On the Radar Volume 8 Number 2

20 April 2012

“On the Radar" is an electronic news bulletin for members of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff at UBC.  It is published under the guidance of AAPS and the AAPS Communications Committee. We publish 4-5 issues per year. Submissions should be sent to aaps.pd@ubc.ca

In This Issue

AAPS Announcements

AAPS Professional Development

Featured Articles

Community Announcements


AAPS Announcements


AAPS Meets with UBC President

AAPS President Jacqueline Smit and AAPS Executive Director Michael Conlon met with University President Stephen Toope and Associate VP, Human Resources, Lisa Castle, on February 15, 2012 to discuss several trends in the employment relationship between UBC and AAPS members. In particular, AAPS raised the issue of the increase in terminations of AAPS members over the past 5 years, and the low UBC rehire rate for AAPS members who have been terminated for reasons of reorganization or financial exigency. AAPS gave a comprehensive presentation that outlined areas where UBC is out of step with comparator institutions and areas for improvement in UBC’s HR practice.

Following this meeting, Professor Toope met with the full Executive Board of AAPS. Each meeting featured a lively, respectful and cordial exchange. The University has committed to follow up with us about next steps in working together to improve UBC as a workplace for all of our members. There will be an update on this ongoing dialogue at the Spring AGM.

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2012 Bargaining Update

By Michael Conlon

The current collective agreement with the University expires on June 30 and preparations are well underway for the next round of bargaining. In addition to feedback from the bargaining roundtables, the AAPS bargaining committee will develop proposals based on key areas of our advocacy work. Job security and the implications of Article 9 will again be a key consideration in the development of this year’s proposals.

As previously outlined collective bargaining in British Columbia is circumscribed by the Public Sector Employers Council (PSEC). PSEC sets the mandate for bargaining in the province and employers are bound by the terms of PSEC’s mandate. In the previous round of bargaining PSEC set the mandate at “net zero” which meant that any wage hikes had to be paid for through offsets in existing collective agreements. Employers were expressly forbidden from paying for wage increases by looking for savings elsewhere in the organization. Both CUPE 116 and CUPE 2278 are in legal strike positions and are contemplating job action. A statement on the effect of job action on AAPS members can be found here: http://www.aaps.ubc.ca/member/news/strike-protocol-aaps-members

The new mandate for 2012 bargaining maintains a net zero position but critically allows employers to fund wage increases from savings found elsewhere. The actual mandate reads as follows:

“The key feature of the Cooperative Gains Mandate is that it provides public sector employers with the ability to negotiate modest wage increases made possible by productivity increases within existing budgets.”

The effect of this mandate is that each union and association is free to negotiate wage increases with their respective employers. Agreements covering the British Columbia Government Employees Union expired on March 31, 2012 and a first offer wage increase of 1.5% has been offered in those negotiations. The membership has been clear that after two years of zero and zero there should be a wage increase in the upcoming round of bargaining and we fully expect that to happen in our negotiations with UBC. Several UBC unions have not settled under the old net zero mandate from  2010 and appear close to strike action.

Further information about PSEC and the mandate can be found at: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/psec/

We expect to begin bargaining with UBC in early June and will keep you apprised of developments as they unfold. The AAPS bargaining team for 2012 is:

  • Michael Conlon (Chief Negotiator)
  • Isabella Losinger (Past President)
  • Adam McCluskey (Board Member at Large)
  • Jacqueline Smit (President)
  • Robert Tudhope (Second Vice President)

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Spring Annual General Meeting

As communicated to members last week, the Spring General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday April 25, 2012 in the Ponderosa Centre - Arbutus Room from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. The Agenda has important updates by the AAPS President and Executive Director, and also includes the following:

  • AAPS President Jacqueline Smit will be providing an update regarding the presentation made to President Toope in February 2012 regarding concerns about the pace and long-term effect of job turnover and job insecurity for AAPS members – and the impact these trends are having on UBC’s ability to meet its ‘Exceptional Work Environment’ commitments.
     
  • “Does Canada work for All Generations?”
    Guest speaker: Paul Kershaw, Ph.D – Associate Professor, Human Early Learning Partnership. In summary, the most recent federal budget fans the flames of generational conflict.  Dr. Kershaw will investigate trends that underpin this tension, and propose a New Deal for Families as a solution. 

Please send an email to aaps.office@ubc.ca if you plan to attend. This will assist with catering arrangements and ease registration processing. For those who cannot attend in person, there will be the option to participate via an online webcast. The webcast will enable any AAPS member to observe and participate on their computer from anywhere in the world. A link to the webcast was sent to AAPS members via email. If unable to locate the link, please contact the AAPS office.

We hope you can join us. 

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 AAPS Trivia Contest

To celebrate the 35th Anniversary of AAPS’ incorporation, we thought it would be a good time to test how well do you know the organization that represents you.  Answer the following ten trivia questions correctly by 4:30 pm on May 4th and your name will go into a draw for an eReader. The winner will be notified via email on May 9th. HINT: Visit our recently updated website at www.aaps.ubc.ca to find all the answers.

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Professional Development Fund Update

April 1, 2012 marks the start of the new 2012 -2013 funding year. Eligible staff can apply for up to $750 in funding towards professional development activities that occur during the current fiscal year (April 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013).

For the 2012-2013 funding year the following changes have been implemented to the M&P PD Fund:

  • The pilot of a new quarterly allocation of overall funds with associated submission timelines and quarterly deadline dates.
  • UBC Continuing Studies courses/certificate programs and UBC undergraduate/graduate programs taken for professional development purposes are eligible for funding.
  • The pilot of an online application and reimbursement system during 2012 – 2013 (still in development phase as of April 1 )

For details on the application process or to learn more, go to http://www.hr.ubc.ca/learning-development/funding/mp/

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Advocacy Report

The Advocacy Committee and the AAPS Member Services Officers are available to support and assist the membership in advocacy issues. If you have concerns and/or questions, please contact us and you will be assigned a representative to assist you with your situation. All information is treated confidentially. Questions which are brought forward raise AAPS' awareness of what is happening on the University's campuses, and ensure the Agreement on Conditions and Terms of Employment (ACTE) is being appropriately applied.

The following report provides a year-to-date snapshot of the work that the Advocacy Committee and Member Services Officers are engaged in. Queries represent a simple contact that typically comprises of information sharing or education such as what is found on the Advocacy FAQs on the AAPS website. Advocacy statistics represent work that requires support, action, and follow-up by a Committee Representative or a Member Services Officer. The Terminations Without Cause statistics represent the number of letters issued and received by the AAPS office, in accordance with Article 9 of the Agreement.

For the period: July 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012:

Queries

Queries
YTD

Issues

232


 

Advocacy Issues

Advocacy

Issue

Description

YTD
Issues Handled

YTD
Issues
Resolved

YTD
Issues
Remaining

Hours of Work

Time of day / Day of week

3

2

1

Investigations

Warning / Suspension

2

2

 

Terminations Cause

Gross Misconduct / Theft / Assault / Other

2

1

1

Terminations Without Cause

Unsuitability / Position Elimination / Reorganization / Budget cuts

44

38

6

Terminations Probation

Suitability / Fit

1

 

1

Resignation

Voluntary termination

2

2

 

Term Appointments

Date Moved / Notice / Pay

6

5

1

Classification & Reclassification

Job family / Grade

4

1

3

Pay

Appropriateness

4

2

2

Workload Overtime

Pay

1

 

1

Bargaining Unit

AAPS / CUPE / Faculty

1

1

 

Harassment

Personal / Bullying / Sexual / Gender

4

2

2

Health & Safety

Workplace Safety

1

 

1

Reorganization

Department or UBC Changes

1

 

1

Sick Leave

Pay / Duration / Qualifying for

5

3

2

Vacation

Accrual / Entitlement

1

 

1

Maternity/Parental Leave

Leave/SEB

3

2

1

Leaves of Absence

Unpaid leave

1

1

 

Return to Work

Accommodation

5

 

5

Performance Review

Probation / Ongoing

6

6

 

Appointments

Search / Selection / Offer Letters

15

7

8

Secondment / Temporary Promotion

Other positions

1

1

 

Other General Interpretations

 

21

6

15

TOTAL

 

134

82

52

 

Terminations Without Cause

Terminations Without Cause
YTD

Reasons

  • July: 12
  • August: 11
  • September: 8
  • October: 9
  • November: 9
  • December: 5
  • January: 8
  • February: 16
  • March: 9

Total: 87

  • Reorganization
  • Lack of Funding
  • Lack of Suitability
  • Probationary
  • Budgetary Restraint
  • Other

 

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AAPS Professional Development

To Register:

  1. Please login and register using the Professional Development Registration System using your email as your username
  2. Register in the course by selecting the checkbox
  3. Check your mailbox for confirmation

Upcoming Events   


Practical Project Management

Presented by the Berrant Group

Monday, May 7, 2012
9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Point Grey Campus
Student Union Building
Party Room
Free event for AAPS members.
Fully subscribed

Tackling today's project-focused environment requires a straightforward, down to earth approach. In the Berrant Group’s most popular program participants will learn practical, effective tools, and proven processes that will ensure projects stay on track and deliverables are achieved.

Those attending this full day workshop will learn how to:

  • Establish effective communication lines from the start;
  • Develop concise intended outcomes and deliverables;
  • Build a Project Charter that is simple, yet effective in getting projects off to the right start;
  • Recognize and prevent common Project Management problems;
  • Use criteria to determine tasks and measure the project;
  • Identify and evaluate risks and contingencies;
  • Effectively determine resource requirements; and
  • Use a Work Breakdown Structure, Gantt Chart and Network Diagram to manage a project.

Please note that due to the overwhelming interest for this event, we are currently coordinating a reoffering in July. 

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I Can Fix That!

Presented by Elaine Allison

Thursday, April 26, 2012
10:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Okanagan Campus
Arts Building
1147 Research Road [view location map]
Room: ART 103
 
Imagine how your career could grow, and your job become easier and even more exciting if you could look at your daily problems and be able to think, create and solve issues by using simple and time proven techniques.

You will learn:

1) How to see issues as opportunities that can be solved, even when you think you can’t.

2) How to resolve conflicts the moment they arise by using one simple practice.

3) How to remove negative imprinting, so you can see clearly and seek solutions.

4) A quick method to get people moving towards your ideas and exploring further options, even if they are reluctant at first.

5) A secret technique to use so you can handle issues with calm and ease, even when things don’t go as planned.

6) Why men and women typically respond to stressors differently and how to celebrate and embrace these differences.

Presenter Bio:

Elaine Allison is an international speaker and author. She has enthralled audiences from coast to coast in both the United States and Canada with her lively presentations and affable style. Her unique blend of engaging people before, during and after her programs benefits clients by getting the right action and outcomes.

Elaine began honing her insights into the differences between how we work, lead and succeed early in her career. She was one of Canada's first female prison guards in an all-male maximum security prison at the age of nineteen and had a crash course in understanding how we interact with each other and achieve, as her life virtually depended on it! She began to truly observe how we each dealt with conflict, leadership and power as we strive to make a difference in our work and personal lives.

Elaine has also taught children with behavioral problems in a special education program; managed over 1,400 unionized flight attendants handling issues at 35,000 ft. while in the airline industry; and successfully handled the day to day challenges of various large corporations as a manager and then as a senior executive. She learned how damaging some behaviors and choices can be.

Elaine's hands-on experience, real life stories and illustrations of what we encounter daily help audiences consider all their options and apply immediate solutions.

To Register:

Please login and register using the Professional Development Registration System.

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Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Presented by Russel Horwitz of Kwela

Two sessions to choose from:

Thursday, June 07, 2012 at Point Grey Campus
10:30 AM - 2:30 PM
School of Population and Public Health
2206 East Mall [view location map]
Room: SPPH 143

Thursday, June 21, 2012 at Okanagan Campus
10:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Arts Building
1147 Research Rd [view location map]
Room: ART 114

They say that “all of today’s problems were caused by yesterday’s solutions”. The modern business environment is characterized by rapid change and adaption, requiring effective problem solving at all levels. However, deficiencies in the problem-solving process can produce varying results, from “fixes” that have little effect to others that generate even bigger problems down the road or flounder though lack of stakeholder buy-in. Fortunately, there are best practices that if learned and used by key decision makers, will improve your organization for the long term.

In addition to providing the tools and locking them in through extensive exercises, the workshop is made relevant to each participant by having them use what they have learned to analyse and solve existing business problems in their own part of the organization.

Participants can expect:

  • Greater ability to think broadly about problems.
  • More effective stakeholder involvement to balance decision quality, speed and level of consensus required for the situation.
  • Greater creativity in developing ideas.
  • Fixes that are more likely to work and less likely to create other problems.

Russel is one of Kwela’s two founders and his expertise includes leadership development, team development, executive coaching, and training on a wide variety of topics. He has worked extensively as a leadership consultant / trainer since 2004 across a wide variety of sectors, including government, publically-held, private and non-profit. Russel's experience also includes fourteen years in the high technology/engineering sector, where he held management roles in product development, marketing, customer service and training. Russel holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

This is a free event for AAPS members. Interested members may register on the Professional Development Registration System.

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Past Events


Personal Tax Tips

Presented by Dayna Holland

A combination of over 150 members attended the four sessions that took place in January and February at Point Grey, Robson Square, Vancouver General Hospital area, and Okanagan campuses. Participants walked away with a better understanding of the Canadian tax system, including some tips when filing their 2011 Tax Return.

Overall feedback was positive, with members finding Dayna engaging, open to answering questions, and well-informed.

 

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The 10 Pound Shred: Get Fit – And Stay Fit!

Presented by Tommy Europe

The fitness coach that people love to hate was back at UBC on January 26 at the Point Grey campus. Over 100 members attended this high energy presentation.

Members found him to be “inspiring”, and his advice applicable to individuals who work and still want to live a healthy lifestyle. His humorous approach was widely appreciated and made for a more positive presentation with members leaving with takeaways relating to nutrition and exercise.

Tommy was available after the key note presentation to take pictures, sign autographs, and copies of his new book, “10 Pound Shred”, and to answer questions.

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New Paradigms of Retirement

Presented by Tracy Theemes

On Thursday March 22, Tracy Theemes of the Sophia Financial Group presented at the Point Grey campus. Over 60 participants had a chance to hear and learn about what are the ideas, ideals, and reality of preparing for retirement. The financial preparations are usually front and centre in our plans, but what about our emotional preparedness?

The session focussed on:

  • Productive Engagement:  The period of life where the role work plays in our lives has shifted;
  • Kilimanjaro:  Time to climb mountains, start businesses, take courses, and change the world;
  • Home is where the heart is: Characterized by less travel and increased concentration on relationships and the meaning of life; and
  • Assisted living:  Living in community with family or others.

This is what some participants had to say about the session:

“There were several good points brought forth for us to remember and plan for in retirement. Always money but also being prepared mentally and planning together with your spouse.” – Robson A.

"Tracy presented several ideas about the implications of retirement that I hadn't known about. These will help me make better choices about my retirement, and will help me guide my soon to retire staff in making more informed decisions about the timing of their retirements.” – Anthony M.

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Discover Practical Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System

Presented by Nancy Buchanan and Patty Smyth, founders of holihealth

There were two sessions: one at Point Grey (March 8) and one at the Diamond Health Care Centre for the Vancouver General Hospital and area group (March 13). Collectively over 70 members attended. This interactive presentation focused on a holistic approach to building a healthy immune system.

“It was great to learn about specific foods that strengthen the immune system – and I liked that the presenters explained why each food was beneficial.” Meg W.

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I Can Fix That!

Presented by Elaine Allison

Over 70 members attended this reoffering at the Point Grey campus on April 12. Feedback was positive with many commenting how they enjoyed the interactive elements, tips, workbook, and style of the presenter. Elaine used personal stories to illustrate her points and thoughtfully responded to comments and questions.

In addition to the upcoming session at the Okanagan campus, this session will also be reoffered at the Vancouver General Hospital area in August.
 

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Featured Articles


Understanding Your Agreement

Every edition, AAPS Member Services Officers review select terms or conditions of employment from the AAPS Agreement.

 

Luisa Liberatore and Sharon Cory are Member Services Officers at AAPS.

 


 

Article 9.1.11: Resignation

An employee may terminate his/her employment by providing one month’s written notice of resignation. An employee who provides less than one month’s notice will incur a ‘penalty’ in that the vacation entitlement for the current year will be in accordance with the Employment Standards Act, less any actual vacation taken, as opposed to what is entitled and earned as per Article 11.2 of the agreement.

Should a regular employee, who resigned, be rehired by the University within a six month period, through mutual agreement of the University and the employee, years of continuous service at the University, prior to the resignation, can be counted as service for the purposes of sick leave, vacation, and termination of employment without cause.

The AAPS office is available to discuss this and any other queries that members may have.

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Understanding the M&P Disability Benefits Plan

By Isabella Losinger, Past AAPS President, and Sharon Cory, AAPS Member Services Officer

The M&P Disability Benefits Plan (previously called the Income Replacement Plan, or IRP) is a mandatory, employee-paid plan which provides monthly income to those individuals who have become disabled through illness or injury and who meet the definition of disability. The plan provides an individual with a monthly income beyond their six months of paid sick leave, if they continue to be unable to work and have not recovered after the six month point of illness or injury.

Prior to June 2010, the M&P Disability Benefit Plan and its assets were held under the UBC umbrella plan for all employee groups.  A change to the university-wide plan was initiated in 2008 due to an identified tax violation in the reporting of funds to Revenue Canada.  The University worked with Revenue Canada to correct the situation. At this time UBC also determined that they should not continue as the trustee of the employee-paid funds.  Following a review of the assets, expenditures and liabilities of all group participants, it was decided the employee groups would determine their own course of direction.

AAPS formed a subcommittee in 2008 to review the next steps in this complex issue. It was determined that AAPS would retain a benefits expert to explore future options.  An external benefits consulting firm (Pointbreak Consulting, with principal Kevin Jeffrey) was hired to provide the level of expertise required to determine best options for the M&P membership.  When the needs were determined, a tendering process was initiated to identify the appropriate service provider.   Following an extensive review of all potential carriers through the year of 2009, the process concluded with the selection of Sun Life Financial as the identified plan carrier: based on a systematic grid of requirements and attributes, Sun Life provided the best and most cost-effective features and options.  The committee also determined that the AAPS plan would move to a fully insured plan, which meant that the insurance carrier would retain complete financial risk, rather than the members.  It was also decided that UBC would remain the plan sponsor as they were responsible for deducting the appropriate premium from the employee at source. In June 2010, the new plan was initiated.

As the M&P Disability Benefit Plan is now fully insured, a Governance Committee comprised primarily of AAPS members has been struck. The Governance Committee acts as a liaison between UBC and the Plan Members.  As a matter of convenience, CUPE 2278 (Language Instructors) and the UBC Excluded Group have also been added to the plan.  In 2011, the Governance Committee started meeting on a regular basis. The Governance Committee continues to work through some difficult issues with UBC related to last year’s renewal process. In addition the Committee is working to finalize Terms of Reference that protect AAPS members interests in the DBP plan.

Members can review the application process and pertinent documentation for disability benefits at the M&P portal of the M&P Benefits Segment on the UBC Benefits website or contact the AAPS’s office Member Services Officers for assistance.

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Strike Protocol

By Michael Conlon, AAPS Executive Director

CUPE 116 and CUPE 2278 are currently in a legal strike position. The union is required to provide 72 hours’ notice and strike action currently appears imminent. Please note that at this time it is anticipated that any strike action would be limited to the Point Grey campus.

Under Article 14.7 of the collective agreement and University Policy 64, AAPS members have the right to not cross pickets lines if they deem it to be an issue of conscience.  If you choose not to cross the picket line you must provide 36 hours’ notice to your Manager, Head, or Director. Members who choose to not cross the picket line cannot be subject to disciplinary action by the University. However, those choosing not to cross the picket line and report for work will not be paid. Any arrangement for telecommuting, flex time or vacation time should be established beforehand with your manager.

The one exception to the rights enshrined in Article 14.7 applies to those AAPS members who are deemed essential by the University. While we expect that number to be quite small in the early stages of the job action, those whose work is deemed essential must cross the picket line and report for work. The University will consult with AAPS about which positions are to be declared essential and any disputes will be referred to expedited arbitration.

For those positions deemed essential the University can compel members to work up to 60 hours per week at its discretion. However, any hours worked under this arrangement above the statutory 35 hours must be compensated on an hour for hour basis (i.e. straight time). Under this rare circumstance a Labour Relations Board “global order” prevails over the collective agreement language. However, please note that all other provisions of the collective agreement remain in force.

If your position is deemed essential or you are assigned exigent duties deemed essential and you are concerned about this designation please contact the AAPS office to arrange a confidential discussion of your situation.

Please also feel free to contact the AAPS office for any general inquiries about your rights and responsibilities during this period of labour disruption.

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Social Media: Friend or Foe

By Luisa Liberatore, AAPS Member Services Officer

During the work day, it is reasonable to assume that the employer has a right to inquire on activities that impact the employer. These include the employee’s “time and attention, use of company property, the reputation of the company, the welfare and well-being of other employees, the employer’s economic interests, compliance with company policies, loyalty and avoidance of conflict of interest, protection of trade secrets, intellectual; property and other confidential information, and job performance.”[1] But what about activities outside of work hours? How do activities outside of work hours, specifically the use of social media such as Facebook or online blogs, impact the employment relationship? While there is a presumptive interest on the part of the employee regarding right to privacy in this circumstance, their actions can potentially result in disciplinary action by the employer, even if they take place outside of normal work hours and on personal equipment.

Before an employee can argue breach of privacy, the employee must consider who is on their network and what information is being shared. Like all communication, there is an expectation of legal responsibility from the part of the employer. University policies such as Responsible Use of Information Technology Facilities and Services or Discrimination and Harassment can support disciplinary action.

Management and Professionals, as “agents” of the University, have established fiduciary responsibilities.[2] First and foremost they have a legal responsibility to UBC, as their employer, to be loyal, preserve confidentiality, respect intellectual and physical property, and to carry out the contractual obligations of their employment. In many instances, there may also be added responsibilities that come from their respective association or profession. Lastly, independent of their role as an employee or as a member of a professional association there may be other legal responsibilities to consider.

In deciding the merits of a case, a third party will ask if during the off hour activity, the employee breached confidentiality, caused damage to the employer’s reputation, caused defamation, and/or, behaved in a manner constituting harassment. This is always balanced with who the audience is and whether it was intentional or not.

This expectation is not unique to UBC. In October 2010, the BC Public Service introduced Guidelines for Conducting Citizen Engagement, Specific to Social Media. The guidelines ask two key questions when testing the content:

  • Does this content have a direct connection to my paid role?
  • Is this content something I would be comfortable saying in a public setting, such as a conference or stakeholder meeting?

If the answer to either question is “no”, then in all reasonableness it should not be communicated electronically.

Let us use the example of Jim. Jim is upset about recent changes and new management direction in his department. Frustrated Jim decides to post a derogatory comment about it on his Facebook page. Jim’s “friends” are co-workers, professional peers, family, and personal friends. Did Jim act in a manner that breached his fiduciary responsibility? The short answer to this is “yes.” Would the University have cause for disciplinary action? Again the short answer is “yes.” However, it should be noted that the degree of the disciplinary action would depend on the circumstances, UBC policies and practices, legislation, and the collective agreement. This example is not unlike a recent case in Alberta[3] where an employee was terminated due to remarks about a “toxic” work environment that was posted on her Facebook page. Ultimately that employee was reinstated as it was proved that the comment had been posted by another employee. Had this not been the case, the employer would most likely have had cause for discipline.

Ultimately, it is a balancing act between the right to privacy and what the expectations are in the employment relationship. The proper use of Facebook, LinkedIn, or other online social media is no different than the proper use of email in the workplace. Another piece to remember about social media is that you can very quickly lose control of what you post. Even if you change your mind and decide to delete your comment or picture, it can still exist in cyberspace.  As with all electronic communication, think before you type, and be aware of whom your audience is, or may be.


[1] Peter L. Biro, Social Medial and the Employment Relationship: Balancing the Employer’s Right to Regulate and the Employee’s Privacy Interest, Association of Corporate Counsel Ontario and WeirFoulds LLP(February 24, 2011), pg 1.

[2] Robert Noggle, Topic 7: Duties to the Company, Central Michigan University.

[3]Alberta Distillers Ltd. V. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1118 (Whiteside Grievance) [2009] A.G.A.A. No. 46

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Federal and Provincial Budget Update

By Michael Conlon, AAPS Executive Director

The most recent provincial and federal budgets had implications for AAPS members.

The provincial budget was not focused primarily on post-secondary education. However, there was one significant development in core funding. While the basic funding allocation for universities and colleges remained unchanged, there was reference to a 1% cut by 2014-15. The wording from the budget reads as follows:

In Advanced Education, we’re challenging the sector to reduce its spending by about one per cent by 2014-15. We’re encouraging institutions to collaborate and target reductions in discretionary costs such as travel, administration and executive overhead. The Province will work with universities, colleges and other institutions to help ensure that frontline programs are not affected. And we believe a one per cent cost reduction is very achievable.

High-quality, accessible post-secondary education continues to be a priority for this government. And — with student satisfaction rates holding steady in the range of 95 per cent — we know our province, and our education systems, are on the right track. Mr. Speaker, B.C. stands out as a leader in the country in holding the line on spending.

The exact details of this cut have yet to be worked out but when inflation is factored into the funding equation it is clear universities and colleges are already dealing with a defacto cut in funding. This point was made in a recent letter by university and college presidents submitted to the provincial government. The full letter can be seen here:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/85684384/Letter-to-Minister-Yamamoto-from-university-and-college-presidents.

Despite substantial cuts in a number of areas, the federal budget did contain some good news on the research front. The following announcements were contained in the most recent federal budget:

Other strategic investments in research include:

  • An additional $500 million over five years for the Canada Foundation for Innovation,
  • $60 million for Genome Canada to launch a new applied research competition in the area of human health, and to sustain the Science and Technology Centres until 2014–15
  • $40 million over two years to support CANARIE’s operation of Canada’s ultra-high speed research network,
  • $6.5 million over three years for a research project at McMaster University to evaluate team-based approaches to health care delivery,
  • $17 million over two years to further advance the development of alternatives to existing isotope production technologies, and
  • $10 million over two years to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research to link Canadians to global research networks.

One area of ongoing concern is that the funding provided for the indirect costs of research isn't sufficient. While enhanced federal research funding is good news for UBC, UBC incurs ‘indirect’ costs such as building maintenance and staffing costs not covered by research. These unfunded costs put increased pressure on existing departmental and faculty budgets.

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Getting to Know Your AAPS Committee Members

This issue we get to meet Adam McCluskey, Manager of Fleet and Inventory.

Q: What is your position at UBC? 

I was Facilities Manager for Building Operations although on March 12th I began a new role as Manager of Fleet and Inventory.

Q: What do you love most about working at UBC?

I love the collegial environment, the physical campus and the amount of opportunities available.

Q: What is your volunteer position at AAPS? Explain your duties/responsibilities.

I’m a member at large (second term) and I act as a voice of the membership in our planning and strategic board meetings.  I’m also the AAPS representative on the The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) committee, meaning I sit with HR, faculty and union reps to discuss this exceptional benefit and ensure it’s managed effectively.  On top of that, I’m looking forward to the upcoming bargaining sessions where I will be a part of the bargaining committee. 

Q: What are some things that you have been working on in your capacity as a volunteer?

In my preparation for the upcoming bargaining I’ve been furthering my understanding of PSEC and the relationship between our association and the province.  It should be an interesting experience as I find it’s an interesting setup where the government essentially sets a mandate on what can and cannot be bargained upon.

Q: What made you decide to volunteer for AAPS?

I had a great conversation with a co-worker (now retired) about what the AAPS board does and why one should give back to the membership.  This individual had worn dozens of hats over his 30+ year career at the University and I understood that this would be an excellent way to both give back to the association and also learn about the different people and departments across campus.

Q: What are you currently reading?

Stranger in a Strange Land, Infinite Jest, The Angel’s Game, and Getting Things Done (I’m perpetually reading the latter).

Q: When you are not at work or volunteering, what do you love to do?

Spend time with my wife and daughter…and I sneak a little rugby in as well.

Q: If you could give a piece of advice to new M&P Staff about his/her career, what would it be?

Keep your eyes open, meet as many people as possible and soak up as much as you humanly can, there are lots of ways to progress and learn at UBC.

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Community Announcements   


Breakfast with the UBC President

Throughout the year, UBC President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J. Toope, hosts breakfast events for faculty, staff and students.  These breakfasts are opportunities for discussion and conversation with your peers, the President and other university administration.  If you are interested in attending a future Breakfast with the President, please sign up at http://www.ceremonies.ubc.ca/what-we-do/breakfast-with-president-staff/.

Ceremonies & Events will contact you if a space becomes available.

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Staff and Faculty Sports Day

Calling all AAPS members! Celebrate the end of year with a little mental and physical activity on May 4 with UBC Staff and Faculty Sports Day.  A free event hosted by UBC REC and UBC Human Resources, Staff and Faculty Sports Day will allow teams of 4-6 to compete in a variety of games that challenge both body and mind.  Designed specifically to be a fun hour for staff and faculty, we hope you'll share some laughs and sweat with your colleagues. Register your team ASAP as we expect the event to sell out. 

Registration deadline is Wednesday, April 25 at 5 pm: http://rec.ubc.ca/sportsday/

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2012 UTown@UBC Community Grants Program

The UTown@UBC Community Grants program is a joint initiative with the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) that awards grants of up to $1,000 for projects that contribute to the social vibrancy of the campus community. A poster for this program can be downloaded here.  

All UTown@UBC residents — students, faculty, staff and other residents who live on campus are encouraged to apply. 

The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2012 deadline. Applications are available here: http://www.planning.ubc.ca/grants

Applications can be submitted in the following ways:

Option A: Email

Email: coco.lefoka@ubc.ca

Or

Option B: Mail or in person

Attn: UTown@UBC Community Grant Selection Committee 2210 West Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

All inquiries about the UTown@UBC Community Grant Program may be directed to: 

Coco Lefoka Community Outreach Coordinator UBC Campus and Community Planning Email: coco.lefoka@ubc.ca Telephone: (604) 822-9309

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Staff Pension Plan Fair: May 29

Mark your calendars! The SPP Pension Fair will take place on Tuesday, May 29 from 11:30 am to 1:15 pm. The fair will be held in the Arbutus Room, Ponderosa Centre, 2071 West Mall (at University Boulevard). There will be information booths, several opportunities to learn more about the SPP and retirement benefits, and representatives from Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency will be available to answer questions. No RSVP required. Visit the SPP website at www.pensions.ubc.ca/staff and watch for the May 2012 issue of theStaff Pension Plan Update for details.

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