On the Radar Volume 8 Number 3

June 21, 2012

Photo submitted by Manmeet Dhalliwal
 

“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

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AAPS Announcements
 



Board Elections

AAPS is a member driven organization and its board is comprised entirely of volunteers from the AAPS membership.  We strongly encourage you to consider running for one of these rewarding positions at the upcoming election in the fall of 2012. In the next issue of On the Radar, nomination information will be available if you are interested in running. You can also contact members of the Executive Board if you wish to learn more. 

Nominees will be sought for the following positions and terms:

Two year terms for:

  • President
  • First Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • 1 Member-at-large

One year terms for:

  • Second Vice-President
  • Treasurer
  • 5 Members-at-large

Please note at the Annual General Meeting of October 27, 2011 the membership approved a motion to amend the by-laws affecting board terms.

Article IV. 3 now reads:

The Executive Board, except for the Immediate Past President and the Chair of the Advocacy Committee, shall be elected at or before the Annual General Meeting during the month of October and shall take office at the close of the meeting.

The Executive Board, except for the Immediate Past President, the Chair of the Advocacy Committee, and three of the six Members at Large shall be elected for a two year term. The remaining three Members at Large shall be elected for a one year term.

The President, 1st Vice-President, Secretary, and one Member at Large shall be elected on even years.

The 2nd Vice-President, Treasurer, and two Members at Large shall be elected on odd years.

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Trivia Contest Winner

Congratulations to Jacquelyn Brinkman who won the AAPS Trivia Contest. Her prize was a Kobo eReader.

The correct answers to the trivia questions were:

1.  What month and year was AAPS founded?
AAPS was founded in October 1977

2. What is one of AAPS’ core lines of service to its members?
What AAPS does: Advocacy, Negotiations, or Professional Development.

3. When does the current collective agreement expire?
The current agreement between UBC and AAPS expires June 30, 2012.

4. Name one of AAPS’ committees.
The following are a list of AAPS Committees: Advocacy, Communications, Bargaining, and Nominations.

5. Name a University committee that AAPS has a representative on.
The following are University committees that AAPS has a representative on: The Employee and Family Assistance Program, President's Advisory Committee on Equity, Discrimination and Harassment, The University Health and Safety Committee, Return to Work Committee, and Board of Governors.

6. What is the name of the AAPS eNewsletter?
On the Radar is the electronic newsletter.

7. In what month does the Annual Report usually come out?
The Annual Report typically is distributed in October.

8. What month is the Spring General Meeting held?
The Spring General Meeting is held during the last week of April on an annual basis.

9. What official social media site has an AAPS Group?
An AAPS Group was started on LinkedIn.

10.  What building on Point Grey campus is AAPS located in?
AAPS is located in the TEF III Building at 6190 Agronomy Road.

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Spring General Meeting Highlights

The Spring General meeting of April 25, 2012 opened with AAPS President, Jacqueline Smit acknowledging Worker’s Memorial Day on April 28 and Administrative Professional Day on April 25.  After approving the agenda, guest speaker, Dr. Paul Kershaw, gave an engaging speech posing the question, “Does Canada still work for all Generations?”  This was followed by an update from the AAPS President who reported on the strategic work that took place at the AAPS Board retreat which was held on February 1.  There were two major outcomes:

  • The formation of a new subcommittee of the board called the Member Engagement Committee (watch for upcoming plans to celebrate AAPS’ 35 years since being established).
  • The meeting that the AAPS President and AAPS Executive Director had with UBC President Stephen Toope and UBC Associate VP, Human Resources Lisa Castle on February 15.  The discussion focused on the increasing trend in without cause terminations.  The update included highlights from the University’s response letter and steps the Board intends to take in the coming months.   

Michael Conlon then presented his Executive Director’s report which included updates on advocacy, the market survey, communications/website update, and collective bargaining.  Although dealing with terminations is a big part of the advocacy work, he described some the myriad of workplace issues that members come forward with.  He also strongly reminded members of the very confidential nature of any incoming advocacy issues and that AAPS is here for the member’s interest only.  After a brief synopsis on the history of AAPS’ fight to ensure that members are paid at the 50th percentile, he informed the group that while a third market survey has been completed, unfortunately there has yet to be any news on the results and the University’s next steps.  Michael then shared information on the communications/website portfolio.  He reminded attendees that in response to a member driven motion at a previous spring general meeting to have a member-to-member communications vehicle, members can now, via the AAPS website, join a LinkedIn Group that is for AAPS members only.  To round off his report, he advised on the current bargaining climate, and that the bargaining committee is currently working on a final mandate.  He then announced the bargaining committee members. 

The meeting closed with the Financial Report.   Earlier this year the AAPS Finance Committee was revamped with the addition of three new AAPS members – all senior financial professionals at the University.  In addition to these members, the AAPS President and Treasurer also sit on the finance committee.  In order to address the forecasted surplus for the current year’s budget, the Committee proposed a two month dues holiday.  With the support of the AAPS Executive Board, the motion was presented and passed unanimously.  Therefore, for the months of May and June 2012, there will be no dues deducted from members’ pay.  Next was the presentation of the proposed 2012-2013 Budget (July 1- June 30), as presented with the meeting notice, which included a one month dues holiday built into the budget (to be set up for the month of December 2012).  After discussions, the budget was passed unanimously. It was also noted that the Finance Committee will be doing a strategic review of the current dues level in the coming year.  

The Annual General Meeting will take place on October 31, 2012.

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Call for Communications Committee Volunteers

AAPS is currently seeking volunteers for the Communications Committee.  This committee provides advice and guidance on communications to the Association such as On the Radar and the Annual Report. We are looking for volunteers with a background or interest in communications to be in a position to provide strategic advice.

Interested? Forward your application to the AAPS Office along with a brief description on how you can contribute to the committee.

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Bargaining Update

By Michael Conlon

The current collective agreement between AAPS and the University expires on June 30, 2012. Negotiations for a new agreement started June 13 and will continue through July.

While we hope to strike a deal with the University in a timely fashion, these are likely to be more complex negotiations than the last round.  Unlike the last round of negotiations, the University will be in a position to fund wage increases internally as a result of the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate from the Public Sector Employers’ Council (PSEC).  After a two year agreement at “net zero”, compensation will be a key element of bargaining in this round. In addition to issues of salary/compensation, we have also prepared proposals on Professional Development, Sick Leave and Article 9. The latter is in response to the alarming increase in terminations over the past several years. We will be focusing on the very low rehire rate of employees terminated without cause as well as tying the right to terminate for fit/suitability to a transparent process of performance management.

The University’s bargaining team for this round is as follows:

  • George Athans
  • Alex Bayne
  • Kristin Cacchioni
  • Lindi Frost (Chief Negotiator)
  • Susanne Schmiesing
  • Dennis Silva

The AAPS Bargaining Team for this round is as follows:

  • Michael Conlon (Chief Negotiator)
  • Isabella Losinger
  • Adam McCluskey
  • Jacqueline Smit
  • Robert Tudhope

All provisions of the current agreement will remain in place until a new deal is struck. Any provisions negotiated in this deal would be retroactive to July 1, 2012. Once a deal is struck, we will communicate the highlights of the deal and there will be a ratification vote open to all members.

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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 typically comprise 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 May 31, 2012:

Advocacy Related Queries YTD: 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: 17
  • March: 9
  • April: 9
  • May: 10

        Total: 107

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

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AAPS Professional Development

AAPS provides several professional development (PD) opportunities to its members across the province throughout the year.

We offer a variety of topics which fall generally into the categories of: Professional Skills, Personal Development and General Interest. Formats range from intensive small group seminars to large audience presentations depending upon the content.

Do you have an idea for a PD event? You can submit a proposal to us.

Are you new to our PD events? You can check out the PD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
 



I Can Fix That!

Presented by Elaine Allison

Monday, August 13, 2012
10:30 AM - 2:00 PM
VGH & Area
Diamond Health Care Centre
2775 Laurel St  [map]
9th Floor Room: DHCC9299

To Register:
Please login and register using the Professional Development Registration System.

 

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Practical Project Management

Presented by the Berrant Group on Monday, May 7, 2012 at the Point Grey Campus

Back due to demand this full day workshop was attended by over 90 members. As there is still a large interest by the membership, there will be a reoffering of the session on July 6, 2012.


 

 

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New Paradigms of Retirement

Presented by Tracy Theemes of the Sophia Financial Group  on June 13, 2012 the Point Grey campus

This is the second time this year that Tracy has had an opportunity to speak. To date over 115 participants had a chance to hear and learn about what are the ideas, ideals, and reality of preparing for retirement.

The session focused 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.

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Escape the Balancing Act

 

 

Presented by Lisa Martin on June 14, 2012 at the Point Grey Campus.

Members attending this event learned to master their energy and time, avoid burnout, prioritize their tasks and projects and align their leadership skills with their career/life goals to shift from the endless battle of balancing their home and workplaces to the more natural and effective approach of orchestrating harmony in their many roles and responsibilities.
 

This interactive session allowed participants to benefit from:

  • Evaluating their career-life harmony using proprietary assessments.
  • Learning how to make themselves a priority so they can improve their return on their effort and become more effective and efficient.
  • Gaining in-depth knowledge and application of career-life integration tools via group discussions and exercises.
  • Learning to increase productivity by better managing their time and stress.
  • Sharing stories and learning best practices from each other to achieve a far greater level of career/life harmony.

Participants left the session with renewed energy and zeal, armed with an action plan for improving their career/life effectiveness. 65 members attended this event.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon Cory and Luisa Liberatore are Member Service Officers at AAPS and are available to assist members with advocacy related concerns.
 

Temporary Promotions

Article 5.4.1.2 articulates compensation when “an employee fills a vacant position in a higher pay grade on a temporary basis or is assigned a significant portion of additional duties from a higher pay grade on a temporary basis”. Typically there is a start and end date for this temporary promotion. If it is expected to last for two weeks or longer then it is understood that “the employee shall receive additional salary or a special allowance for the period”. If it lasts for two months or longer than for the duration of this temporary assignment, "the employee shall receive a minimum of a 5% salary increase, based on the employee’s original salary” and if it is for six months or longer then it is 10%.

If you are currently temporarily assigned or temporarily carrying out the duties of a higher pay grade position, do contact the AAPS office for advice.
 

Working Notice

When an M&P staff member is terminated from the University they receive an official written notice of termination.  The type of notice period the individual receives is “at the discretion of the University” and “an employee will receive one of: working notice, pay in lieu of notice, or a combination of working and pay in lieu of notice.”

If an individual receives notification of a working notice period, they will continue to fulfill the job requirements of their position for the specified duration identified in the termination letter.  While on working notice you are also “expected to make a diligent effort to find other employment”.  If time off is required to participate in the recruitment process for another position, the department will accommodate this need. 

Those individuals who secure other employment elsewhere on campus tend to keep AAPS updated on their change of employment status, and we are able to provide support and information as related to the process affecting those employment changes.  Others, who secure employment opportunities outside of the university, may not consider contacting AAPS regarding their change of employer.  These individuals may feel they are leaving the campus and there is no further important information or support which could be offered to them.  It is noteworthy to understand that each termination is unique and the benefits and options availed by the University should be carefully reviewed prior to making a final decision related to a new employer.

The Member Services Officers are available to support the members in these situations and can offer a clear explanation of the obligations and requirements when employment changes.  We would like you to contact the office should this situation affect you so we may ensure you have all relevant information available while making career decisions.

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Organizational Change Townhall Recap

On May 10, 2012, Sharon Cory and Luisa Liberatore held a one hour lunch and learn focusing on how organizational change at UBC has impacted individuals and specifically how the ACTE was applied. The short presentation was followed by a question and answer period. Over 90 people registered for the event.

The session started with a look at how change can affect us, be it good or bad. For example it can impact us:

  • Financially
  • Professionally
  • Physically
  • Emotionally
  • Work performance and/or productivity
  • How engaged we are.

Whether the change is positive or negative, it has an impact and those feelings of anxiety and stress are normal. Members are not alone during this time of transition. The AAPS staff is available to meet with you and answer questions at any time. Additionally, the AAPS website is filled with information and includes the current Agreement and an Advocacy FAQ. Lastly, members also have access to the Employee Family Assistant Program which is a 24/7 confidential service.

Before turning our attention to specific articles in the Agreement, a discussion was had about what are management rights, i.e. University rights, and what rights M&P Staff have under the Agreement. The University has a responsibility to act fairly, in good faith, reasonably, and without discrimination, and to apply common law unless specifically modified by the terms of the Agreement. Conversely, members have a right to be treated fairly, in good faith, and without discrimination; they have right to work in a safe and respectful workplace. 

What is important to remember is that the University has the right to hire, fire, discipline, evaluate performance, organize and direct work. Often times it is when this occurs that work place issues arise and members seek counsel and advice from the AAPS Member Service Officers.

In organizing the workplace, if the University wishes to make a change, it is their right to do so. For the employee, their right is to receive notice which is articulated in Articles 9 and 14.8 of the Agreement. The last few years have seen an increase in the number of AAPS members released on a without cause basis under Article 9. When AAPS President, Jacqueline Smit and Executive Director, Michael Conlon met with President Toope and Lisa Castle on February 15 of this year, the rise in the number of terminations, especially for those released for reasons of suitability and fit, was discussed and this topic continues to be part of an ongoing dialogue between AAPS and UBC.

Article 5.4 of the Agreement addresses the types of job changes such as temporary or permanent promotions, secondments, transfers, and reassignments. Article 5.1.3 talks about the ability to negotiate the probationary period and salary when changes such as those identified under Article 5.4 occur. Lastly,  Article 14.2 was discussed. The intention of this article is for the University to inform AAPS of changes that will affect a significant number of employees in a work unit. ‘Significant’ can be open to interpretation and does not always occur even when we (AAPS) feel it may be in the University’s best interest to be sharing. Regrettably, there is not much legally that AAPS could do to remedy the situation if UBC decides to not consult AAPS. Nonetheless, AAPS takes the position that communication is a preferred step to reduce or alleviate workplace tension especially when organizational change is being contemplated or implemented.

Given the high attendance and the fact that participants were from different departments and units across the University, it is safe to say that many are dealing with changes in the workplace. As always, the AAPS Office is available to meet with members individually or as a group to discuss issues affecting them and their workplace.

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Getting to Know Your Committee Members

This issue we get to meet Eilis Courtney, Director of Ceremonies and Events.

What do you love most about working at UBC?

The people that work, teach and study here; the University is a vibrant community with a wide range of talented, interesting people and through my job, I get to meet many of them. 

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

I am a member of the Board and as such, attend meetings twice a month.  Each Board Member is also expected to represent AAPS on various University Committees as well as participate in ad-hoc committees that emerge from our planning discussions and annual retreats. 

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

I am currently one of the two AAPS reps on the University Health and Safety Committee, which has campus-wide representation.  I have also participated in ad-hoc committees on topics such as Board Governance and Member Engagement.  In my second year on the Board, I was elected Secretary so I now have the added responsibility of sitting on the Executive Committee (which includes the President, 1st and 2nd Vice-Presidents, Treasurer and Secretary).  Luckily we only meet occasionally on HR and financial matters.

What made you decide to volunteer for AAPS?

I had been a member for a long time but had not considered volunteering until a colleague encouraged me to think about it – I did and I was fortunate to be elected as a Board member.  I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to AAPS and understand more about some of the issues facing our members.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading a book called Malarky by a local Irish-Canadian author called Anakana Schofield.

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

When I am not busy volunteering with the Irish Women’s Network of BC, I get to do what I really love to do – sing.  I am a member of the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir and I love it!

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

Tuum Est – it’s yours.  Take advantage of all that UBC has to offer; there are many different places to work so if you do not find the perfect job the first time, keep looking!  All of us have so much to offer as well, so make sure you network as much as possible – attend events and workshops, volunteer, take a course, sit on committees – get involved.  Your time at UBC will be enriched so much more if you engage with your community. 

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Community Announcements
 



Positive Space Summer Sessions

New training dates for UBC’s Positive Space Campaign are online and registration is now open. As you likely know, Positive Space is a UBC Vancouver initiative intended to help make UBC more receptive to and welcoming of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, transgender, transsexual, gender variant, two-spirit and intersex (LGBQTTI) population and issues of sexual and gender diversity on campus. See http://positivespace.ubc.ca/workshops/ to register.

Workshops tend to fill up really quickly and we always have a wait list so please sign up soon to avoid disappointment. The training sessions this summer are:

  • Friday, June 22, 2012 from 9:30am-1:00pm
  • Wednesday, August 22, 2012 from 9:30am-1:00pm
  • Thursday, September 13, 2012 from 12:30pm-4:00pm

Preregistration is required. You can register online now or, alternately, you can email  or call 604-822-4859 with your name, department, phone number, email address and preferred training date. Please note that all workshops cover the same material so you need only attend one.

The workshops are 3.5 hours in length, informative, interactive and a lot of fun. They attract a diverse mix of people from across the campus, including those with a lot of experience and those to whom these issues are relatively new. There's something for everyone here. After the initial workshop, you may decide to become a Resource Person with the campaign, in which case you will be given a poster and button to advertise your participation. The time commitment for those who choose to become Resource Persons is minimal.

The Positive Space Campaign is coordinated by UBC's Equity Office. For more information about the campaign, to sign up for the workshop, to see Professor Toope’s statement of support, or to find out who are among the hundreds of trained Resource People on campus, please see www.positivespace.ubc.ca. If you have any questions or want further information, you’re also welcome to contact Anne-Marie Long or the Equity Office directly.

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Theatre Under the Stars

Theatre Under the Stars has been presenting musical theatre productions for 65 seasons in Stanley Park's historic Malkin Bowl.  This summer's shows are The Music Man, directed by Sarah Rodgers, and Titanic: A New Musical, directed by Max Reimer. They run alternating nights from July 8-August 18. Visit www.tuts.ca for full information. 

For $5 off any regular priced ticket (a savings of 10-20%), use the promo code tutsSB12 for purchases online or at the door. Promo code valid June 15 - August 18.

New this year: rain insurance and lower kid prices. 




 

 

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