 100% of the premiums which are deducted “at source” i.e. from our paycheques. Providing the premiums are paid entirely by the member the benefits are not taxed in the hands of those individuals who end up going on LTD.

How to Find if Appropriate Deductions are Being Made

You can access your on-line payroll information by entering the “MyUBC” site (http://my.ubc.ca/ and note that this requires that you have campus wide login). Under the “Management

System Portal” on the main page click on the blue “Enter the Management Systems Portal” text. In the screen that comes up in the middle “MY Pay” table click “view paycheque”. This brings up a copy of your most recent paystub. You should see “Disability” at the bottom of the list under “After Tax Deductions” just below “EFAP”.

AAPS is advising all members to check their paystub to ensure that there is a deduction for “LTD”. If not, please contact AAPS immediately and we will work with you to rectify the situation.

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UBC Point Grey Health Symposium: October 15th

This year’s Health Symposium at the Point Grey Campus will be held October 15th so mark your calendars now! This is a day set aside each year for the staff to come together and take some time to ensure that we are all doing the best we can to manage our health and balance our work/family life. The event is free for employees and is held on campus.

This year AAPS is once again a supporting sponsor of this very worthwhile event. We encourage all members to schedule the day on their calendars so we all have the opportunity to learn and network with our colleagues. Past symposia have been well-attended by Management and Professional staff and have received excellent ratings from participants.

AAPS sponsorship this year is again divided between both the Point Grey symposium which occurs in the fall and the UBCO symposium which typically occurs in the New Year.

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Four AAPS Members Receive President’s Service Award for Excellence

Group photo of award recipients(L-R) Margaret Tom-Wing, Richard Moore, Patricia Rose, James Bellavance and Moya Waters 
- photo by Martin Dee

We are proud to announce that four AAPS members of the university community are being recognized for outstanding contributions to campus life and for personal achievements as recipients of the 2008 President’s Service Award for Excellence (PSAE).

This year’s awards which are recognized at Convocation in June went to:

  • James Bellavance, Facilities Manager, Land and Building Services
  • Richard Moore, Facilities Coordinator, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
  • Margaret Tom-Wing, Executive Coordinator, Faculty of Arts Deans Office
  • Moya Waters, Associate Director, Museum of Anthropology

(Note: Patricia Rose in the photo above is a CUPE member)

To read more about this year's recipients please visit:

http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/ubcreports/2008/08may01/psae.html

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Reservists Entitled to Unpaid Leave

This item is included to assist AAPS members in applying for their own leaves or in granting leaves to those in their units. The original information was drawn from a web publication of the BC Human Resources Management Association.

British Columbia reservists in the Canadian Forces now have job protection similar to maternity leave. The new provisions apply to all employers covered by the Employment Standards Act.

The provision now entitles reservists to unpaid leave while deployed on a Canadian Forces operation outside Canada. The unpaid leave would apply to primary reservists deployed for domestic emergencies or overseas missions and include their pre- and post-deployment duties. During those periods reservists are paid by the Canadian Forces.

Upon completion of the leave, employers are required to reinstate the reservists to their same position if it still exists or to a comparable position if it does not.  

During a reservist's leave, the employment is considered continuous for the purposes of the Act.  That means for the purpose of calculating entitlements such as annual vacation entitlement and termination entitlements. However, the employer is not required to make contributions to the employee's pension or benefits plans during the leave period.

In certain instances, the federal Code indicates that employees may not be entitled to reservists' leave.  This would be the case if taking the leave would adversely affect public health or safety or if it would cause undue hardship to the employer.

Employee Obligations are as follows:

  • Provide the employer with 4 weeks' written notice of the beginning and end dates of the intended leave.  If that isn't possible in the circumstances, the employee must provide as much notice as is practicable. 
  • The employee is obligated to provide the employer with notice if the deployment is either extended or will be ending early.  The Act does not establish any specific limitations on the possible duration of a reservist's leave.
  • The federal Code imposes the requirement that reservists must have been employed continuously for 6 months before becoming entitled to unpaid leave. 

These changes to the provincial and federal employment standards legislation ensure that reservists working in B.C. will, in most instances, have a job to return to upon the completion of their assignment. For employers, that is a small price to pay in thanks for such a high-risk service these dedicated individuals provide to our country.

To read more, see article:
http://www.hrvoice.org/printfriendlystory.aspx?storyid=5209

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Managing Your Petty Cash - Not a Petty Problem

AAPS Member Johann Boulter, Associate Director of Internal Audit has kindly agreed to author a series of articles to assist M&P staff in ensuring that their department’s financial practices meet the requirements of UBC’s accounting standards.  In the past we have dealt with instances where a department and its M&P leaders have encountered significant difficulties because money was not being handled or accounted for properly. 

We are indebted to Joanne for offering her advice to us.  The first article in her series deals with petty cash and your editors have titled it: “Managing Your Petty Cash – Not a Petty Problem”.

 

Best Practices

Common Mistakes/Possible Consequences

1

My department’s petty cash fund was requested from and approved by Financial Services.

Cash is held by a department without knowledge of Financial Services

2

Only one staff member has access to the petty cash fund and should ensure that it is kept in a secure location.

Cash box is kept in an unlocked drawer and ‘everyone’ knows where the key is. If cash goes missing, how do you track it down? The petty cash custodian is responsible for the cash.

3

All purchases are supported by original receipts

Without receipts, how do we know anything was purchased? If photocopied receipts are provided, how do we know if the same purchase hasn’t been claimed elsewhere?

4

The petty cash fund is not used to pay Honoraria.

If Honoraria aren’t processed through Financial Services, how will tax receipts and CRA withholdings get processed?

5

Petty cash is not used for personal loans.

Personal banking should never be mixed with university funds.

6

Petty cash should not be used to cash cheques.

What happens if the cheque is NSF?

7

Purchases are for miscellaneous non-routine purchases that are typically less than $50.

 

If large reimbursements are made, your petty cash will run out quickly. Routine purchases and travel expenses should be made with Requisitions for Payment and Travel Requisitions.

 

8

The petty cash fund should be reimbursed through a Requisition for Payment.

Revenues & petty cash expenses should never be commingled. Using cash revenues to replenish the petty cash fund is the quickest way to lose track of your department’s revenues and petty cash expenditures. Revenues should be deposited using a Deposit form. Expenses should be recorded using a Requisition for Payment.

9

The petty cash fund should be periodically counted by an independent staff member, in the presence of the petty cash custodian, to ensure that it balances.

Without a periodic independent count, many of the above problems could continue undetected.

 

10

At all times, the amount of cash plus the outstanding receipts should equal the petty cash fund balance.

 

The amount of cash plus the outstanding receipts will not equal the petty cash fund balance if one or more of the following have occurred:

  • Petty cash box is not secured (missing cash cannot be traced)
  • Purchases aren’t supported by receipts
  • Personal loans are made
  • Cheques are cashed

Cash revenues are ‘deposited’ into petty cash box

For more details, see “Cash Handling Policy” at:
http://www.universitycounsel.ubc.ca/policies/policy119.pdf

If you have any additional questions, please contact Financial Services or Internal Audit.

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The Coaching Advantage

by Erna Hagge, CEC

Whenever I wander on to one of our many campuses and meet with new people, I am surprised that they are not familiar with our UBC Coaching Services. It appears to be one of the best kept secrets we have; also a secret it is not. Did you know that this service is a one of a kind in the world? That we have won two awards for it and, that research shows coaching is the most effective tool for professional and personal development?

Here are a few quotes form UBC staff and faculty who have worked with a coach:

“I am now able to adapt and I am not feeling as overwhelmed as before.” 

“It has given a better sense of how to introduce major change into an organization and how to manage major change. As academics, we don’t often get any training in those things.” 

“It allowed me to develop a process that was well thought out, that I could be confident was appropriate, and then to handle the very difficult task in a humane, thoughtful, and constructive manner.” 

“This has given me clear career direction and the confidence to go where I never thought possible.” 

“I think coaching is unique. You can’t read about it in a book or in a manual. It is far more personalized and each situation is different.”

“What the coaching forced me to do was to sit down and figure out how I’m going to deal with this huge thing that I keep putting aside.” 

“I have learned many things about communication styles and how different approaches work best with different people.” 

“At the end of my coaching I felt far more organized both in terms of how I structure my office environment as well as where my path will take me and what I need to get there.” 

“What it improved was my enthusiasm for my job…when you feel engaged, your performance is better. You’re enthused. You get much more fired up about all aspects of your job. You are able to perform better, absolutely.” 

“I am not as stressed as I was previously.” 

“It really gave me the confidence to speak up.” 

“I experienced tremendous personal growth and renewed self-confidence.”

“I learned the importance of dealing with issues and staff in a professional manner and to not take things personally.” “I recommend it to anyone in a management position who is interested in developing their own skills or who is faced with making a change.”

“This is the engine that will drive us to those places we want to go.”

Have questions? Contact Erna Hagge in Coaching.

Erna Hagge is Lead of UBC's award-winning Coaching Program, which offers one-on-one Executive and Life coaching services with a professional coach, team coaching and skill development in coaching. Services are offered to UBC faculty and staff, businesses, and organizations.

For more information about UBC's Coaching program, visit:
http://www.hr.ubc.ca/odl/coaching/

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Community Announcements

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: HOW DO THE TYPES OF FAT IN YOUR DIET AFFECT YOUR HEALTH?

A new study at the Child & Family Research Institute is recruiting 300 Vancouver women in an effort to determine whether the types of fats in today’s typical diet, such as omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils, put women at higher risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. If you are a healthy woman aged 50 to 65 years, you may be eligible to participate. Participants will receive a “health report card” with the results of their blood test, a $10 gift card and a chance to win a gourmet gift basket. Please contact Mohammad Abdullah, study coordinator and PhD candidate at CFRI and UBC, at 604-875-2492.

Background:

The Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) conducts discovery research, clinical investigation, and applied health research to benefit the health of children and families. It is the largest research institute of its kind in Western Canada. CFRI works in close partnership with BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, and BC Mental Health & Addiction Services, agencies of the Provincial Health Services Authority; BC Children’s Hospital Foundation; the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. For more information, visit:http://www.cfri.ca.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Stephanie Dunn, Communications Specialist, Child & Family Research Institute
Telephone: 604-875-3885 email: sdunn@cw.bc.ca


JOIN HPP’S FREE LUNCH TIME WALKING GROUP

Multiple health benefits can come from just 30 minutes of brisk walking. Lunch time is the perfect time to get out for some fresh air and a walk around campus. Please join us for our 30 minute power lunch walks Tuesdays and Fridays (rain or shine) starting July 11th and ending August 29th.

Title: "The Key to Health: Make use of every opportunity!”  

Date: July 11th - August 29th (Tuesdays and Fridays), 12:10 - 12:40pm. Please note: the club will not be walking on July 15th, August 1st and August 26th.

Location: Meet outside GSAB (the main / front doors facing West). Group leaves GSAB at 12:10 sharp.

Description : Take time to enjoy our beautiful Point Grey campus while you learn walking and breathing techniques.

Group leader: Members of the Health Promotion Programs team.

Please register by 10 am on walk days. Contact HSE Coordinator (Health Promotion Programs), Suhail Marino at marino@hse.ubc.ca  or 604.822.8762. Your email should include your contact information and your employee group.


ATTEND A FREE SEMINAR ON SUN SAFETY

Summer is finally here and that means we have to be sun smart while we enjoy outside activities. Come and learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from sun damage from our own UBC expert.  At this seminar myths about tanning beds and sun exposure will be busted!

Title: "Dermatoheliosis - What the Sun Does to Your Skin and What We Can Do to Prevent It." 
Date: July 24th, 12 - 1 pm. 
Location: TBD.

Description: After this session you will

  • understand how ultraviolet light damages the skin
  • recognize the skin changes induced by UV radiation
  • know what precautions to take to limit and prevent UV damage
  • know the risk factors for the development of skin cancer
  • recognize the early signs of skin cancer

Instructor: Dr. Eileen Murray.

To register for this free seminar, please contact HSE Coordinator (Health Promotion Programs), Suhail Marino at marino@hse.ubc.ca  or 604.822.8762. Your email should include your contact information and your employee group.

For more information, see: Health Promotion Initiative events at UBC.


REGISTER FOR BODYWORKS FITNESS CENTRE

This is the latest in group fitness training for people of ALL skill levels. This is a quick and easy, no-fuss fitness program for UBC Faculty/Staff and Members of the Community.

Add a variety to your exercise routine with instructor-led aerobic (Spin-indoor cycling) and resistance training (Functional conditioning) classes.

It doesn’t get easier than that! Meet our friendly and knowledgeable staff to day!

Fall Registration Begins: July 28, 2008 and ends September 4, 2008.

For more information please visit: www.hkin.educ.ubc.ca/fitness

 

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