AAPS COVID-19 Update #3: AAPS Bargaining and organizational updates

AAPS COVID-19 Update #3: AAPS Bargaining and organizational updates

Dear AAPS Members,

We hope that all of you are taking care during this challenging time.

AAPS is here to answer your labour relations and Collective Agreement questions and offer confidential, professional advice. Please contact us to connect with a Member Services Officer.

Like all of you, in your day-to-day work, the AAPS Board and staff are continuing to make changes and adaptions so that we can best support each other as an AAPS community. I would like to provide you with a few organizational updates.

Additional Sick Days

We have been in talks with the University regarding sick leave for members, particularly for those in their initial probationary period as an AAPS member. AAPS and the University have agreed to 10 additional sick days for COVID-19 related illnesses or quarantines. This agreement is in place until April 30, 2020 and will continue to be reviewed as the situation progresses.

If you have questions about sick leave, please contact the AAPS Office regarding your specific situation.

Collective Bargaining

AAPS and the University are continuing to bargain. We appreciate the University’s willingness to proceed with Collective Bargaining and make reaching a fair agreement for AAPS members a priority.

Bargaining is looking a little different these days. AAPS and the University decided that it is important for us to continue to meet in-person for these critical and complex negotiations. In order to ensure safety, small teams from both AAPS and the University participate in the in-person meetings, and then the full bargaining committees meet by video-conference. Our small in-person bargaining team is President Andrea Han, Member Services Officer Ashkon Hashemi, and me. We meet with a small in-person team from UBC HR representing the University.

We are taking all the necessary precautions for these in-person meetings. We are using a large meeting room and maintaining physical distancing protocols. We are increasing our cleaning and hand-washing measures, and people will not attend the meetings if they are experiencing any symptoms.

This is the best process at this time to ensure progress and clarity. The negotiations continue to be positive, and we hope to have some updates for you in the coming weeks. We appreciate your patience and understanding that the process has slowed somewhat as the bargaining committee members make matters related to the current pandemic their priority.

Once a tentative Collective Agreement is reached, we will send it out for members to review and vote on ratification.

If you have any questions about collective bargaining, please reach out to me directly at joey.hansen@ubc.ca.

The AAPS Spring General Meeting

The AAPS Spring General Meeting that was scheduled for April 30, 2020 is postponed. Our legal counsel has advised us that because the Province has extended orders on gatherings until at least May 30, 2020, there is no issue with postponing.

The Board has chosen to postpone the meeting at this time as the current situation impacts our AAPS budget. The budget that was likely to be proposed included a significant expansion of the AAPS Professional Development Program and Advocacy Services. This expansion would require a physical presence on our campuses. Given the uncertainty of when normal activates will resume, we will be presenting a budget to you when we are able to host a general meeting.

AAPS Service Updates

We are developing webinars to provide you with information regarding your rights during this situation. We hope to have these ready by the end of April, and we will email you with opportunities to participate. If there is anything specific that you hope we will address in these sessions, please email your comments to aaps.pd@ubc.ca.

We will also be moving our AAPS New Member Information Sessions and Professional Development Programs to online formats. In addition, we are working on making video-call advocacy appointments available for members. We will update you as these programs and services become available.

Right and Responsibilities While Working from Home

A number of you have expressed concerns about the challenges of working from home with the current necessities of child and family care responsibilities.

I want to be clear that what you are doing is not a normal telecommuting arrangement.

You are remaining at home during a global pandemic for the safety and security of yourself, your family, and the broader community while still attempting to get work done.

This is not a normal situation. The employer’s expectations of you must be reasonable and adjust according to the situation. In the event you are feeling unreasonable productivity-related pressure from your manager or supervisor, please contact the AAPS Office.

Otherwise, please continue to do your best under the circumstances.

M&P Staff PD Fund

A reminder that the M&P Staff PD Fund opened on April 1 for the 2020/21 fiscal year. Please review the update from UBC HR.

Closing Thoughts

At this time of year, many of you, along with your families and communities, have important religious and cultural observances. We know these traditions will be different this year as we all practice physical distancing. We hope that you continue to find new ways of connecting and celebrating with your communities.

We hope that all AAPS members take next weekend’s 4-day weekend as a much-deserved break. Remember that both April 10 and April 13 have been negotiated as statutory holidays.

Please continue to take good care of your physical and mental health and let us know if you any questions.



Joey Hansen
AAPS Executive Director