On the Radar Volume 4 Number 3

“On the Radar” is an electronic news bulletin for members of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff at UBC. It is published periodically via email and on our website, 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 by Michael St. Claire. Other contributors include Sharon Cory (AAPS), and Nancy Hogan (Coaching Journey).

In This Issue

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

Staff Pension Board Decides to Hold Vote – Cast Your Ballot

We have previously written about the changes being planned for the staff pension plan (SPP). The changes contemplate a “flat formula” which will make the whole SPP more equitable. In the past it appears that employees in higher wage brackets were receiving a higher percentage benefit from the plan than those in lower wage brackets in spite of the percentage contributions being similar across all wage scales. The planned amendments will address that inherent inequity. However, for some members in higher wage categories, there is no doubt that they will be paying more for the same or lower benefits i.e. their take-home pay will drop in some cases substantially. AAPS is generally supportive of the plan to address the inequity in the plan but is seeking a meeting with the AVP of Human Resources to advocate for UBC finding a way to move the change plan forward while at the same time addressing the concerns of those members who are adversely impacted. We have asked Lisa Castle for a meeting to discuss these concerns. Any SPP changes require the approval of the Board of Governors of UBC and we hope that the administration would take these concerns into account before approving significant changes that adversely impact members.

arrow up    

Salary Surveys 2008 – RFP for Compensation Consultant Issued

UBC has issued the Request for Proposals (RFP) for consulting firms interested in doing the salary surveys for M&P staff for 2008. The Mercer organization conducted the 2000 survey and the Hay Group did the 2004 survey. The agreed target for our compensation plan is the 50th percentile of a representative comparator market (collective agreement Letter of Understanding #1 and the Framework Agreement section 7.4.C). The 2000 survey indicated that salaries were generally 7% to 9% below target and the 2004 survey found that salaries were generally 9% to 11% below target. The mediation and arbitration process of 2005/06 resulted in substantial improvements (nearly $7 million worth) but not complete amelioration of the situation. An AAPS committee is working with Human Resources on issues of concern to us in the design of the process. The UBC timeline extends into early 2009 for implementation of any changes flowing from the surveys. We will continue to keep members apprised as the process unfolds.

arrow up    

Long Term Disability: Governance & Plan Design

AAPS is working with UBC and the other employee groups to find a new governance model for the LTD plan (known colloquially as IRP “Income Replacement Plan”). The plan is “self-insured” and backed up by an all-employee fund of over $35 million of which UBC has been sole trustee without any formal trust agreement. AAPS has retained a consulting firm (Pointbreak) to assist us in gathering data and evaluating four different options. These are:

  1. A self-insured plan with the other employee groups (new version of status quo)
  2. A self-insured plan with just the M&P group in it
  3. A fully or partly insured plan with the other employee groups
  4. A fully or partly insured plan with just the M&P group in it.

We hope to have accumulated enough data for the Executive Board of AAPS to have an initial discussion of the matter before the summer break. After the initial Executive Board deliberations we will be involving members in a consultative process to decide how best to proceed. The consultative process will most likely take place in the early fall. More on this as information becomes available.

arrow up    

Outside Bank Accounts at UBC? Time to Shut Them Down!

Does your department have a bank account of its own outside of UBC’s financial system? Twice in the last two years AAPS has been involved in advocacy issues where the departments involved had external bank accounts. While some readers may be shocked to even imagine that situation, it appeared to the staff involved to be “business as usual” in that the accounts had existed for some time and had become part of the normal operations of the departments. If your department has such an account we strongly urge you to contact the AAPS office, Financial Services, or Internal Audit for advice on how to address the situation with UBC. The University takes a dim view of any money being handled by departments outside of the “regular” processes within the internal financial system.

For additional information on banking procedures, please refer to:

arrow up    

AAPS Website Updates - Easy Access to UBC Information & Resources

We are continually updating our website to make it more useful for members. Our objective is to link members to the information that is most necessary to you. To that end some recently completed additions:

  • Benefits Forms Easily Accessible : click on ‘Benefits’ and at the top of the drop down list you will find both extended health and dental claim forms.
  • UBC Policies: on the main menu item 'Links, Forms, and Other Resources' you will find a new drop down item, ‘UBC Policies/Resources’ where you will find a convenient list of policies affecting M&P staff, including the “whistleblower” policy, UBC org charts, and a link to the HR website.
  • Legislation: also under ‘Links, Forms & Other Resources’ is a page titled ‘Legislation’ where you will find the BC Human Rights Code, theEmployment Standards Act,Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms,BC Public Sector Employers Act, and the BC Employment Terminations Standards (BC Public Sector only and subject of an outstanding AAPS arbitration appeal).

If you have an idea for improving our website please contact our webmasterMichael St. Claire.

arrow up    

Depression & the Canadian Workforce: Help is Available

The Winter 2007 edition of “Perspectives on Labour and Income” published by Statistics Canada contains an interesting article (p.57) revealing that:

“an estimated 489,000 Canadians aged 25 to 64 who were employed at the time of their 2002 CCHS interview (3.7% of workers) had experienced a major depressive episode in the previous 12 months … Moreover an additional million workers (8% of the workforce) had experienced depression some time in their lives, although not in the past year …”

The article indicated that:

“The occurrence of depression was twice as prevalent among women as men”

It cited research linking work stress to depression. On that note certain jobs seem more predisposed to depression:

"those in white-collar jobs were more likely than blue-collar workers to have faced depression in 2002”

Not unsurprising was depression's impact on work performance, including

“time management, concentration, teamwork and overall output”

The study notes that symptoms to look for

“include a loss of energy, disinterest in the job and a diminished ability to focus on tasks, combined with feelings of discouragement or hopelessness”

The article concludes on a more positive note, observing that co-workers can help those suffering from depression:

“coping by trying to ‘look on the bright side’ and the availability of co-worker support, may buffer the impact of depression on job performance”

If you or someone you work with is struggling with depression there is help available – contact your manager, your HR representative or the AAPS officefor connections to on-campus assistance and don’t forget that the Employee & Family Assistance Program is always available at 1-800-663-1142, 24 hours per day, every day.

arrow up    

What Do You Know About High-income Canadians?

The Winter 2007 “Perspectives on Labour and Income” open link in new window (or tab) also included some interesting facts about high income earners. Did you know?:

  • In 2004, 5% of Canadian tax filers had an income of $89,000 or more, and only 1% reached $181,000 or more;
  • In 2004, the top 5% of tax filers received 25% of total income and paid 36% of income and payroll taxes;
  • Calgary had the highest proportion of families with income over $250,000 in 2004, but Toronto by far had the most families with such incomes, almost one-third of the national total;
  • Of the 1.2 million tax filers who made up the top 5% of income recipients in 2004, three-quarters were men, even though men accounted for less than half of all tax filers. However, since 1982 there has been an 11% increase in the portion of women in the top 5% of tax filers.

arrow up    

Advocacy Update: The Probationary Period of Employment – Article 5

The Probationary Period is the first year in your new position. The year commences on the date you are hired and is completed one year from that date, unless the manager and employee mutually agree to an extension (which can be up to six months). By the completion of the one year period, a manager “shall ensure that at least two performance evaluations are conducted during the staff member’s probationary period, prior to the final month of probation”. Upon successful completion of the probationary period the individual shall receive a salary increase. The guideline for this increase is 4%.

If the Manager has not completed the individual’s performance reviews by the employment anniversary date, the employee still shall receive their probationary increase. Watch your employment dates, the scheduling of your performance evaluations and your paystubs for increases. Unless you have been told your performance is unsatisfactory, you should receive an increase in pay upon completing your probationary year.

If you have concerns and/or questions contact the AAPS office and we will assign 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.

arrow up    

AAPS Member Professional Development Opportunities

Keynote Speaker:

Elaine Allison Presents Celebrating Differences in How Men & Women Work, Lead & Succeed

Did you know that women work differently than men-and that it is science? Whether you are at work or leading a volunteer group or household you are leading and directing all the time. Find out why and how we must learn our own unique methods so we can manage our lives with grace and eloquence and still get things done. Elaine shares a blend of science, humorous stories, personal experience, and advice in this session. Find out what brains, hormones and cultural expectations have to do with it. Discover why women need to be aware of the “mean girls” syndrome, and how it might be harder to manage and work with large groups of the female gender. Learn a unique method to tell someone to “Knock it Off” nicely.

Date: June 19, 2008 (Thursday)

Time: This free event will be presented twice for greater access at 9:30am – 11:00am and then again at Noon to 1:30pm

Location: Student Union Building - Auditorium (Theatre)

An email announcement requesting RSVP’s will go out closer to the event.


Upcoming Free Noon Hour Learning Session:

Aleasha McCallion presents Dressing for Work

The focus of this session will be:

  • The connection we have with our professional and personal clothing
  • Dress for the role - send the message you want to send in the workplace
  • Dress for you - comfort and confidence determine the day
  • Step one to a more positive relationship with your professional clothing

Date: June 10, 2008 (Tuesday)

Time: Noon – 1:00pm

Location: Irving K. Barber Learning Center, 1961 East Mall Room 261.

An email announcement requesting RSVP’s will go out closer to the event.

arrow up    

Campus Wide Professional Development Opportunities

Sauder School of Business Executive Education:

Certificate Program in Project Management open link in new window (or tab)

  • for those who are looking for certification.

Three-day Project Management Seminar open link in new window (or tab) 

UBC Life & Career Centre:

The Caring Professional: Integrating Skills And Awareness
JULY 7-11, 2008 at UBC Robson Square

Build practical skills and expand personal effectiveness when working with others.  This one week Continuing Studies Summer Institute course is designed for busy professionals and others working in the area of public service. 

For details and registration, please visit:

www.lifeandcareer.ubc.ca/summer. open link in new window (or tab) 

The Office of Learning Technology Distance Learning:

Have you ever wanted to take a UBC course for personal or professional development, but haven't had the time to fit it into your work schedule?

Taking a distance education course affords you the scheduling flexibility to complete a UBC course while still working and sustaining a busy lifestyle. The Office of Learning Technology lets you choose from over 110 print-based and online distance education courses, spanning 30 different subject areas in 9 different Faculties. All of these courses are full-credit, and are taught by UBC Faculty members. Don't forget that as UBC staff, your tuition fee waivers also apply to distance education courses!

For more information and complete course descriptions, please visit:

http://olt.ubc.ca/distance-learning/ open link in new window (or tab)

arrow up    

The Coaching Journey

by Nancy Hogan, CEC BBA

Have you decided to work with a coach on something you would like to achieve? Congratulations for taking a brave step forward! This article will focus on how to select the best coach for you.

After making this important decision that will benefit you both personally and professionally, your first step is to go to the UBC Coaching websitehttp://www.hr.ubc.ca/odl/coaching/ open link in new window (or tab) and complete a short registration form that is held in the strictest of confidence for statistical purposes only. You will then be registered for this exclusive UBC program and can proceed with selecting your coach.

The UBC Coaching Services website provides information on both internal and external coaches. All coaches on this website have been screened by UBC Coaching Services and have completed or are in the process of completing certification programs recognized by the 3 international regulating bodies.

Selecting a coach can be simply described as a compatibility exercise. There are many highly qualified and talented coaches who have worked with clients at UBC for a number of years. Two important elements to look for in reviewing the credentials of a coach are: (1) your particular coaching needs and preferences, and (2) the coach’s capabilities to address your needs and objectives.

It is most important for you to be clear about what goals or set of objectives you would like to work on in your coaching relationship. Goals may be to:

  • Be more effective in communicating
  • Be a better leader
  • Articulate and develop career goals

Experience, education and additional areas of training can also be important to consider when selecting a coach. Check the coach’s availability to ensure it complements what works for you.

You may want to interview one or two coaches to determine your comfort, fit, and ability to work together. The bottom line is that you will need to have a certain baseline level of comfort and trust to work well with your coach.

The overarching personal attributes of a coach you may want to consider areprofessionalism (coach is prepared, respectful and trustworthy), maturity (coach is self-aware, confident and reliable), and flexibility (coach is adaptable, patient and creative).

Consider asking yourself the following question: What would I like to be different once I am working with my coach?

arrow up    

Community Announcements


Contact : Erna Hagge | 604-822-3351

We’re now accepting applications open link in new window (or tab) from faculty and staff who are interested in pursuing certification as a coach for the Coaching Internship Programopen link in new window (or tab) The program supports the development of internal coaches and provides support as a partial contribution to the costs associated with obtaining tuition for a coaching certification program approved by an accredited association. Funding is negotiated based on funds available with a maximum of three applications considered annually. Applications will be accepted between April 24 – June 15, 2008.

For more information about the Coaching Internship Program, visit the following links:

About the program open link in new window (or tab) 
Selection criteria open link in new window (or tab) 
Application instructions open link in new window (or tab) 
About UBC’s Coaching Services open link in new window (or tab)



arrow up