New Year's Message from AAPS President


Hello AAPS Members,

I am writing to wish you all a happy 2021. I hope that you were all able to take a break over the holiday season to rest and relax.

Despite many challenges in 2020, we accomplished a lot, and I am consistently amazed by the hard work and dedication of our AAPS members. While we are optimistic that 2021 will bring a shift in the number of COVID-19 cases and health orders, we also know that there is a long and ever-changing road ahead for us.

We want to remind members that being in a pandemic means that it’s not business as usual or remote-work arrangements as usual. We’ve been happy to hear from many of you about many of the positives of these new remote-work arrangements, including the opportunity to be more productive through focused work and turning commute time into more time for family or personal wellbeing. The AAPS Board has heard your feedback regarding the benefits of remote-work arrangements and will be speaking with the University about ongoing post-pandemic arrangements.

We also know that members have been struggling with isolation, burn-out, stress, overwhelm, and uncertainty. Please remember that the law does not distinguish between physical and mental health, so please take the day if you need to. AAPS has worked hard to maintain our progressive sick leave benefit, and we encourage you to use it when you need to.

Contact AAPS

AAPS is here for confidential conversations about your workplace questions, issues and your Collective Agreement. The conversations you have with AAPS staff are confidential, and they will offer professional advice that is in your best interest.  I’d like to encourage you all to make yourself more familiar with your workplace rights through the AAPS Collective Agreement.

You can also consult with AAPS staff about different options for

  • taking time away from the workplace
  • reducing your workload
  • the process for sick leave and accommodations
  • bullying and harassment
  • respectful workplace concerns
  • difficulty with a manager or colleague
  • any questions that you might have regarding the Collective Agreement

No question is too small for AAPS. We are your labour relations organization, and we are here to support you.

Support for you and your family

In addition to workplace advice from AAPS, you and your registered dependents also have access to the Employee and Family Assistance Program that offers a wide range of confidential online support services and counselling. Also, UBC provides an excellent mental health benefit. You also have access to a Health Spending Account of $200 per year for anything Revenue Canada would consider an eligible health care expense.

Professional Development

If there are online professional development courses, workshops that would be useful to you right now, please remember to access your M&P Staff PD Fund for this fiscal year of $550. This fund can also be used to join a professional association, and certain coaching programs. The M&P Staff PD Fund is for your self-directed job and career growth at UBC. In addition, AAPS will be launching our first slate of PD programs for 2021 later this week. Please keep an eye on your email to register.

Board Activities

Finally, I would like to share with you that your Board of Directors will be working on developing a strategic plan over the coming months and a member survey. I will be reporting on more of our activities at the Spring General Meeting in April. In the meantime, I invite you to reach out to me if you have ideas or feedback about our association and how we can support you in the workplace.

Thank you for going the extra mile here at UBC; your hard work is greatly appreciated. Please take good care of yourselves, your families, and your colleagues.

Happy New Year!

Afsaneh Sharif
AAPS President

The Association of Administrative and Professional Staff
The University of British Columbia

We acknowledge the traditional territories on which our members and we work including  Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Syilx Okanagan Nation