On the Radar Volume 6 Number 1


2010 ice sculpture



“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.


Photograph by Tim Gillin open link in new window (or tab)


In This Issue

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




Collective Bargaining

by Michael Conlon, AAPS Executive Director

AAPS Executive Director Michael Conlon and AAPS President Isabella Losinger recently completed a series of collective bargaining focus groups. The focus groups included two sessions at Point Grey, one session at UBC-Okanagan, and one each at Children’s & Women's Health Centre of BC and Vancouver General Hospital.

The valuable feedback provided by members at the sessions will be instrumental in determining our mandate for the upcoming round of bargaining. Though AAPS members face different challenges depending on the nature and location of their workplace, several key themes emerged in the discussions:

  • the differential treatment of members on contract and permanent staff
  • the adequacy of severance or notice given to employees terminated without cause
  • the difficulty of accessing affordable child care on campus
  • the increasing burden of elder care and the need for some recognition of those demands in the collective agreement
  • the expansion of professional development opportunities, both in the form of funding and adequate time off to pursue learning opportunities
  • the enhancement of the existing benefits package, including revisiting the substantial co-pays and deductibles in the plan
  • the addition of benefits such as subsidized access to UBC recreational facilities and subsidized parking.

Work is well underway in canvassing comparator agreements in order to mount the case for our bargaining position. Though the Post-Secondary Education Employers Council has yet to issue a public mandate for the upcoming round of bargaining, it is widely expected to be a very difficult round in which to secure wage increases. That said, the bargaining committee will take a number of factors into account when developing sustainable positions that will allow UBC to continue to attract and retain excellent staff.

Negotiations are expected to get underway this spring but it is not too late to share your ideas with the bargaining committee. An online survey is currently being prepared and will be available shortly for members to submit ideas to the committee. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this round of collective bargaining please contact Michael Conlon, michael.conlon@ubc.ca.

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AAPS Professional Development Fund Exhausted

by Michael Conlon, AAPS Executive Director

On December 08, 2009, Human Resources announced that they are no longer accepting applications for the Professional Development (PD) Fund for the 09/10 year because the funding is exhausted. The news was a disappointment to many members, particularly those who were unable to claim their reimbursements in time.

The AAPS Professional Development Fund was negotiated as part of the collective agreement in 2005 between the University and AAPS to establish a funded program to support individual professional development. As part of the agreement the fund grew in increments, and the annual budget for this year was $450,000. The fund is jointly administered by AAPS and the University withOrganizational Development and Learning (UBC HR) open link in new window (or tab) overseeing the day-to-day administration of the fund.

When first negotiated, interest in the fund was quite low and in its first years of operation the fund actually had a large carry-forward surplus. In an effort to spur interest the University and AAPS embarked on a communications campaign and increased the eligible amount to a maximum of $750 per year. Interest in the fund quickly grew and peaked this year with funds running out by December.

Moving forward AAPS would like to stress that the Professional Development Guidelines open link in new window (or tab) explain that the AAPS PD program is not intended to substitute for departmental funds which individuals should be using for learning activities that are directly related to their position at UBC. Rather it is intended to support Member driven and initiated activities that further the Member’s broader professional development. AAPS will continue to work with the University in developing communications that clearly outline the purpose of the fund.

AAPS has been meeting with the University on a regular basis to find a solution to the increasing demand for PD among its members. The joint committee managing the fund is looking at all options to ensure that access to the fund is equal and as fair as possible for all members. Though it is likely the fund will continue to be exhausted at year end, AAPS is looking at finding ways to ensure that those hoping to pursue PD opportunities later in the year have an opportunity to access the fund. As these discussions evolve we will provide the membership with various options and solicit feedback before making any changes to the fund criteria. In addition, PD will be a key issue in the upcoming round of collective bargaining.

AAPS also separately organizes PD events year round which are free to members. Most of these events will be recorded and available online to ensure that members who can’t attend have access to the material.

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UBC President Meets with AAPS

by Jasmin Deol, Member Services Officer

In January 2010, UBC President, Professor Stephen Toope, met with the AAPS Board and staff to discuss issues of common concern. The meeting was an informal and positive exchange of ideas. AAPS President Isabella Losinger highlighted a number of areas where AAPS and UBC work cooperatively, but also addressed concerns such as job security. Professor Toope spoke about his vision of increasing UBC's stature and relevance to its partner communities by becoming a more efficient organization. Professor Toope seemed fairly optimistic on the financial status of the University’s endowment fund, particularly compared to its counterparts in the rest of Canada.

AAPS and Professor Toope also discussed the impact of the Respectful Workplace Environment Statement. Although AAPS believes that the initiative is a positive step in the right direction, there is still some concern regarding accountability of staff and faculty who continue to behave in ways inconsistent with this Statement. Concern was also expressed about the responsibility of those who are in supervisory or leadership roles and who are approached with these sensitive issues. Professor Toope encouraged AAPS to bring forward any ideas on how to improve the initiative.

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A Time to Reflect on Accomplishments

by Isabella Losinger, AAPS President

We have many talented AAPS volunteers (Board and Committee members) and staff. They cope daily with an incredible array of complex and time-consuming issues, often in an environment that demands reactive, just-in-time solutions or, at the very least, reliable and effective advice. Despite this, they also continue to perform their regular “day” jobs (as in the case of volunteers); and, with respect to the staff, maintain their interest and expertise in their chosen fields of endeavour.

Jasmin Deol

At this time, I would particularly like to acknowledge the efforts of Jasmin Deol, one of our Member Services Officers, to further her professional knowledge. Jasmin was working on her Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation before she joined AAPS in 2008, and I am now pleased to write that she successfully completed all requirements for this designation in late 2009.

A highly qualified and competent staff is essential to the ability of AAPS to serve the needs of its membership. That they continue to accomplish so much professionally and personally is commendable.

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Olympic Games

The Olympics are quickly approaching, and many of us are becoming increasingly anxious over the thought of commuting to and from work. No matter what your plan is, your commute will be impacted by the games and it is important to plan ahead. Here are some helpful links from UBC Olympic and Paralympic Secretariat open link in new window (or tab) when preparing for the games:

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Advocacy Issues Report

The Advocacy Committee and the AAPS Member Services Officers are available to support and assist the Membership in advocacy 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. All information is treated confidentially. Questions that are brought forward raise AAPS' awareness of what is happening on the University's campuses, and ensures that the Agreement on Conditions and Terms of Employment (ACTE) is being appropriately applied. The following report identifies the Category of Issues as well as the number of specific issues within each category.

Advocacy Issues
(Reporting Period July 1, 2009 to January 31, 2010)

Category of Issue Category DescriptionYTD
# Issues Handled
# of Issues Resolved
# of Issues Remaining
Hours of WorkTime of day / day of week532
Workload OvertimeOver work/overtime pay   
Terminations CauseCulpable firings   
Terminations Without CauseLayoff/ Reorg/Lack of $/Unsuitability21201
Terminations ProbationSuitability/Fit   
Resignation/ RetirementQuit of own accord22 
Term Appointment EndsDate Moved/ Notice/$321
Classification & ReclassFamily/Grade211
Bargaining UnitAAPS/CUPE/ FACUlTY   
ExclusionsWho is in/out   
Discrimination - 13 GroundsHuman Rights Code   
Harassment - PersonalBullying3 3
Work Environment - PhysicalSafety   
Work Environment - CultureToxic Environment4 4
ReorganizationDept or UBC changes2 2
Long Term DisabilityExtend sick leave   
Sick LeavePay, duration, qualifying for862
Leaves of AbsenceVacation & other leaves963
PensionsAmount, entitlement, etc. 1
Evaluation Post -Prob'nPerformance11 
Evaluation ProbationPerformance642
AppointmentsSearch/Selection/ Offer Letters871
ServiceTotal Length of   
AttendanceAbsenteeism & Attendance Mgmt   
Professional DevelopmentTuition Waivers/PD Fund/Study Leave954
Interpretations GeneralAnything not listed above16124
TOTAL 1268937


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Roundtable on Working past 65 at UBC

Transition into different life and career phases can require consideration and choices. We are seeking individuals who are later in their career at UBC who would be interested in a Roundtable to discuss retirement and associated issues such pension, benefits, and general morale of those moving toward 65 and over 65 still working at UBC.

Please email Petra Ormsby at petra.ormsby@ubc.ca by March 12, 2010, if you are interested in this type of forum.

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Upcoming AAPS Events

The AAPS Professional Development Committee has been working hard to develop the Spring 2010 Speaker Series. Some of these events have not yet opened for registration. Bookmark the AAPS PD Blog to keep up to date on Professional Development Events organized by AAPS. If you have an idea for a Professional Development Event, please contact Jasmin Deol atjasmin.harry@ubc.ca.

Tax Tips Seminar

tax tips

Presented by Canada Revenue Agency
Free Seminar, Only 100 Spots Available, Please RSVP

March 04, 2010 (Point Grey Campus)
Registration Deadline: February 26, 2010


Program Summary:

Is this your first time filing a tax return? Are you intimidated about the process? Or do you know how to file, but want to maximize your return? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then this seminar is right for you. CRA wants you to be prepared this 2009 tax season. Is this your first time filing a tax return? Are you intimidated about the process? Or do you know how to file, but want to maximize your return? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then this seminar is right for you. CRA wants you to be prepared this 2009 tax season.

You Will Learn:

  • Preparing your tax return
  • RRSP Contributions
  • Homebuyers Plan & Credit
  • Tax-free Savings account
  • My Account for Individuals
  • Disability Tax Credit & Registered Disability Savings Plan
  • Education credits & Registered Education Savings Plan

Presenter Bio:
Gregory Russell is the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and Outreach Coordinator for the Vancouver Tax Office of Canada Revenue Agency. He has held this position for the past three years. Prior to this position, he was responsible for approval of waiver requests to reduce tax at source. He has also worked at the Surrey Tax Centre.

Who Should Attend: 
Individuals who would like to gain a better understanding of personal taxes and how to make better financial decisions that will minimize their tax situation. This seminar is intended for an audience with little to no background in Tax. This seminar is only for AAPS members.

Program Information: 
March 04, 2010 
12:00pm to 1:30pm

Henry Angus Building 
2053 Main Mall (view location mapopen link in new window (or tab)
Room 413

To Register:

Simply send an email to aaps.pd@ubc.ca. Only 100 seats available. Registration is a first come first served basis.

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Your Prescription for Life: Seven Steps to Extraordinary Health and Happiness

by Jasmin Harry, Member Services Officer AAPS


Presented by Dr. Susan Biali

May 26, 2010 (Point Grey Campus)

Would you like your life to feel more vibrant and satisfying, on all levels? Would you like to know exactly what to do to get your life, your health and yourself back?

In this program, Dr. Biali open link in new window (or tab) will shine a light into the dark corners of your life plan. You’ll discover the Seven Life Secrets that are critical to total wellness and true life success, while being entertained by Dr. Biali’s straight talking style – and her incorporation of Flamenco dancing into her content. She will share insights and techniques on a variety of practical themes, from food to self-esteem to spirituality.

In this program, participants learn to:

  • Reclaim your most authentic self, and begin to honour who you really are
  • Stop putting yourself last, and start making self-love and self-care an absolute priority in your life
  • Honour your body and dramatically improve your health, by listening to and understanding your “body language”
  • Choose foods that slow down aging and powerfully protect and improve your health
  • Improve the quality of your most important and challenging relationships
  • Balance your life and find time for the things that count most
  • Make room for the divine in all aspects of your life, and gain a fresh, positive perspective on life’s mysteries
  • Turn this knowledge into action, now! Audiences learn simple techniques to help them create health and happiness in the midst of their busy lives. They will leave enlightened, energized and motivated, knowing exactly what they need to do next to improve their life and their future.

Registration is not yet open for this event. More information on this event will be emailed directly to AAPS members.

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Previous AAPS Events

Lessons in Shared and Strength-Based Leadership

adam kreek on stage

Successful teams are filled with leaders. On February 09, 2010, 250 AAPS members attended Adam Kreek’s presentation on Lessons in Shared and Strength-based Leadership. Two-time Olympian, entrepreneur and author Adam Kreek shared valuable insights on fostering impactful leadership in competitive team environments. Adam’s passion for life is infectious and his simple and proven strategies offer a platform for success across disciplines.

The presentation was recorded, and the video will be available to the membership shortly via email.

adam kreek olympic torch and gold medal

Keira Louis, Adam Kreek, and Alina Yukhymets


AAPS member’s also had the opportunity to take pictures with Adam’s Olympic Gold Medal and a Vancouver 2010 Torch after the presentation. Adam participated in the Olympic Torch Relay for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.






Speak Up: Speak Out - Personal Power and Respect in the Workplace


109 AAPS members attended the AAPS event, Speak Up: Speak Out-Personal Power and Respect in the Workplace, presented by Erica Pinsky. This three hour workshop inspires leaders and those they lead to walk the talk of respect at work - to transform themselves and their organizations. Erica’s dynamic presentation was filled with concrete strategies, powerful insights, and engaging stories delivered in her entertaining and straightforward style.

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Understanding Your Agreement

Each edition of 'On the Radar' will include a summary of a term or condition of employment from the AAPS Agreement.

Early Preparation for Paid Christmas Leave

By Sharon Cory, Member Services Officer

At the closure of 2009 the AAPS office answered numerous calls from the membership regarding "Paid Leave (Christmas)".

Article 12.9Paid Leave (Christmas), starts with reference to Article 10.4 in which it is identified that the "University recognizes that the contributions of M&P staff may often take the form of hours worked outside of the standard work week." Following that clarification, it is identified that those individuals who have worked "significant amounts of hours above the usual job requirements" and who would normally be scheduled to work between Christmas and New Year's "may be granted three (3) days" paid leave between "Boxing Day and New Year’s Day unless they are required to work for operational reasons."

Firstly, both Articles 10.4 and 12.9 reference significant amounts of work above the usual job requirements. The second key phrase is "may be granted." The third important phrase is "unless required to work for operational reasons." When you review your personal contributions, ensure that you apply the above noted criteria. Throughout the year we can all see workloads fluctuate and as the year creeps on sometimes we may forget what has taken place a couple of months prior. This is why it is very important to keep track of those times that may have impact as to whether you have eligibility in the "Paid Leave (Christmas)".

Moving forward throughout the year, one option for you would be to keep a personal itemized listing to reference should you need to refer to specifics when the fall of 2010 arrives. This reference material will enable you to effectively identify or remind those of the contributions and commitments you have provided. For those of you who not only have random projects of extensive time commitments but work in an environment where extensive time commitments remain constant and ongoing, ensure that this work is identified in your personal status update meeting, in performance reviews, or in quarterly reviews. Starting to keep track now will make it far easier to support your case later in the year when Paid Leave (Christmas) is under review.

Should you have questions please contact the AAPS office for further clarification.

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Getting to Know Your Committee Members

Each edition of On the Radar will include a Q & A session with an active committee member. This month, AAPS Board Member-at-Large, Jacqueline Smit will be featured.

jacqueline smit


What is your position at UBC? Explain your duties.

I am the Senior Officer, International Research Initiatives with the Office of the Vice President Research & International. I manage two internal funding programs, one for faculty workshops, the other to promote graduate student mobility. I am also responsible for sourcing international research funding opportunities and providing consultation on the development of international grant proposals. I have been in this position for one year, but have worked at UBC as an M&P staff member since 1996.

What do you love most about working at UBC?

I find working in an academic environment to be both stimulating and challenging. I think that UBC is on the cutting edge of many of their academic and research initiatives. As a result, I learn new things every day and meet very interesting people along the way. My previous research positions have been very applied, and I enjoyed building connections between academia, community and government. In my new role, I understand the international reputation that UBC has and the scope of UBC’s impact globally. I also live on campus and love the vibrancy of being surrounded by young, energetic students and young families.

What is your volunteer position at AAPS? Explain your duties.

I am a member-at-large on the AAPS Board. I attend Board and planning meetings twice a month. As of 2010, I also serve as the AAPS Board Rep on the Return to Work Steering Committee.

What made you decide to volunteer for AAPS?

I realized that my family and I had benefited a great deal from many the services of AAPS and the AAPS agreement framework, and I felt it was time that I stepped up and make a contribution to efforts, thereby supporting current and incoming AAPS members. Having previously dealt with a very complex and stressful situation in my workplace, a particular commitment I have in my AAPS role is to contribute to a healthy work environment at UBC.

What is your favourite restaurant on UBC campus and why?

Westward Ho! Bar & Grill at the UBC Golf Course. Staff and service are excellent, gorgeous surroundings and music isn’t too loud. Food is consistently excellent – they make a wicked salmon burger.

If you could give a piece of advice to a new M&P Staff about their career, what would it be?

Two things:

  1. Connect with a mentor or coach. Find someone who is more experienced than you that you respect and look up to and meet with them regularly to ‘chat’, either formally or informally about career and skill development, issues related to your workplace, etc. If you are looking for something more formal, sign up for the UBC coaching program.http://www.hr.ubc.ca/odl/coaching/1on1/index.html open link in new window (or tab)
  2. Make sure you take time for lunch breaks away from your desk and exercise. Research shows that those who work in high-demanding environments are more productive, creative and effective if they take regular breaks and exercise. Don’t get caught up (as I have in the past) in thinking that you are too busy to make time for these essentials.

In your opinion, what are key characteristics that you feel make a good manager?

A good manager values people and knows how to encourage and inspire staff. Good managers help people to improve their own effectiveness and efficiency – and don’t manage this on their behalf.

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The Coaching Advantage

Visualize Your Life in 2010

By Nancy Hogan, CEC BBA

Visualization occurs in your mind in the absence of any external stimuli. Close your eyes and play a “new release” movie where you are in the leading role. What are the highlights or features of this movie as you visualize your life unfolding in 2010? What excites you and gets your heart beating faster? How do you feel when watching this motion picture? (I hope you are not falling asleep!)

Visualization techniques are most effective when a professional coach combines them with exploring values, challenging self-limiting beliefs and setting achievable goals and action plans. Possible benefits of visualization:

  • Increases self-awareness
  • Improves concentration and focus
  • Provides a mental picture of how to act
  • Aids in the practice of old and new skills
  • Enhances confidence 

Research from sports psychology indicates that visualization can be highly effective in enhancing an athlete’s confidence and skill performance. Visualization can also be referred to as a mental rehearsal. All of the athletes coming to Vancouver for the Olympics or Paralympics will have visualized themselves on the podium receiving a Gold medal (as part of their training regimen) while only one person in each event will achieve this goal.

One could argue that the real Gold is not the goal that is achieved. It is the journey that is undertaken in going for the Gold, and who you have become as a result. I know from personal experience in competing in my first Olympic distance triathlon last summer – completing my goal in crossing the finish line was the celebration while the journey was the focused, disciplined training I completed for several months before the event. For a non-swimmer like me, visualization was important to keep me on track despite set-backs like choppy waters when I did not think I would make it to the finish line. This determination in the face of fear is a key strength I now keep close to my heart to assist me in when challenging circumstances arise.

How will you go for Gold in 2010?

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

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Vancouver Institute Spring 2010 Program

* Free Public Lectures *

Feb 27

Professor Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Department of Geology, University of Toronto
Can Carbon Capture and Storage Solve Global Climate Change? Lessons from Nature

Mar 6

Dr. Andrew Trites, Director, Marine Mammal Research Unit, UBC Fisheries Centre
Journey of the Blue Whale

Mar 13

UBC Excellence in Research Lecture
Dr. Bruce Kidd
, OC, Dean, Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto
Sport and Legacy/Sustainability 
Alternate location: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, University of British Columbia

Mar 20

Borealis String Quartet, Vancouver, B.C.
Lecture and Performance

Mar 27

Dal Grauer Memorial Lecture
Professor Erna Paris, Author, Toronto, Ontario
The Writer and Human Rights

Apr 3


Apr 10

Professor Tom Pedersen, Director, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), and former Dean of Science, UVic
Responding to Global Warming: The Challenge, the Opportunity, & the Politics

Apr 17

Professor Doug Wallace, Director, Center for Molecular & Mitochondrial Medicine and Genetics, University of California at Irvine
Human Mitochondria: Window Into Our Origins, Ailments, and Longevity

Apr 24

Professor Rene Provost, Faculty of Law, McGill
Waltzing With al-Bashir: Juggling Peace and Justice in Darfur

Please visit: Vancouver Instituteopen link in new window (or tab)

Saturday evenings, 8:15 p.m. (doors open 7:30 p.m.), except where otherwise noted.

The Spring 2010 season comprises eleven lectures, from January 23 to April 24, omitting February 13th and 20th (Olympics) and April 3rd (Easter).

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