On the Radar Volume 4 Number 1

Vol 4 Number 1, February 15, 2008 

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 and on our website 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 and Karin Wills.  Layout and design by Petra Ormsby.  Web design and graphics are by Michael St. Claire. Other contributors to this issue include: Sharon Cory (AAPS), Nancy Hogan ('The Coaching Journey'). Members wishing to make submissions please contact Karin Wills atkarin.wills@ubc.ca.

In This Issue

(The hyperlinks below will aid you in jumping to the articles you would most like to read.)


Employee and Family Assistance Program Committee–AAPS Volunteer

We are seeking a volunteer to sit as the AAPS representative on the joint steering committee for the Employee and Family Assistance Program. The EFAP provider will change on February 19, 2008, to Human Solutions (also known as Wilson Banwell Proact Solutions). Julie Stitt is the current AAPS representative and will work with the new representative to ensure a smooth transition into this position. If you would like to volunteer for this opportunity please contact David Harvey at david.harvey@ubc.ca.

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AAPS Executive Board Meets With President Toope

On January 10th the AAPS Executive Board & Staff met with the UBC President (Professor Stephen Toope) to discuss issues of common concern.  The meeting was an informal and positive exchange of ideas.  President Bernice Urbaniak highlighted a number of areas where AAPS and UBC work cooperatively.  She then addressed some issues of concern going forward including upcoming salary surveys in 2008 and some interpretive matters under our collective agreement.  These included: how to resolve major issues without resort to grievance and arbitration, the effect of “without cause” terminations used in place of evaluation processes, the need for good evaluation processes and the number of hours of work of some of our members.  Professor Toope engaged each issue in frank discussion.  He noted the financial restrictions UBC faces but at the same time was quite open to working together to find means to resolve issues.  On the issue of developing workable performance feedback processes Professor Toope is looking to AAPS to bring forward examples where departments already have good models in place so as to be able to use these as “benchmark” practices for other departments.  (If your department has a good process in place, please contact Karin Wills at 822-1935 to see if it might be included in the list of those we forward to Professor Toope.)

We were delighted when Professor Toope took the opportunity at this meeting to commit to resolve the issue of AAPS office space.  Our Framework agreement contains a commitment by UBC to provide us with office space on campus but unfortunately our previous offices had been requisitioned for other purposes in 2004.  Since then we have been located in rented premises in a Discovery Parks Inc. research building on East Mall.  However, our lease expires in Sept. 2009 and the landlord has advised us that it will not be renewed as we do not fit the profile of “research operations” that should be domiciled in that building.  Professor Toope assured us that UBC will find us campus space prior to Sept. 2009

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Meet Your Executive Board Member

david rowlands

David Rowlands started his career with UBC in July 2007 as an Administrator with the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.  As someone who enjoys a challenging role, David was drawn to the unique challenges associated with managing a cross-university research unit and all the complexities involved. 

David has a passion for new or unique experiences, which has frequently led him off the beaten track at home and in his travels abroad.  

"As a newly elected Executive Board Member with AAPS, I see this as an opportunity to better understand the issues that matter most to the M & P community and to do what I can to ensure that they are represented well to UBC.  I believe that it is important to play a role in the shaping of your environment, and AAPS provides unique positioning to do just that."

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Advocacy Update

As the 2008 year begins, the Advocacy Committee and the Member Services staff of AAPS have been dealing with a wide variety of benefit related issues. If you have concerns and/or questions contact us at the AAPS office and you will be assigned a representative to assist you with your situation. Please remember the questions that you bring forward give an opportunity for the AAPS team to see what is happening on the Campus and ensure the Agreement on Conditions and Terms of Employment (ACTE) is being appropriately applied.

Article 11.2 Vacation

There have been a few cases recently where employees have questioned either their current vacation allotment or the questionable loss of vacation earned. Article 11.2, page 14 of the ACTE identifies the number of days earned in relation to the length of service accumulated.

Individuals may make a request to carry forward vacation of up to 10 days and this request “shall not be unreasonably withheld”. Should an individual have had to forgo a current year vacation and there is no window of opportunity to take it in that year the employee is entitled to carry that amount forward and note “Approval shall not be unreasonably withheld”.

An individual who has not used their accumulated allotment of vacation time and is successful in securing a new position in a new department should ensure there is a discussion regarding outstanding vacation owing. This discussion should ensure that the leaving department, hiring department and the individual have a clear understanding about the remaining time and how it is to be made available to the individual. Should dealing with this matter become an issue please contact AAPS as soon as possible for assistance.

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Member Professional Development Sponsored by AAPS

Upcoming Free Noon Hour Learning Sessions

Working in a Multicultural Environment

Karen Rolston, Senior Manager, Certificate and Professional Programs, and Jack Lee, Program Manager and Trainer, UBC Centre for Intercultural Communication will present this session on:

  • Opportunities and challenges of working in a multicultural workplace
  • Key characteristics for being effective in a diverse workplace
  • Tips for strengthening appreciation for diversity in your unit
Location:Chemical and Biological Engineering Building
2360 East Mall
Rm 101
Date:March 13, 2008
Time:Noon – 1:00 PM

If you have any questions regarding any of the AAPS PD Events please contact Karin Wills via email karin.wills@ubc.ca or phone (604) 822-1935.

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Campus Wide Professional Development Events from Other Sponsors

Other interesting Professional Development opportunities that are available campus wide are listed on the following websites:

Retirement Planning

This two day workshop is designed for individuals and couples who are within seven years of retirement and are ready to review their options and plan for their future. It provides couples an excellent opportunity to share with each other their ideas and expectations for retirement.

http://www.cstudies.ubc.ca/retire/overview.html open link in new window (or tab)

Career Development

Open to the general public, the UBC Life and Career Centre open link in new window (or tab) is a place for you to build practical skills, cultivate self-awareness, and access resources to support your career and personal development.

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The Coaching Journey

by Nancy Hogan

Welcome to “The Coaching Journey”! In this regular column we plan to share information about the exceptional, award-winning coaching program that has been part of our campus since 2002 and continues to grow as more people discover this jewel.

Coaching is regularly used by executives in organizations to give them an edge and we are very fortunate to have a valuable internal program that any UBC employee can access at no charge. We have been told by many clients that the service we provide is “priceless”.

Employees are better educated than any other previous generation and have different needs from their predecessors. They want to develop personally and value freedom and independence. Coaching is a confidential partnership between a certified coach and a client where the client sets the agenda. Coaches can help you discover underused strengths, eliminate blind spots, and master new challenges. Coaches help professionals grow, often from the inside out.

The UBC website has an extensive list of certified coaches from UBC (internal) and from the coaching community (external). Coaching can take place in person or over the phone and meetings are scheduled as required by the client, usually every two or three weeks. Most coaching partnerships last for 6 months, and can be shorter or longer depending on the needs of the client and availability of the coach.

Many clients report that working with a coach improves their ability to think. A coach stays curious, asks good questions, is an agenda-free sounding board, helps clients to expand their ability to take action and stay motivated and holds the focus to ensure each client successfully accomplishes desired goals. The coaching relationship starts in the present and focuses on the desired future.

Some clients are unsure if they are ready to work with a coach. If you can answer yes to some of the following questions it would be worth your time to invest in yourself and work with a coach.

  • Do you have a strong desire to improve?
  • Do you have goals you would like to accomplish or want clarity in establishing goals?
  • Are you willing to make time for yourself to focus within and achieve your goals?
  • What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  • Would you like to develop and articulate a career plan, enhance motivation, develop specific skills, prepare for higher levels of responsibility, or have better work-life balance?

A coach will work with you as an accountability partner to walk with you on your journey to live your best life possible!

If what you have read here has sparked your interest, be sure to read future columns and find out moreopen link in new window (or tab) What would make 2008 your best year yet?

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Community Announcements

These announcements are provided from UBC-related organizations where the content may be of interest to AAPS members or their departments


Healthy Hearts

In recognition of February’s National Heart Month, the Health Promotion Programs unit (Department of Health, Safety and Environment) invites the UBC community to improve their heart health with help from a free seminar for faculty and staff: Heart Smart - A Guide for Healthy Living

On February 26, Susanne Burns from St. Paul's Hospital will host an interactive session on the risks for heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  Find out if you are at risk and what you can do about it. 

Heart Smart seminars will be held at 9 - 10:30 am, 12 -1:30 pm and 4 - 5:30 pm.  Susanne Burns is a clinical nurse specialist in the Healthy Heart Program in the Heart Centre at St. Paul's Hospital. She currently manages the Metabolic Syndrome Program and has expertise in cardiovascular disease prevention, smoking cessation and lifestyle management.

To register, or to receive National Heart Month pamphlets, contact Health Promotion Programs Coordinator Suhail Marino atmarino@hse.ubc.ca  or 604-822-8762.

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christinaawram.jpg Stress Recess

Whether you are looking to be inspired or just entertained, help is on its way. On Wednesday, March 12 from 12 – 1:30 pm, Health Promotion Programs (Department of Health, Safety and Environment) presents dynamic speaker Christine Awram and her talk Feeling a bit burned out, stressed out, freaked out and fried?Help is on the way.

Known for “making learning more fun than going to the movies”, UBC employees will come out of Christine’s session with tips for balancing work and personal life demands, creative visualization techniques and an individual action plan for improving their health. Awram promises “you will enjoy a dynamic power-hour of edutainment, outrageousness and inspiration that will also leave you with a simple action plan for extraordinary results.”

Having overcome her own earlier health challenges (agoraphobia, chronic fatigue and a rare eye disease that would have left her blind), Christine is deeply motivated from the heart. She has worked with both the YMCA and as a corporate health and fitness professional. She studied nutrition at SFU and is certified in healing treatments such as aromatherapy and massage therapy. Christine is the founder of the Wellness Professional Network for Women.

Please register by March 9th by contacting HSE Coordinator (Health Promotion Programs) Suhail Marino atmarino@hse.ubc.ca or 604-822-8762.

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UBC Faculty of Medicine hosted forum: Diabetes: genes or lifestyle?

Saturday March 8, 2008 10:00am – 12:00pm

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 
Victoria Learning Theater (Room 182) 
1961 East Mall, UBC, Vanc. BC

eve savory

Moderator Eve Savory, CBC News Science and Environment Reporter

It is predicted that one in three children in North America will develop diabetes, and about 250 million people already suffer from this disease. Join leading researchers and CBC News Science

and Environment Reporter Eve Savory at a free and interactive public forum and live webcast to discuss the link between genetics and lifestyle risk factors in diabetes, and to explore prevention and management. Learn about the latest in diabetes research and have your questions answered by our experts.

More information open link in new window (or tab)

To register, contact infobc@diabetes.ca or 604-732-1331 ext 229 (Seating is limited)

If you are not able to attend this event, please tune into the live webcastopen link in new window (or tab)

Presented by the UBC Faculty of Medicine and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, and supported by the Canadian Diabetes Association.

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Bullying Stops Here
February 27, 2008

This is the day identified for the ANTI BULLYING campaign which will support and inform the targets of workplace bullying and promote respectful workplaces so we all can move toward a bully free environment. Bullying - What is it? Why does it happen? How do we make it stop?
Regretfully, we have all experienced bullying in one way or another. We may have experienced it or seen it done to someone else but most regrettably we may have done it to someone. This terrible injury can affect an individuals’ health, both physical and psychological and bring a great negative impact to workplace culture. “Bullying, harassment, mobbing and allied behaviours can be just as damaging as outright physical violence.” Today, there are huge pressures placed on workers in many types of jobs as well as huge pressures on workplaces with technology changes, timelines on deliverables and workload expectations all pushing harder and harder on individuals. All of these situations can contribute to pushing an environment or person to bullying (a form of violence). 
A bully-proof organization means a healthy environment stemming from a respectful work place. To understand bullying gives us knowledge as to why it should stop and the tools to make it stop.

More informationopen link in new window (or tab)

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