On the Radar Volume 1 Number 1

“On the Radar” is an electronic bulletin for members of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff at UBC. It is issued on a periodic basis throughout the year.

FLASH!!!: Don Munroe named as Arbitrator in Compensation Grievance(see below scroll_down)


Welcome to the first edition of “On the Radar”. One of AAPS’ strategic priorities for 2005 is member engagement and communication. As part of our strategy we are launching this as a forum for keeping you informed of “what’s new”!


Executive Board News

Your Executive Board and staff have been dealing with major issues and undergoing significant changes. We have emerged with a renewed sense of commitment. The Executive Board has re-affirmed its mandate to firm and balanced advocacy on behalf of our members. You will see this commitment demonstrated as AAPS enters into collective bargaining in the spring, pursues its advocacy mandate, and presses forward with the salary compensation policy grievance.

AAPS has made some structural changes to better serve your needs. The Executive Board is moving from being a hands-on working Board towards a policy board. This will allow the Executive Board to operate more effectively and focus on the “big picture” issues. We are also moving to having staff more involved in the advocacy issues. This will assist in dealing with the rising level of complexity in advocacy matters and will hopefully minimize the inherent conflict of interest when M&P members advocate on behalf of other M&P members to UBC.

With the challenges currently facing us the membership endorsed a modest increase in dues (from 0.3% to 0.54%) for an interim period. This was essential in order to empower AAPS to be more effective advocating on your behalf. As AAPS advocates for you, we will do so in a manner which is respectful and professional. Issues will be pursued firmly, but AAPS is equally committed to doing this in a way which is fair.

Our President, Gord Lovegrove has taken a two month leave to complete his doctoral work (good for you Gord!). Barbara Crocker and Susanne Schmiesing are filling in as “Co-Presidents” to the end of April. New to the Executive Board is Norm Hodges from Forest Sciences and returning to the Executive Board is Scott Wallace from Enrolment Services. Norm and Scott serve on an interim basis until our next elections.

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Staff News

We regret that Inta Sloman has decided to leave us. However, we are fortunate to have retained David Harvey as Executive Director. David had been working closely with Inta and the Executive Board on our key initiatives including preparation for negotiations, the compensation grievance and many of the member advocacy issues. This will provide a smooth transition and enable AAPS to continue to press forward the current initiatives on your behalf.

David is a Certified Human Resources Professional with more than 20 years experience in HR and Organizational Development issues. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC and a Masters in Education from SFU. David has experience as a chief human resources officer and his background includes negotiating and administering collective agreements in the BC post-secondary system. In his personal life David is the single dad of two teenage boys. His recreational interests include sailing, sports, running, cycling, cooking and reading. He is active in the BC HR Association.

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Advocacy Issues

We are finding that advocacy issues are both more numerous and increasingly complex. We have found in some termination cases that we are interpolating between 5 or 6 statutes, UBC policy and the collective agreement. Many issues are resolved informally with the assistance of an Advocacy Committee member. However, we have been dealing with some termination issues that resulted in grievances. Some issues members should be aware of are summarized below.

New members on probation should be aware that they are entitled to formal written performance feedback on a minimum of two occasions prior to the end of the eleventh month of their probation. This performance evaluation is critical to ensuring that new employees are meeting the requirements of their job and where there are problems that they are notified of these at the earliest possible time. We will be working with UBC to ensure that departments provide this critical feedback to new employees [Reference the ACTE Article 6 pg 5].

Members are entitled to a maximum of 24 months of severance (one month per year of service) when their employment is terminated without cause. [Reference ACTE 9.1.7 pg. 9]. Bill 66 amended the Public Sector Employers’ Act and limited severance to 18 months for those employees who are “excluded from membership in a bargaining unit”. UBC says that AAPS members are not included in a “bargaining unit” and hence have reduced a former employee’s 24 month severance to 18 months. AAPS says that our agreements are evidence of a “bargaining unit” and that term is actually used in the collective agreement [Reference Framework Agreement Section 4.0 pg. 2]. The “Bill 66” grievance is proceeding to arbitration later this spring.

The salary compensation policy grievance has been referred to arbitration and after some delay, UBC and AAPS have agreed on Don Munroe as mediator/arbitrator. Mr. Munroe is one of the leading arbitrators in the province. He will conduct an initial 2-day mediation this spring (dates to be set) which will hopefully result in an agreed resolution. If mediation is unsuccessful, Mr. Munroe will commence arbitration hearings that will render a binding decision. The grievance claims that after 10 years UBC has failed to meet its obligation to pay the members at the “50th percentile of a representative comparator market” [Reference Framework Agreement Section 7.4.C (from March 1995) and ACTE Letter of Agreement Section 1.b pg. 23 (from October 2002)].

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Our collective agreement expires at midnight June 30, 2005. Executive Board members, staff and volunteer committees are working hard to prepare for our upcoming negotiations.

BC’s Minister of Finance has announced that with an improving economy this is the last year of the 0% wage controls. Effective March 31, 2006 the 0% is supposed to disappear and once again “real” money will be on the table. For this year’s round of bargaining, AAPS will be seeking to achieve improvements in the language and procedural aspects of our collective agreement. There are a number of “non-cost” items that we can improve in this round but unfortunately general wage increases are out for 2005 [ Reference BC Budget documents: public sector wage guidelines].

In the next few weeks AAPS will be approaching the members for input on what changes we should be seeking to make in the collective agreement in this round of bargaining. If you have suggestions for us, please forward them to the AAPS office via e-mail at aaps@interchange.ubc.ca.

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Notice of Spring General Membership Meeting

Our Spring GM is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26th at noon in the SUB theatre. Feedback from members about previous meetings was that Thursday did not work for a significant portion of you and hence the change to Tuesday for this year. The Executive Board plans on providing you with a complete update on finances, initiatives, committee work, the compensation grievance and upcoming negotiations. This is another chance for members to have their say in your Association. Please plan on attending. Bag lunches will be provided. Final Agenda will be emailed in the very near future.

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