On the Radar Volume 1 Number 5

"On the Radar” is an electronic news bulletin for members of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff at UBC.  It is published via email (text version) and on our website (including graphics) on a periodic basis throughout the year, under the guidance of the AAPS Communications Committee (Chaired by Wendy Ma).  Writing and editing by David Harvey.  Layout and design by Petra Ormsby.  Web design and graphics are by Michael St. Claire.  Members wishing to make submissions please contact David Harvey at david.harvey@ubc.ca.

In This Issue

Annual General Meeting

AAPS AGM is coming next Tuesday, October 25th from noon to 2 p.m. in the SUB Theatre. In addition to the election of the new Executive Board and standard financial reporting, there will be updates on mediation and negotiations, and voting on two proposed changes to our Bylaws. Bagged lunches are provided, so please call Petra at 822-9025 to let her know that you will be there. Full information has been mailed out to members by campus mail.

For those who are unable to attend--because of time or distance--we will once again be video-taping the proceedings and putting the video on our website for later review.

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Compensation Grievance: Mediation Third Joint Update

On November 30th 2004, AAPS filed a grievance with UBC claiming that the University is violating the terms of our collective agreement by failing to compensate the membership at the “50th percentile of a representative comparator market”.  As previously reported, the parties have agreed to Don Monroe as a “Mediator/Arbitrator”.

Executive Board members and staff have been meeting regularly with UBC since May on this complex and detailed issue. The entire Executive Board is engaged in the key meetings while a sub-committee including George McLaughlin (2nd Vice President), Bernice Urbaniak (Advocacy Chair), Scott Wallace (Treasurer) and David Harvey (Executive Director) has taken the lead on the detail issues. We have been supported by Heather Hilliard of Caliber Leadership Systems. A compensation professional with many years of experience, Heather has led large salary surveys and assisted organizations with implementing the results of those surveys.

The parties have agreed to limit their communications at this time in order to allow the mediation process a fair opportunity to succeed. UBC and AAPS have agreed to three joint statements to date. Following is the text of the most recent joint communiqué.

Re: AAPS & UBC Salaries Mediation Update #3

This is the third update issued jointly by the University and the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff (AAPS) that deals with the outstanding dispute on bringing Management and Professional Staff salaries in line with the 50th percentile of market.  The first update on May 30, 2005 outlined the process being supervised by mediator Don Munroe, Q.C.  The second update on July 25th spoke to the progress the parties made in the collaborative phase of the mediation process.

Throughout the summer and into the fall UBC and AAPS representatives worked hard to find a resolution that would be acceptable to both sides.  UBC tabled a proposal which was then reviewed and discussed by the parties.  AAPS provided a response to the UBC proposal and outlined an alternative method of bringing M&P salaries in line with market.  At this juncture the parties felt that it was necessary to bring Mr. Munroe back into the meetings.

On September 28th the parties met with Mr Munroe.  The meeting resulted in a "mediator's recommendation" which both sides have now accepted.  That recommendation outlines for the purposes of mediation only a methodology for bringing the M&P salaries in line with the 50th percentile of the market and leaves outstanding only two issues of implementation.  We will meet again with Mr. Munroe on October 21 to try to resolve these final items. 

Please note that should we be unable to achieve resolution through mediation Mr.   Munroe remains seized of the matter as an arbitrator . The parties remain hopeful that the mediation process will result in a final agreement on the matter in the near future.  

At Mr. Munroe's request we continue to restrict communication with our stakeholders while we work to find a mutually agreeable solution to this detailed and complex situation.  We will report again as the situation progresses.


Linda McKnight , Director,  
Human Resources Advisory Services
University of British Columbia

David Harvey,
Executive Director

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Collective Agreement Negotiations 2005

The current edition of the agreement (ACTE #3) expired June 30, 2005.  Article 1.3 of the ACTE requires that it “continue until a new agreement is in place”. 

AAPS and UBC exchanged bargaining proposals in July. We agreed at that time to “stand down” negotiations and put our major efforts into the salaries mediation process with bargaining to resume in the fall. David Harvey and Linda McKnight have since met and sorted the proposals from both sides into monetary and non-monetary items. The bargaining committees have scheduled 3 days between now and the end of November to discuss the non-monetary items. We will be addressing the monetary issues next.

We are seeking wage increases and believe that there may be some small measure of increase allowable under the government’s PSEC wage controls. We understand that groups that are experiencing their fourth consecutive year of zero are eligible for “extraordinary mandates”. While that term has not been defined, we believe it allows for a minor increase in salaries and/or benefits. AAPS will keep you apprised as the bargaining process unfolds this fall.

AAPS’ Negotiating Committee includes: Barbara Crocker (President), Susanne Schmiesing (1st VP), George McLaughlin (2nd VP), Bernice Urbaniak (Advocacy Chair), Scott Wallace (Treasurer), Shawn Swallow (Member-at-Large), Michael Shepard (previous Executive Board member) and David Harvey (Executive Director).  David is our spokesperson.

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Mileage Rate: UBC Makes Minor Change

After several months of reflection UBC recently upgraded its mileage rate from $0.36 per kilometer to $0.38 per kilometer. While UBC was considering its outdated rate, the price of gasoline increased by approximately 50%. To put the matter into context, the provincial government has been paying its employees $0.46 per kilometer since last year. We are told that BC is considering another increase because of the recent hike in gasoline prices. The federal government, whose rate is the same as the provincial government’s, recently announced a 10% increase to $0.506 per kilometer (this change is currently tied up in party politics in Ottawa).

The Canadian Automobile Association open link in new window (or tab) calculated the total cost of vehicle operation in January 2002 at $0.375 cents per kilometer. How much has the price of gasoline increased in the nearly 4 years since? Some AAPS members who use their vehicles extensively on business are in effect subsidizing the operation of the University. AAPS has proposed in negotiations that UBC adopt the provincial government rate which is regularly updated to a more realistic amount.

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Advocacy Issues: 'Termination and Severance Pay' and ' Grievance Update'

The Advocacy Committee is chaired by Bernice Urbaniak. With the assistance of David Harvey it supports members with issues arising under the collective agreement and with problems in the workplace.  This column seeks to inform members about contractual and employment issues. In this edition we would like to update you on current grievances and discuss the matter of Termination and Severance Pay.

Termination and Severance Pay

The Advocacy Committee is working on a number of issues involving severance pay. In one key dispute UBC seeks to reduce the total amount of severance payable to long-service employees from 24 months to 18 months (ACTE Article 9.1.7). The University relies on changes to the Public Sector Employers’ Act brought about by Bill 66. These changes restrict the payment of severance to 18 months for employees who are not “members of a bargaining unit”. AAPS position is that our 2142 members form a “bargaining unit” and that this is what the parties intended. We point to the language in section 4 of the Framework Agreement and the fact that there is a 10 year history of collective bargaining for this group. However, UBC and the Public Sector Employers’ Council see the matter differently. At a recent arbitration both PSEC and UBC took the position that “managers” in AAPS are now limited to 18 months of severance. Unfortunately, arbitrator Stan Lanyon agreed with them. AAPS is appealing this decision which flies in the face of the clear language of our agreement, of the rules of statutory interpretation and of the bargaining history here at UBC.

In another situation we have a member who became ill while on salary continuance after termination notice had been served (ACTE Article 9.1.9.B – Pay in Lieu of Notice). The day after being served layoff notice this member went into the hospital for surgery and has since never fully recovered. UBC has allowed the severance notice to continue to run but has agreed to the member receiving partial long term disability benefits.

AAPS has received legal advice that a member who is terminated and who continues to be paid on salary continuance OR who continues under working notice continues to be an employee with entitlement to all benefits of the collective agreement including sick leave and LTD. In this particular situation the member should have been put on sick leave, the severance “clock” should have stopped, then the member would go onto LTD after 6 months and when fully recovered then the severance would restart where it left off. This is an important distinction to make because the purpose of severance is to allow the terminated employee to find other work. Employees on sick leave and LTD are in no condition to be searching for a new job. It is therefore important to ensure that the severance is still in place after the employee recovers so that they can conduct an effective job search. We are waiting for UBC’s response to our legal opinion.

Grievance Update

AAPS has a small number of grievances, most of which are resolved in discussion with UBC. Only a very limited number of grievances require the assistance of an arbitrator. Our grievances are arbitrated under the BC Commercial Arbitrations Act rather than under the BC Labour Code [Framework Agreement Section 7.7.7].

  • AAPS has withdrawn a termination grievance that was already at arbitration on the basis of evidence newly-discovered and not available to either side prior to the initial hearing. Four more days of hearings scheduled for October have been cancelled.
  • UBC has been successful on certain narrow grounds in its appeal to the courts in a case that was a dismissal and severance matter in which the terminated employee was awarded by an arbitrator a larger severance package than was provided for in the collective agreement. This employee had been head-hunted to come to UBC but the person who hired him left the University the day the new employee arrived. The job he had been lured here to do did not materialize and not too long after, he was let go. He was granted the larger severance based on common law rules and the facts of his particular employment circumstances. Since the appeal, the main issue now gets referred back to the arbitrator to decide on the remaining grounds that were originally argued. AAPS is appealing the court’s decision on the narrow grounds as well.
  • We are continuing to deal with a matter of bullying of one of our members. Unfortunately, UBC does not have good processes for addressing bullying in the workplace. It does not fall under Safety and Security since the Workers’ Compensation Board does not recognize it as a workplace safety issue. It does not fall under the Equity Office since they deal only with the 13 “prohibited grounds” that are protected under the Human Rights Code. This leaves the HR department to try to address the issue under the collective agreements. We have recently been advised that a professional 3 rd-party investigator will be brought in to look at the situation and try to find a resolution.
  • In two cases where AAPS members were having difficulties returning to work following illnesses, we have worked with HR and the Return to Work Program to find what we believe at this stage are excellent resolutions to both situations.

If you have questions about these issues or any term of the collective agreement, please contact the AAPS office at 822-9025 or speak to a member of the Advocacy Committee.

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AAPS and HR in Joint Training

The AAPS Advocacy Committee Representatives, together with the Human Resources Advisors and Managers, are engaged in a series of three half-day training sessions. The seminars are being presented by David McPhillips noted arbitrator, speaker and Professor Emeritus of UBC. Linda McKnight, Director of Employee Relations and David Harvey, AAPS Executive Director arranged the sessions with two objectives in mind: first, to improve the knowledge and skill base of the AAPS Reps and HR staff and secondly, to offer all the participants the opportunity to get to know each other so as to enhance their ability to work together to solve problems in the future. The first session which received excellent reviews was held on October 3 rd and the next two are scheduled in November.

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October is United Way Month

If you are looking for a way to help others in our community who are less fortunate, then the annual United Way campaign is your opportunity. As a UBC employee, you can make donations through payroll deduction AND you can allocate your donation to the charity or charities of your choice.

UBC has had a relationship with United Way of the Lower Mainland spanning over 30 years. United Way supports and funds social services and organizations in your community in the Lower Mainland—areas of focus include:

  • Children, Youth and Families
  • Helping Seniors stay healthy and connected
  • Helping those living with a health condition or disability
  • Assisting those living in or affected by poverty

UBC Employees have donated generously in the past and we ask that you consider giving again this year.

Pledge packages were sent out to all staff the week of September 26th by Campus Mail. Check online at www.unitedway.ubc.ca open link in new window (or tab) for up-to-date information about your package, how to donate to United Way of the Lower Mainland, and for details on the various events happening throughout the campaign. Donate by October 21st and be entered into our Early Bird Draw!

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AAPS Scholarship Awarded To Kai Sheffield

This year’s AAPS scholarship of $3500 was awarded to Kai Sheffield who is pursuing second year studies in history, economics and political science. In addition to his studies, Kai is a member of the UBC Varsity Outdoors Club and the UBC M é decins Sans Frontieres Club. Kai is the son of Karen Duffek an AAPS member in the Museum of Anthropology.

The AAPS scholarship is awarded annually to an AAPS member, their spouse or child. Further information on applying for the AAPS scholarship can be found here.

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PD Discounts on Sauder Executive Education

Are you looking for an opportunity to enhance your management and leadership skills?

The Sauder School of Business, Executive Education group offers a diverse and comprehensive range of business education programs to educate and empower individuals and organizations to meet the challenges ahead. To make these more accessible to UBC staff, the first three UBC employees to register in each non-residential seminar will be given a 25% discount.Visit their website for their calendar of courses open link in new window (or tab) or for further information contact Jacqui Baillie at: 604-822-8455, or jacqui.baillie@sauder.ubc.ca

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People Plan Requires Your Input

Recently AVP Human Resources Lisa Castle announced that Human Resources is looking for input on the DRAFT UBC People Plan. AAPS encourages everyone to review the plan and log onto www.peopleplan.ubc.ca open link in new window (or tab) to submit your input and comments. This is a potentially important policy document that could have a serious impact on your working conditions in the years to come. If you want to have a say, NOW IS THE TIME. If you or your department needs more information about the plan, you can contact HR to arrange to have a volunteer presenter run a small group session for you.

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How Do You Share Information With Colleagues at UBC?

AAPS is encouraging groups of members with similar jobs in the various departments to get together and share information. Often there are people in other departments doing very similar jobs to your own and it is generally useful to exchange ideas on best practices and policy issues. If you aren’t currently making the connections you need across campus and are interested in setting up a “Roundtable” of your colleagues, AAPS will assist by offering the use of our meeting room (up to 12 people) for your meetings. Call Petra at 822-9025 for further information.

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Staff News

We are interviewing candidates this week for the AAPS “Member Services Officer”. This new role will be responsible for assisting members with classification, benefits and advocacy issues and backstopping E.D. David Harvey on negotiations, advocacy and other matters. We hope to have the new person hired by November to help take some of the load off staff and volunteers.

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Meet Your Executive Board


scott wallace

Scott Wallace is AAPS’ new treasurer. He replaces Shawn Swallow who has taken a new job at UBC Okanagan.  

Scott joined UBC in July 2003 after thirteen years at Canada Post working in various capacities including mail operations, administration, finance, and human resources. He currently holds the position of Associate Director, Human Resources & Administration for Enrolment Services and Student Development and Services, is a member of the British Columbia Human Resources Management Association and is a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP). 

Scott joined the AAPS Executive team to support and shape the growth of AAPS and to contribute to the development and enhancement of policies, programs, and initiatives that benefit M&P staff.


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Volunteers Needed

AAPS has a very small staff which helps keep our dues low.  However, that means we rely on member assistance for a variety of activities. 

This month we say thanks and congratulations to Fernanda Santos who is leaving UBC to take on a new role at Douglas College. However, with Fernanda’s departure we need one or possibly two people (sharing the role as alternates?) to fill the following vacancy:

Health & Safety Committee Representative:  to represent AAPS members on the University H&S Committee. Workplace safety is a vitally important activity in keeping our colleagues from injury and disease. If you and/or a colleague would like to learn more about what is involved, please contact Petra in the AAPS office at 822-9025.

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Board Recognizes Volunteers

The AAPS Executive Board held a reception on the afternoon of October 5 to recognize the work of the over 40 members who volunteer their time to the Association. President Barbara Crocker thanked each of the members and presented them with a monogrammed lunch cooler bag as a small token of appreciation. Please join the Executive Board in thanking the following people when you next meet them:

Barbara Crocker

Belle Dale Wills

Angelina Desjarlais

Ian Doyle

Damian Duffy

Anne-Marie Fenger

Karen Fisher

Bob Frampton

Norm Hodges

Jim Jensen

Carole Jolly

Anne-Marie Long

Gord Lovegrove

Debbie Lin

Wendy Ma

Justin Marples

Michelle McConnachie

Steve McConnachie

George McLaughlin

Merry Meredith

Clint Meyers

Richard Moore

Suzanne Moore

Katy Player

Stephen Price

Jean-Pierre Rondeau

Fernanda Santos

Susanne Schmiesing

Bonnie Schoenberger

Michael Shepard

Sandra Shepard

Chris Skipper

Randy Smith

Julie Stitt

Shawn Swallow

Maria Trache

Lori Tuckwell

Robert Tudhope

Bernice Urbaniak

Scott Wallace

Moya Waters

Grace Wolkosky




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Coming Events to Note:

This section lists seminars, meetings, or other events that may be of interest to AAPS members. Please contact the event organizers for further information.

UBC Health Symposium – November 2nd

The third annual Health Symposium is running on campus November 2nd. There is an exciting line-up of speakers who will help you refresh, recharge, and re-orient yourself towards healthier working and living patterns. To sign up for this FREE event register via their website open link in new window (or tab) as soon as possible. Working harder often isn’t the answer. This is your opportunity to learn to live and work smarter and healthier. We encourage everyone who can to attend. Please note that many sessions have already filled up.


Wines of the World at UBC – November 3rd

An Evening of Wine Tasting 7pm-9:30pm at the Sage Bistro 6331 Crescent Rd. Profits donated to Graduate Student Scholarships at the UBC Wine Research Centre. Tickets $35.00 at SAGE 604.822.1500 or call David McArthur – 604.822.4274.


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