On the Radar Volume 5 Number 1

“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.

In This Issue

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

Salary Surveys - Update

By Bernice Urbaniak

The University contracted with Mercer to conduct a salary survey last year. The survey responses were received in Autumn, 2008 and Mercer is in the final stages of compiling the report. We expect that the University will share the survey report with AAPS sometime in February.

A committee consisting of Board members Anne-Marie Fenger, Bernice Urbaniak, and Isabella Losinger, along with ex-Board member George McLaughlin will work with our compensation consultant, Heather Hilliard from Caliber Leadership Systems, on this issue.

Members with ideas or concerns about the market survey may contact theAAPS office.

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Income Replacement Plan (IRP) Update 101

By Isabella Losinger, George McLaughlin, and Bernice Urbaniak

If you check your payroll deposit online you will notice that each pay period you are charged an after-tax deduction for “Disability.” This amount will vary, depending on your pay level. However, it should equal approximately 1.40% of salary.

IRP is the same as LTD (Long Term Disability). This 1.40% is a mandatory contribution and is 100% paid by the employee. It is used to fund you (tax-free) during periods in which you are disabled and unable to work.

UBC has historically managed these funds, but it is now necessary that a new governance structure be implemented. The AAPS Board has therefore begun work on an alternate means of managing these funds – always keeping in mind some core values: protection of the economic position of our members; respect for the dignity and self-worth of our members; and availability of an affordable, economically viable, and efficiently administered plan for our members.

As this is a complex area, and there are a number of possible models, AAPS retained a consulting firm last year, Pointbreak Consulting Group, to research our options. Pointbreak is currently working with the University, on behalf of AAPS, on a Request for Proposal to various insurance firms to acquire comprehensive plan-specific information for M&P staff.

Once we have more concrete details regarding options for plans and their possible governance structure, we will meet with the membership to provide up-to-date information. Any permanent change to the plan will need to be voted upon by the membership.

In any event, do remember to check your payroll deposit to ensure your IRP contributions are being deducted. These funds are essential to support you in the unfortunate instance of becoming disabled. If you have questions about your contribution, contact your administrator or payroll representative.

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Thanks and Farewell to Three AAPS Volunteers

To Advocacy Representative Jess Roebuck, Communication Committee volunteer Peter Godman, and Professional Development Committee volunteer Manpreet Dhillon, who gave so much of their time, energy, and knowledge to the Association, we say thank-you. Our most sincere appreciation for all your help.

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Final Judgement - Severance Pay

By Bernice Urbaniak and Sharon Cory

Bill 66 made changes to the law governing the Public Sector Employers Act in 2004. Those changes did not affect “members of bargaining units”. However, for some public employees, who are not members of a bargaining unit, the changes limited severance payments to a maximum of 18 months. This change is only applicable to M&P Staff in a supervisory role. M&P Staff not in a supervisory role will continue to receive severance payments up to 24 months. (Prior to Bill 66 our ACTE had provided for all M & P staff up to severance payments to a maximum of 24 months, as per Article 9). In addition, for those choosing to have the salary continuance option of a severance payout, Bill 66 regulations now stipulate that if the terminated employee has the opportunity to work for another public sector employer, the remaining months of the severance payout are immediately discontinued.

AAPS filed a grievance contending that it is a bargaining unit making reference to the 10 year history of Collective Bargaining for the Association, so they should not be subject to this legislation. The “Bill 66” case was heard in June 2005, by arbitrator Stan Lanyon, a former chair of the Labour Relations Board. UBC and PSEC disputed the grievance as AAPS is not a trade union certified under the Labour Relations Code of BC. AAPS’s position had been that the legislation does not require a group be a trade union to be exempt from the 18 month limit. UBC, in their submission noted that some AAPS members are governed by Bill 66 (those who manage and direct the workforce) but others are not (non-managerial professionals).

The Final Judgement of Bill 66 has now been delivered. The arbitrator’s decision has been rendered on the side of the provincial legislation. Our appeal to the Supreme Court of British Columbia was unsuccessful, and an application made last year to have the case heard by the Appeals Court of British Columbia was denied. According to our legal counsel, we do not have any legal argument for further appeal and we therefore consider the case closed.

If you have any questions related to Bill 66, please contact Sharon Cory atsharon.cory@ubc.ca

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Increasing Professional Development Fund

Through discussions with the University, member’s individual Professional Development Funds have increased to $750 (retroactive to July 01, 2008). We encourage all members to take advantage of this funded program and exercise this learning opportunity to enhance your skills and knowledge.

If you have questions related to reimbursement, please contact Betty Lam at 604-822-3056. If you have questions related to Professional Development opportunities offered by AAPS, please contact Jasmin Deol atjasmin.harry@ubc.ca.

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Want to Volunteer on AAPS Committees?

AAPS values the contribution of the numerous volunteers who dedicate their time, expertise and enthusiasm to the Association.

AAPS hopes to be able to provide those volunteers with committee experiences that they will find to be professionally and personally rewarding. The following committees are currently looking for volunteers:


Advocacy (UBCO) – Are you interested in:

  • Assisting and advising M&P staff on their rights within the ACTE
  • Educating yourself and others M&P staff relating to their rights within the ACTE
  • Assisting and advising M&P staff with their inquiries relating to issues under UBC Policy of Discrimination, Harassment and Equity in the workplace.
  • Providing AAPS representation to M&P staff

If you wish to gain valuable experience in mediation, conflict resolution and Labour-Relations, please contact the AAPS office.


Communications (Point Grey or UBCO) – Are you interested in:

  • Assisting in the development of the AAPS newsletter
  • Writing and Research Opportunities
  • Using your creativity to find what type of topics will be of interest to members
  • Working in a team environment
  • Building your communication skills

If you wish gain valuable experience in building your communication skills, please contact the AAPS office.


Professional Development (Point Grey) – Are you interested in:

  • Providing and assisting in professional development opportunities for M&P staff
  • Creating networking opportunities for M&P staff, including liaison with other organizations, social activities, and other events

If you wish to gain valuable experience in event planning, please contact theAAPS office.

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AAPS Professional Development Opportunities

Introduction to Process Mapping with Berrant Group - FULL

Program Summary

Change occurs daily in our work lives, and often, that change is not reflected in our daily operating processes. Continually improving our work processes allows the organization to function at its peak, and allows everyone to spend less time fighting fires and more time preventing them. This workshop looks at work from a process perspective and will help you define, plan and implement improvements and optimize your daily management activities.

February 12, 2009 (Point Grey Campus)


Project Management Phase 1 with Berrant Group (2-day seminar) - FULL

Program Summary

Tackling today's project focused environment requires a straightforward, down to earth approach. In our most popular program you will learn practical, effective tools, and proven processes that will ensure your projects stay on track and your deliverables are achieved.

February 18 & 19, 2009 (Point Grey Campus)

For more information on seminars from AAPS please visit http://aaps-pd-events.blogspot.com/ open link in new window (or tab)


To Be Announced Soon…..

Please keep an eye out for the following seminar announcements...

  • Project Management Phase 1 (Berrant Group Seminar)
  • Strategic Planning Tools for Teams (Berrant Group Seminar)


If you have any ideas or comments related to Professional Development seminars offered by AAPS, please contact Jasmin Deol atjasmin.harry@ubc.ca.

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Tips and Best Practices

Securing Your Computer

By Johann Boulter, Associate Director of Internal Audit

Information technology (IT) can help us do our jobs more effectively and efficiently. However, IT can also cause serious problems if not properly designed, implemented, maintained, and used. IT includes all systems, from desktop computers, all the way up to major information systems, such as the PeopleSoft systems (FMS, HRMS). IT must be stable (does not constantly crash), reliable (provides accurate, error-free data), and secure (allows people who are authorized to see data to see it, but stops people who aren’t authorized).

The following items highlight recommended methods of promoting IT security and availability:

IT Control


Anti-virus software

University Information Technology has made Sophos Anti-virus software available to the campus community free of charge. Visithttp://www.it.ubc.ca/security/antivirus.html  open link in new window (or tab)  for details.


Firewalls protect against online threats (hackers, viruses, and worms). All UBC faculties and departments should be protected by both network firewalls (firewalls that protect all computers on the faculty or department’s network) and personal firewalls (software-based firewalls installed on individual computers.


File servers provide enhanced security and generally more efficient and effective backup. Where possible, University data should be stored on file servers rather than individual PCs or notebook computers.

Data should be backed up frequently on rotating backup media (for instance, backup tapes that are changed every night on a 2-week rotation), and recent copies of the backup media should be stored in a secure off-site location in case of a natural disaster.

Password protection

IDs and passwords should never be shared among staff.

Passwords should be changed often.

Use of strong passwords (at least 8 characters long; contain lowercase/uppercase/numbers/symbols; not found in the dictionary; doesn’t contain personal information) is a critical security control.

Patches and updates

New bugs and security vulnerabilities are frequently discovered in all types of software, including operating systems and application software. It is critical to IT stability and security than patches an updates released by software manufacturers are frequently applied

Physical Security

Critical servers should be kept in locked alarmed areas where few people have access.

Office PCs should not be easily accessible to the public, and the current location and individual in possession of shared notebooks should be logged.

Data encryption

Theft or loss of laptops, PDAs, smart phones, external hard drives, and USB keys can result in confidential/sensitive data being exposed. Data stored on mobile computers and/or removable media should be encrypted.

Secure deletion of data

Data should be securely deleted from computers to be recycled. Microsoft Windows currently doesn’t have a built-in tool for this purpose. Third-party software such as Eraser at http://eraser.heidi.ie/ open link in new window (or tab)  should be used. Mac OS X has a built-in tool for this purpose.

Timely removal of IDs for departed employees

Reduce the risk of unauthorized access to systems and data by removing or expiring IDs for departed employees.

Authorized/licensed software

Only allow authorized and licensed software on computers as unauthorized/unlicensed software is a common method of spreading viruses and worms.


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Newly Launched Managing at UBC Program

By Human Resources – Organizational Development & Learning

More than 200 new managers are hired annually at UBC. To help support their career growth and leadership potential – and to provide them with an enthusiastic jumpstart – we've created a new program called Managing at UBC.

Designed and developed for new managers, the program incorporates self-directed learning resources that new managers can tap into – whether in-person or online – while providing a supportive environment with their peers. New managers will feel engaged, connected, and confident in their new role and better suited to deal with the day-to-day operations of our organization. The program is open to those who have within the last 12 months been promoted to a managerial role or are a new a new manager to UBC, in a Management and Professional (M&P) position with responsibility for recruitment and termination.

To date, almost 100 new managers have signed up for the pilot program.

Visit www.managingatubc.ubc.ca open link in new window (or tab)  for details on the program and registration information.

If you would like to talk to some about your potential participation, please email James Tyer, Leadership Programs Manager, at james.tyer@ubc.ca

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Four AAPS Members Selected for Leave for Change Program

By Human Resources – Organizational Development & Learning

Four AAPS members will have the opportunity to experience global citizenship during their annual vacation as part of the university’s Leave for Changeprogram.

The program, which grew from a partnership with Uniterra, provides staff with opportunities to volunteer overseas in destinations such as Botswana, Nepal, and Vietnam. Other post-secondary institutions who have participated in Leave for Change include the University of Guelph and Humber College.

The call for applications was proposed during the late summer, followed by an interview process with a representative from Human Resources and Uniterra.

The following AAPS candidates – and their volunteer positions - were announced at yesterday’s Celebrate Learning Week Open House event, where President Toope congratulated each staff member:

Erin Creak – Erin will be volunteering as a Marketing Advisor in Malawi. She is currently the Communications Coordinator for the Department of Health, Safety and Environment.

Manpreet Dhillon – Manpreet will be volunteering as an HR Advisor in Botswana. She is currently the Manager of Business Operations for the Office of Learning Technology.

Claire Moller – Claire will be volunteering as a Web Designer in Nepal. She is currently a User Experience Architect for Enrolment Services. 
Craig Smith – Craig will be volunteering as an Environmental Education and Tourism Advisor in Vietnam. He is currently an Associate Director for the Department of Health, Safety and Environment.

Also selected were:

Sherry Dyck (BCGEU) – Sherry will be volunteering as a HIV/AIDS Trauma Advisor in Botswana. She is currently an Administrative Assistant for Community, Culture and Global Studies at our Okanagan campus.

Sarah McCalla (CUPE 2950) – Sarah will be volunteering as an Activity Report Advisor in Burkina Faso. She is currently a Financial Aid Officer for Enrolment Services.

Erin, Manpreet and Claire will all be departing from Vancouver to their overseas destination by late February. We invite you to follow their adventures via the Leave for Change blog at:http://www.focusonpeople.ubc.ca/leaveforchangeopen link in new window (or tab)  You can also read about Craig Smith's completed volunteer assignment which occurred in January.

For more information about the Leave for Change program, visithttp://www.hr.ubc.ca/leaveforchange/ open link in new window (or tab)

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The Coaching Advantage

Calming your Inner Critic: How are self-limiting beliefs holding you back?

By Nancy Hogan

It is an unfortunate fact that many of us are not aware of the self-limiting beliefs that swirl around in our heads on a daily basis. Some people are so over-loaded and overwhelmed on a daily basis that they don’t have 10 minutes to stop, breathe, and get in touch with what is really going on. So many of our thoughts are fears based on a false or distorted evaluation of a situation or circumstance. Your beliefs have enormous power. They really can influence the way you feel.

Each of us has the power of self-awareness and in working with a coach, can observe and challenge our self-limiting beliefs. Our irrational or self-limiting beliefs will create blind spots and can cause us unhappiness and interfere with goal achievement and success. Coaching is about exploring thoughts, feelings and behaviour to determine what is driving or impeding our actions. A coach is a competent thinking partner who assesses and challenges self-limiting beliefs that may be impacting your ability to learn new skills and behaviours.

A coach can help you to identify your self-limiting beliefs, and discover how these thoughts affect your behaviour. Here is one technique to identify and change thought patterns. An individual wears a rubber band around their wrist and snaps it when they recognize the negative thought they want to “stop”. A coach can work with you to identify how to replace the negative thought with a positive thought, statement or image. As a follow-up practice, you will then monitor the frequency of the negative thought and determine the effectiveness of the “thought stopping” exercise to see if the negative thought is less intense, and eventually it can be permanently replaced by the affirmative thought. There are also several other techniques that a coach may use to help you address self-limiting beliefs.

The importance of examining self-limiting beliefs is critical to assist you in making permanent change. A coach is supportive, non-judgmental, and empathic in working with you to shed self-limiting beliefs.

What self-limiting belief would you like to eliminate?

Nancy Hogan is part of UBC’s award-winning Coaching Program, which offers one-on-one coaching services with a professional coach, team coaching and skill development in coaching. Services are offered to UBC faculty and staff, businesses, and organizations. For more information about UBC's Coaching program, visit http://www.hr.ubc.ca/odl/coaching/ open link in new window (or tab)

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Community Announcements

Resolving Conflict in the Workplace: Make Conflict Resolution Part of a Healthy Work Environment

Location: UBC Robson Square, Vancouver
Date: February 16 & 17, 2009
Time: 9:00am to 4:30pm
Cost: $1150

In this course, you will gain valuable insights into the nature of workplace conflict. You’ll learn how to avoid conflicts and resolve them in a fair and considerate manner. You will leave with an action plan for applying a conflict resolution process in your organization.
Note: The course does not cover legal, contractual, or societal conflicts.
You will develop personal and team conflict profiles, and design a plan for better managing conflict at both levels.

More Information open link in new window (or tab)

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