On the Radar Volume 9 Number 1

February, 2013

“On the Radar" is an electronic news bulletin for members of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff at UBC.  It is published under the guidance of AAPS and the AAPS Communications Committee. We publish 4-5 issues per year. Submissions should be sent to aaps.pd@ubc.ca.


In this issue

AAPS Announcements


AAPS Professional Development Program

Advocacy Report

Community Announcements


Ratification of the 2012 Collective Agreement

AAPS is pleased to confirm that the 2012 Collective Agreement has been ratified by the AAPS membership and the University.

We had an exemplary voter turnout with nearly 40% of members registering a vote.

As outlined in a recent email the results of the membership vote were:
1,316   In Favour
     35   Opposed
1,351   Total Votes

The UBC Board of Governors ratified the agreement on January 18, 2013.

According to UBC Human Resources, the general wage increase will likely be implemented on January 31, 2013 and will be retroactive to July 1, 2012.

Please note the University will be notifying those departments and faculties affected by market survey adjustments.

The Bargaining Committee and the Board would like to thank the members for all the messages of support throughout the negotiation process.

Health Spending Benefit Extended for 2013

Go use your health credits!

AAPS is pleased to share with you that an additional $125 in Health Spending Account (HSA) credits will be available in 2013 to all AAPS members.

After reviewing the current state of the 1% Benefit Accord (that was negotiated for M&P staff by AAPS in 2001) a surplus exists allowing the Health Spending Account Program as well as the partial MSP coverage to continue for 2013.

What does this mean?

As of January 1, 2013, you will have $125 new HSA credits, plus any unused credits from the 2012 calendar year to use. Your unused credits from 2012 will automatically carry forward to the 2013 calendar year. The maximum carry forward of HSA credits is one year.

What happens to my credits from 2011?

If you used your health credits carried over from 2011 before December 31, 2012, but have not submitted a claim, you will have 90 days from December 31, 2012 to submit your HSA claim to Sun Life.

Additional Resources:

Disability Benefits Plan Premium Rate

The Disability Benefits Plan Governance Committee is pleased to report that the Disability Benefits Plan contribution rate will remain unchanged at 1.346% of your earnings for the 2013 calendar year.

The Disability Benefits Plan Governance Committee reviews this rate on an annual basis and works with Sun Life (our insurer) to secure as stable a rate as possible. The annual review takes into consideration previous claims experience, membership demographic data, and potential future claims experience of the plan.

The Disability Benefits Plan Governance Committee is chaired by is AAPS past-president Isabella Losinger and made up of two additional AAPS representatives (Michael Conlon and Margaret Leathley), two UBC HR representatives, and one CUPE 2278 representative.

2012 – 2013 AAPS Board of Directors

Please welcome your Board of Directors for 2012 – 2013. Board Member bios can be found on our website on the Executive Board Page.

President: Jacqueline Smit

Member-at-Large: Aaron Andersen

1st Vice President: Preeti Gill

Member-at-Large: Andrea Han

2nd Vice President: Robert Tudhope

Member-at-Large: Ciprian Jauca

Secretary: Adam McCluskey

Member-at-Large: Margaret Leathley

Treasurer: Paul de Leon

Member-at-Large: Nancy Vered

Past President: Isabella Losinger

Member-at-Large: Oliver Zihlmann

Want to get involved? Consider joining one of our committees. Committees are a great way to network, share your expertise and they offer useful experience for career advancement.

New Faces at AAPS

AAPS was pleased to welcome two new board members and a new staff member in October. Here is a little insight into our “New Faces”.

Paul de Leon — AAPS Treasurer
Director, Finance and Operations, Department of Physics and Astronomy

What do you love to do in your spare time?
I love to do photography and travelling.

What do you love about working at UBC?
My motivation to come to work at UBC stemmed from my being a believer in educating the youth.

What are you reading / watching right now?
I’m currently reading Lost in Shangri-La: A true Story of Survival.  There are only four things I must watch on TV:  Formula One Racing, Motorcycle Racing (MotoGP & World Superbike), Glee and Coronation Street.  Recently Ugly Betty made it into my purview and I’m enjoying watching at my leisure, the five seasons available.


Oliver Zihlmann — AAPS Member-at-large
Development Officer, Faculty of Applied Science Development and Alumni Relations Office

What do you love about working at UBC?
I love the people and variety of work at UBC.  Another benefit is learning about all the interesting and inspiring individuals, programs and projects, at all levels, that shape and define the UBC community.

What do you love to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I like to spend time with family and friends, play squash or ultimate frisbee and trot around the globe.

What are you reading / watching right now?
I am a keen observer of international affairs and like to read the Economist, Globe and Mail and New York Times to keep on top of all the goings-on around the world.


Sarah Muff — AAPS Member Services Officer, Communications and Professional Development

What you love about working for AAPS?
My job has a lot of variety with communications, professional development and member engagement. I’m looking forward to getting to know the members better and what their PD and communications needs are. I’m lucky to be working with such a supportive staff and board. Oh and did I mention the snacks?

Favourite event you’ve coordinated?
So far, it was when I hosted legendary film editor Anne V. Coates. She has worked on everything from” Lawrence of Arabia” to “Out of Sight”.  People were quite literally hanging from the rafters at that event. She was in her 80s at the time and had faced a lot of adversity getting into the industry. She still loved the work she did, but was also keen to learn new technologies and new ways working. A total inspiration!

Favourite social media app?
I’m into photography, so I have a lot of fun with Instagram and Hipstamatic. I hear Flickr is also developing a new mobile app…


2012 UBC President’s Staff Awards

We are very proud of the President’s Staff Award recipients — they’re all members of AAPS. Well-deserved everyone! Read more about the President’s Staff Award winners.


2012 Collective Bargaining Review

AAPS and UBC agreed to a tentative collective agreement on December 9, 2012 after 5 days of mediation. The agreement was ratified by AAPS members in voting held between December 14, 2012 and January 5, 2013; 1351 members voted with 1316 voting in favour and 35 opposed for a 97.5% mandate. During the voting period, four information sessions were held: Point Grey (2), VGH, and UBC-Okanagan. The UBC Board of Governors unanimously ratified the deal on January 18, 2013.

The mediation settled all outstanding issues in collective bargaining as well as a grievance filed by AAPS on November 5, 2012 dealing with the market survey. Shortly after AAPS signalled its intention to file the grievance, UBC refused to table a monetary offer in collective bargaining despite the fact that the bargaining plan UBC submitted to the provincial government budgeted for a 2% wage increase. Instead of bargaining, UBC proposed mediation as a way to resolve both bargaining and the market survey grievance. As has been conveyed to the membership on a number of occasions, the AAPS bargaining team was very disappointed with this bargaining tactic.

One of the hallmarks of collective bargaining is an agreement between the parties on how to resolve disputes over the interpretation of bargained language. In this case UBC chose to use the bargaining process to pressure AAPS into settling the market survey grievance.

The market survey has been in the collective agreement between AAPS and UBC since 1995, but UBC has consistently resisted its commitment to pay AAPS members at the 50th percentile of the comparator market set out in the collective agreement. The market survey undertaken in 2004 led to a prolonged grievance process that was not settled until late 2006. The market surveys undertaken since 2000 have consistently found our members to be, on average, at least 10% out of market.

The most recent survey, conducted in fall 2011, was no exception with a market gap of over 10% with a small number of members over 20% out of market. In the most current iteration of the survey, UBC’s implementation plan was deeply flawed. The so called “go forward” model proposed by UBC would have resulted in our members being paid at or close to the 2011 market by 2014. The monetary offer to remedy the gap identified by the market survey fell far short of honouring UBC’s modest commitment to pay at the 50th percentile. While there is an “ability to pay” clause in the collective agreement, UBC has consistently avoided budgeting for this liability and then disingenuously argues that they cannot afford to honour the clause. As a show of good faith coming out of the 2008 market survey UBC committed to budget for the market adjustments. Regrettably, UBC reneged on this commitment by removing funding from the budget in 2011 and then claimed they were unable to pay our members as promised.

Given that UBC took nearly a year to present the results of the survey to AAPS, this proposal was wholly unacceptable. UBC’s proposal also lacked a credible plan to deal with the job families not surveyed. While it is typical practice to survey a representative sample of jobs in an organization as large as UBC, when this methodology is employed it comes with the proviso that a credible market analysis must be undertaken of jobs not surveyed. In UBC’s original offer they generally treated those jobs not surveyed as if they were being paid at market — a specious claim when you consider that of the 45% of jobs surveyed over 80% of the jobs were out of market.

Despite the concerns outlined above, we were able to strike a deal that resolved the market survey during mediation. The market survey agreement that was struck includes a substantially increased monetary offer as well as meaningful input from AAPS on the implementation of the final three installments.

The details are as follows:

  • $4 million to be disbursed in increments of $1 million:
    • January 1, 2013
    • January 1, 2014
    • July 1, 2014
    • December 1, 2014
  • The first installment follows UBC’s current model with suggestions from AAPS; the last 3 installments must be disbursed by mutual agreement. Where there is no agreement the matter is sent to binding mediation.
  • Strong language regarding consultation with AAPS on future surveys.
  • A commitment to share and implement the results in a timely manner.
  • While retroactive pay was not included this time, it was agreed that it would be on a without prejudice basis.

Highlights of the now ratified collective agreement include:

  • Deal runs July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2014 — all terms, including the monetary settlement are retroactive to July 1, 2012.
  • 2% General Wage Increase: July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013.
  • Transition Counselling (Article 9.1.10) — Terminated employees with more than 5 years of service can now opt for 3 months of coaching from a certified coach instead of the relocation counselling.
  • Statutory Holidays (Article 11.1) — Family Day (2nd Monday in February) is added to the list of statutory holidays.
  • Sick Leave Documentation (Article 12.3.1) — UBC has agreed to clarify the requirements for sick leave documentation. Once the member has satisfied this requirement UBC will pay for any further requests for medical documentation.
  • Employee Data (Article 16) — UBC has agreed to enhance and simplify member information to AAPS in order to serve our members better.
  • Leave for Adoption — The leave benefit for adoptive parents is changed from a post-adoption benefit to a pre-adoption leave of 20 paid days.
  • Professional Development Fund — An additional $5,000, resulting from changes to the adoptive leave, will be re-invested in the Professional Development Fund.
  • Career Transition Consultant (Letter of Agreement #4) — Clarifies the role of the Career Transition Consultant

Every edition, AAPS Member Services Officers review select terms or conditions of employment from the AAPS Agreement.


Luisa Liberatore and Sharon Cory are Member Service Officers at AAPS and are available to assist members with advocacy related concerns. Make an Advocacy Appointment today.



Sick Leave

The Sick Leave Plan articulated in Article 12.3 of the Agreement, offers comprehensive sick leave in the form of six months of paid leave per illness or injury and the benefit can be allocated on a pro rata basis per illness or injury.

What does this mean?

  • An employee is eligible for up to six months for each different illness or injury regardless of the year they occur. For instance, if you had an illness in January, you would be eligible for up to six months of paid leave related to that illness. If you broke your arm in October of that same year and the injury was not related to your illness, you would be eligible for up to six months of six leave related to that injury.
  • If your illness or injury has you on a partial work schedule as part of your return to work, your six month sick leave is calculated on a pro rata basis and the six months total time would then be drawn down over the course of the partial work schedule until the six months maximum has been reached.

Probationary employees accumulate sick leave at a rate of 1¼ days for each month worked. Part time employees will have the leave prorated based on the percentage of their respective appointment. Once the probationary period is completed, employees are eligible for a leave of absence with pay for up to a maximum of six months per illness or injury. It is important to note: employees who have successfully served an initial probationary period and are serving another probationary period as a result of a transfer or promotion will continue to be eligible for a leave of absence with pay for up to a maximum of six months per illness or injury. Once the initial probationary period has passed, M&P no longer earn sick leave on the basis of service.

If an employee is absent for more than five days or has frequent recurring absences, the employer may ask for medical documentation. An employer has a right to know:

  • The general nature of the illness or injury, but not the precise technical details of diagnosis;
  • The anticipated return to work date; and
  •  What work the employee can or cannot do.

For longer or more complex absences, the employer may have a right to inquire about prognosis, functional limitations and/or specifics of a treatment plan.

Once the six month sick leave allotment for the illness or injury is exhausted the employee may be eligible for coverage under the Disability Benefits Plan (DBP). If the illness or injury is likely to exceed the six months, it is advised that the employee begin the process of applying for DBP at least a month before the expiration of the sick leave.

Please contact the AAPS office should you require further clarification or want to learn more. The AAPS office is also available to assist you with other matters which you may need support with.

New UBC Career Transition Consultant (Article 9.1.4 and Letter of Agreement #4)

Human Resources recently hired Pooja Khandelwal as a Career Transition Consultant. http://ca.linkedin.com/in/poojakhandelwal

This new position is designed to provide dedicated career transition coaching to regular M&P and Non-Union Technician staff who are on working notice or salary continuance. The Career Transition Consultant will provide support to regular employees, who have passed the probationary period, and who have been released on a Without Cause basis by the University.

The position will establish relationships with internal and external resources related to career and development services and will refer staff in transition to appropriate resources as they explore their developmental and career options within and beyond UBC.

Pooja Khandelwal can be contacted at pooja.khandelwal@ubc.ca or at 604.827.1471.

It is not the intent for this position to replace the responsibility of the Human Resources Advisors to assist terminated employees in their search for alternative comparable work as articulated in Article 9.1.4 of the agreement. Rather it is an enhanced service that is voluntary for AAPS members. This new service is also acknowledged in a new Letter of Agreement from the recent collective bargaining sessions.

AAPS welcomes all additional support for members terminated on a Without Cause basis under Article 9.

The AAPS office is available to assist members who have been released. Please make an appointment with one of our Member Services Officers – Advocacy.

What’s in Your Cupboard? Planning Your Professional Development

By Luisa Liberatore

Recently, I was making my weekly grocery list and looking through my cupboard to see what I needed to buy. And it hit me: This process was no different than when we look at our own personal professional development needs.

Asking what’s in your our food cupboard is just like asking ourselves, what’s in my professional cupboard? And by extension, what do I need to be successful today and tomorrow? Consider the following steps:

  1. First and foremost, sit down with your current job description and work expectations.  Then ask yourself two questions:
    1. What do I do really well?
    2. What can I be stronger in?
  1. Next, think about what would be the next step career wise and identify one or two areas where you need to get stronger in order to achieve the goal.
  1. You may also consider having a conversation with your manager and/or colleagues. Sometimes areas where you think you need development may not be the ones your manager or colleagues perceive.

Congratulations! In identifying the areas you are strong in and those that need development, you have just established what’s in your professional cupboard and what you need to add to it. From this list, you can now start developing a plan to address the identified skills and knowledge gaps, and build a stronger professional future for yourself. 

Next in this series: Development isn’t just about taking a course.

AAPS Professional Development Program

AAPS is hard at work on the PD program for Winter/Spring 2013, complete with new speakers and topics, as well as, bringing back some high-demand programs. New to our PD program? Check out the PD Frequently Asked Questions.

Upcoming PD Events

Invitations to register for our PD events will be emailed to you. Keep an eye on the Events Calendar for program updates. Not sure if a PD event is the right fit for you? Contact us aaps.pd@ubc.ca

Tax Tips: Your 2012 Personal Income Tax

Thursday February 7, Okanagan Campus

Wednesday February 13, VGH & Area

FULL! Friday February 15, Point Grey Campus

Accountant Dayna Holland joins us again to offer her best tips for filing your personal income tax form. This session will give you an overview of the Canadian tax system and highlight some of the common tax traps people fall into. Bring your questions!

FULL! Tools for Strategic Planning

Wednesday February 20, Point Grey Campus

Back by popular demand, this session will provide you with an introduction to a series of tools and processes for strategic planning. Working in groups, you will be guided through a series of exercises designed to give you hands-on experience with the different tools and you bring back to your work-teams. Facilitated by the Berrant Group.


Your Career — What’s Next?

March 6, Downtown Campus

Thinking about your career future and what you want? Attend this inspiring and hands-on workshop facilitated by careers coach Marlene Delanghe to gain a framework for considering your career options, practical steps to take, and resources available to you.


Practical Project Management

March 7, Okanagan Campus

Our most popular PD session is coming to the Okanagan. Today’s work environment is becoming much more project focused. Stay ahead of the curve with this all-day session facilitated by the Berrant Group that will teach you practical tools and proven processes for project management. Ensure your projects stay on track and achieve their deliverables.


Time Management

March 14, Point Grey Campus

Feeling overwhelmed by work? Join Russel Horwitz of Kwela Consulting as he leads you through a simple yet effective workflow system that can be integrated with standard tools and technology and may improve productivity while reducing stress.

Fall was a busy season for professional development. We had a variety of dynamic hands-on sessions including “Practical Project Management” and “Tools for Strategic Planning”. We focused on interpersonal relations and group dynamics with “Making a ‘Respectful Environment’ a Reality” and “Awareness of Workplace Mental Health and Workplace Influences”. We gained a greater understanding of different leadership and teammate styles through “Your Unique Leadership Style”. Check out our past professional development sessions.

Missed a PD Session? Contact us; for a number of sessions we have handouts we’d be happy to send to you.


Communication Dos and Don'ts from the  “Your Unique Leadership StylePD Session

In December we held two sessions of the Your Unique Leadership Style workshop, one at Point Grey Campus and one at VGH. Using the Insights Learning System which is based on Jungian personality theory, facilitator Shauna Grinke helped participants identify their own working and leadership preferences as well as observe preferences in others. Participants brainstormed their top Dos and Don’ts for communicating with their own personality type.

Want to learn about your fellow AAPS members’ communication Dos and Don’ts? Read More

Special thanks to all the AAPS members to who participated in the workshop.


The AAPS Member Services Officers support and assist the membership in advocacy issues. If you have concerns and/or questions, please contact us and you will be assigned a representative to assist you with your situation. All information is treated confidentially. Questions brought forward raise AAPS' awareness of activities on the University's campuses, and ensure the Agreement on Conditions and Terms of Employment (ACTE) is being appropriately applied.

The itemized report provides a year-to-date snapshot of Advocacy work that Member Services Officers are engaged in.

  • Queries typically comprise of information sharing or situational support related to the Advocacy FAQs on the AAPS website.
  • Advocacy Issues statistics represent the complex support, action/ follow-up by  a Member Services Officer.
  • The Total YTD statistics of Grievance and Arbitrations are matters requiring 3rd party intervention.
  • The Terminations Without Cause statistics represent the number of letters received by the AAPS office, in accordance with Article 9 of the Agreement

Year to Date Totals for the Period: July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013





Collective Bargaining / Market Survey Inquiries


Advocacy Issues


Open Grievances


Terminations Without Cause



Advocacy Issues Detail



Issues Handled









Warning / Suspension




Terminations Cause

Gross Misconduct / Theft / Assault / Other




Terminations Without Cause

Unsuitability / Position Elimination / Reorganization / Budget cuts




Terminations Probation

Suitability / Fit





Voluntary termination




Term Appointments

Date Moved / Notice / Pay




Classification & Reclassification

Job family / Grade




Workload Overtime






Personal / Bullying / Sexual / Gender





Department or UBC Changes




Sick Leave

Pay / Duration / Qualifying for





Accrual / Entitlement




Disability Benefits





Maternity/Parental Leave





Leaves of Absence

Unpaid leave




Performance Review

Probation / Ongoing





Search / Selection / Offer Letters




Secondment / Temporary Promotion

Other positions




Other General Interpretations











Terminations Without Cause Detail

 Terminations Without Cause by Month

 Reasons for Termination Without Cause

  • July: 8
  • August: 9
  • September: 10
  • October: 11
  • November: 17
  • Reorganization
  • Lack of Funding
  • Lack of Suitability
  • Probationary
  • Budgetary Restraint


Community Announcements

These announcements come from AAPS members like you. Do you have a UBC community event you’d like to share? Join the AAPS LinkedIn Group and post your announcement on our discussion board.

Bringing the UBC Brand to life

The UBC community is invited to visit brand.ubc.ca, a new microsite full of tools, templates, and resources related to telling our UBC story.

This new website includes information about our brand, how to incorporate it into a wide range of projects, artwork and template downloads, and examples of how UBC units have applied the brand to their projects, to help inspire others.

You'll also find resources related to: 

Feel free to give your comments and suggestions via the Feedback Form.

Winter Continuing Studies Courses

Downtown Campus

Winter Courses with UBC Continuing Studies Life & Career Programs.

All courses take place at UBC Robson Square and are eligible for staff tuition waivers.

Generations at Work: Creating Collaboration Not Conflict in Your Workplace – 2 Fridays, Feb 8 & 22, 9am-4pm.

Coaching Matters: Skills for the Coaching Conversation – 2 Fridays, Mar 1 & 8, 9am-4pm.

Call for details: 604.822.8585


Point Grey Campus

Yoga classes at the Museum of Anthropology are held in the great hall. It's a lovely space surrounded by totems with a view of the reflecting pond and outdoors. Classes are on Mondays from 12:30-1:30pm and, or Wednesdays from 5:15-6:15pm. Monday classes are a beginner level Hatha class and Wednesday's are a beginner/ intermediate Hatha flow class. Both instructors are happy to offer variations for every level and if you have injuries or conditions that concern you they can offer advice and tell you which poses to skip or modify. You need to supply your own mat and a towel or blanket is recommended.

The Monday sessions will begin on Feb 4th and the Wednesday sessions on Feb 6th. One session will be $80 for 10 classes, or both sessions (20 classes) for $130. Please confirm with payment to Melanie Lawrence by January 21st, so that we can confirm with our instructors.

Please pass this information along to anyone you think may be interested in joining MOA yoga. This includes staff, students, and friends.

For more information or questions please contact Jill Lindsay at: jill.lindsay@ubc.ca
Contact Melanie Lawrence to enroll at: melanie.lawrence@ubc.ca

OutWeek film screening: Out at Work

Okanagan Campus

Join colleagues from across campus for a screening and discussion of the Sundance award-winning documentary Out at Work.

Out at Work chronicles the stories of a cook, an auto worker and a librarian as they seek workplace safety, job security and benefits for gay and lesbian workers.

This event is open to everyone. Light refreshments will be provided and a discussion will take place after the screening.

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 5
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m. film; 1 to 1:30 p.m. discussion
Location: University Centre building, room UNC334

This event has been organized by Human Resources and the Equity Office.