2019 End of Year Checklist

As the calendar year comes to a close, here are some helpful reminders and relevant articles from your Collective Agreement.

If you have any questions or concerns about how articles in the Collective Agreement are being applied within your department or unit, please contact the AAPS Office for a confidential conversation.

AAPS is here to support you and provide information on workplace issues. We offer you professional advice that is in your best interest.


AAPS OFFICE CLOSURE

The AAPS Office will close at 1:00pm on Tuesday, December 24, 2019 and reopen on Thursday, January 2, 2019. A staff member will be monitoring the office voicemail. If you have a time-sensitive issue arise when the office is closed, please leave a message at 604.822.9025. We will return your call.


UPCOMING AAPS PD SESSIONS

We are pleased to announce the dates for our upcoming AAPS PD sessions “The You in Change” developed specifically for AAPS members by facilitator and coach Jessica Earle-Meadows.

Session Overview

Change happens constantly at UBC, whether it is a major institutional project like the Integrated Renewal Program, a change in the direction of leadership in your department, or a change in your seating arrangement in your office. These changes can affect each of us in a different way.

From the perspective of each AAPS member as an employee of the University, we will be looking at how to develop a personal change plan for yourself as an individual to help you navigate the uncertainty, chaos, and discomfort that can be part of a change process.

Session Dates:

  • Okanagan Campus: Friday, January 24, 2020, 1pm-4pm
  • Point Grey Campus: Friday, January 31, 2020, 9am-12pm
  • Point Grey Campus: Friday, January 31, 2020, 1pm-4pm
  • Vancouver General Hospital Site: Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 9am-12pm

Registration will open on January 10, 2020.


REGISTER FOR AN AAPS MEMBER INFORMATION SESSION

Not sure about your sick leave or vacation entitlement? Would you like to learn more about the important articles in your Collective Agreement and negotiated benefits? Are you unclear about what being an AAPS member is all about?

Whether you are new to AAPS or a long-service member, we encourage all members to attend an AAPS Member Information Session. We’ll cover key points in your Collective Agreement, negotiated benefits, AAPS services, and community resources.

While departments and units across UBC might have their own cultures, all AAPS members share the same contract. It is important that you understand it and how AAPS can support you in the workplace.

You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and meet other members from across campus. We host sessions regularly throughout the year. You can sign up anytime on the AAPS website.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • Thursday, December 12, 2019 at St. Paul’s Hospital
  • Friday, December 19, 2019 at Point Grey Campus
  • Friday, January 17, 2020 at Point Grey Campus
  • Friday, January 24, 2020 at Okanagan Campus

PAID LEAVE (December 27, 30, 31) REMINDER

Read articles 12.10 and 10.4 in full

Articles 10.4 and 12.10 of the Collective Agreement provide AAPS members paid time off for the three days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. This paid time off is typically granted in recognition of additional hours of work. But as UBC HR notes, “It may also be provided as a form of recognition for other contributions of these staff members.”
 
You are encouraged to have a conversation with your supervisor in advance to ensure you receive this paid leave. Paid leave between Christmas and New Years is the standard practice of UBC for AAPS members. If you are denied paid leave for any reason, please contact the AAPS Office for further advice and support.

Remember that Boxing Day has been negotiated as a statutory holiday.


CARRY-OVER UNUSED VACATION TIME

Read article 11.2.1 in full

If you have unused vacation for the 2019 calendar year that you intend to carry-over to 2020, please contact your supervisor to get the carry-over approved.

The vacation carry-over outlined in the Collective Agreement is 10 working days. Approval for vacation carry-over should not unreasonably be withheld.


VACATION CALCULATION REMINDER

Read article 11.2 in full

Your vacation is calculated based on calendar years of service as a UBC employee regardless of your start date. If you were hired in 2019 (for example) then 2019 is your first calendar year of service even if your start date is in December.

If you have transferred directly into an M&P role from another employee group or certain student positions, your vacation is calculated based on when you started at UBC.

If you work less than full-time your vacation entitlement will be pro-rated. Members who work less than full-time are also reminded to ensure your statutory holiday pay is being calculated correctly.

If your term is ending during the calendar year, your vacation will be pro-rated based on your term end date.

AAPS members are entitled to vacation according to the following:

Calendar Year of Employment  

Weeks of Vacation

1                                                           

1 day and 2/3rd for each full month worked

2 through 5                         

4 (20 working days)

6 through 8

5 (25 working days)

9 or more                                 

6 (30 working days)

Please remember that vacation is technically accrued.


USE YOUR M&P STAFF PD FUND

If you haven’t planned your professional development activities for the year, now is the time. The M&P Staff PD Fund is for self-directed professional development activities related to your job and career. Your manager/department does not have the right to direct the use of these funds.

The M&P PD Fund (LOA #3)  is an annual pool of money for all AAPS members available on a first-come-first-served basis. You may use up to $550 per fiscal year so long as there is money in the fund.

While AAPS has made significant gains during the last round of bargaining to increase the fund, it typically runs out in February. If you would like to see the level of the fund or how much you have used, you can log into your UBC management system portal.

Funds may be used for professional development activities such as:

  • Courses
  • Workshops
  • Conferences (registration fee, travel, accommodation)
  • Memberships to professional associations that are not required for your job
  • Books

Regardless of the fiscal or calendar year your professional development activities take place, receipts must be submitted within 60 days of purchase to be reimbursed.

UBC HR oversees the administration of the M&P Staff PD Fund and can answer your questions on qualifying activities and the reimbursement process.

 If you are denied PD Funding by UBC or your manager refuses to sign-off on your document for reimbursement, please contact AAPS for assistance.


USE YOUR 2018 HEALTH SPENDING ACCOUNT

Remember that the Health Spending Account carry-over is one year. If you haven’t used your 2018 HSA amounts, you’ll need to do so.

You can put your Health Spending Account towards anything the CRA would consider an eligible healthcare expense or transfer the amount to a dependent who is also registered to your plan. Members often use the Health Spending Account for the following:

  • Top-up for dental/medical expense amounts not covered by the plan
  • Additional paramedical such as massage, acupuncture, physiotherapy
  • Eye exams

Not sure what the HSA is or how to claim it? Visit the UBC Benefits website for more information.


BENEFIT CLAIM DEADLINES AND PREMIUM CHANGES

UBC HR has posted a series of notices regarding deadlines for Extended Health, Dental and HSA Claims. Please follow the link to learn the specifics.

UBC HR also recently sent emails regarding the Disability Benefit Plan 2020 premium rate change and the Optional Life Insurance premium rate change. If you didn't see these memos, please let us know.

Finally, December 2019 will be the last month that folks in British Columbia will be required to pay MSP Premiums. Please review the BC Government’s website to understand the changes and your responsibilities regarding your account going forward.

We encourage you to subscribe to the UBC Benefits FYI Newsletter to receive health benefits updates.


SICK LEAVE AND DEPENDENT CARE LEAVE REMINDER

Read Articles 12.3 and 12.3.2 in full

It’s still cold and flu season, so it’s helpful to review the sick leave and dependent care articles in your Collective Agreement.

Once you have passed your initial probationary period you are eligible for up to six months of sick leave per illness or injury. Remember, you do not bank sick time, you do not earn sick time, and you can’t cash sick time out. For those of you who have passed your initial probationary period but have a PAT system that indicates sick days available--ignore it. This system does not accurately reflect your Collective Agreement.

UBC may ask for a medical note if you have been or will be absent for more than five consecutive workdays.

If you are asked for a medical note, please review the criteria in the Collective Agreement and let the AAPS Office know if you have any questions, have a complicated illness, or mental health concerns.

Leave for dependent care comes out of sick time and you have up to five days.

Please note if you are in your first 12 months as an AAPS member, you are accumulating sick time at a day and ¼ per month. Your dependent care leave also comes out of your accumulated sick time.


MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

You have a number of mental health resources available to support you and your family during the holiday season.

Under your UBC extended health plan, you can access a registered psychologist, clinical counsellor, or social worker. You do not need a referral, and your visits are 100% covered up to $2,500 per benefits year. Learn more about paramedical services on the UBC benefits website.

24/7/365 counselling services are available for you and your family from your EFAP provider Shepell at 1-800-387-4765 or workhealthlife.com. Counselling is available in person, over the phone, and online. They offer many other services such as stress & health help, legal/finance help, and resources to support elders and children.

Remember: The law does not distinguish between physical and mental health. If you are stressed, burned out, overwhelmed, or low, and you think taking a day or two to regroup could help, you can use your sick leave. You do not need to disclose the nature of your illness to your manager/supervisor for taking a day or two off of work, and you do not need a doctor's note if the illness does not exceed five days.


If you have any questions about the Collective Agreement or concerns about issues in your workplace, please contact the AAPS Office.

On behalf of the AAPS Board and staff, we wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season.