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Bargaining Update

The interest arbitration between the University and the Faculty Association took place February 16-18, 2016. The panel’s decision will be available later in the spring.

As we mentioned in Bargaining Bulletin #15, the University and the Faculty Association met in January, 2015, and reached agreement on a number of issues, while remaining far apart on issues of compensation and term.

A three-person arbitration panel will determine the outstanding matters for the collective agreement with the Faculty Association, with effect from July 1, 2014. The panel is composed of Colin Taylor, Q.C. (who was the chair for the last UBC/FA arbitration in 2013), Dr. Judith Osborne, Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Secretary to the Board for Simon Fraser University (UBC nominee), and Dr. Michael Conlon, Executive Director, Confederation of University Faculty Associations, BC (UBCFA nominee). We will provide an update once the arbitration decision has been reached.

We had originally planned to go to interest arbitration in October 2015 (see Bargaining Bulletin #15), but those dates were delayed to February, 2016 (see Bargaining Bulletin #30).

2015 Career Progress, Merit & PSA Increases

2015 salary increases will be processed as soon as possible after a new collective agreement is reached. When this occurs, the increases will be retroactive to July 1, 2015. Once the 2015 increases have been processed, work will begin on the July 1, 2016, increases. The timeline will depend on when the arbitration panel decision is announced. One of the issues before the panel is whether there is a 2014 General Wage Increase. If ordered this will be processed prior to the 2015 increases.

2016 Merit & PSA Reviews

It is appropriate at this time to commence preparations for the 2016 merit & PSA review. As per the Collective Agreement the review period for merit & PSA effective July 1, 2016, is April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016.

Immigration Update

CIC changes to IRCC

With the change in federal government, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has changed their name to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The Faculty Relations website will be updated as soon as possible. During this time of transition, you may see CIC and IRCC used interchangeably.

IRCC Processing Times

IRCC is currently experiencing long delays of up to 5 months in processing work permits applications. Departments are advised to begin working with faculty members to apply for new work permits as early as possible. For more information on processing times, please refer to the Processing Times on IRCC’s website.

Administrators should run HRMS Query 208 every few month for a list of foreign nationals in their unit and the corresponding work permit expiry dates.

Implied Status, MSP Coverage & Leaving Canada

A faculty member who applies for a new work permit prior to expiration of their current permit will have implied status upon the expiry of their current work permit until their new permit arrives. Implied status allows the faculty member to work under the same conditions pending a determination of their application for a new work permit. This allows UBC to continue paying the individual. However, implied status has implications for travel outside of Canada and for continued coverage under the Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Should a faculty member with Implied Status leave Canada they will be without status. Administrators need to inform Faculty Relations right away so that an unpaid leave can be processed. Faculty members need to be aware that upon their return to Canada they may not be permitted to resume work until the new work permit is issued. In regards to MSP coverage will cease effective the work permit expiry date unless a copy of proof of Implied Status is provided to Faculty Relations (UBCV)/Human Resources (UBCO) and Payroll.  Note that proof of Implied Status must be provided at least one month in advance of the work permit expiry date to ensure that there is enough time for MSP to process the continuation of benefits.

Further information on Implied Status is found at Work Permit Renewal information on the Faculty Relation’s website or the IRCC’s website – Temporary Resident: Validity, Extensions, and Restoration of Status.

Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada Electronic Travel Authorization

Starting March 15, 2016, IRCC requires visa-exempt nationals who arrive or transit through Canada by air to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to entry in Canada in addition to acceptable travel documents and identification. By entering a name, passport number, email address, and credit card and answering a few simple questions, IRCC can screen travelers prior to entry to Canada. The cost is $7 CAD per person and in most cases, an eTA will be approved within minutes of applying. Once approved, an eTA is valid for five years or upon passport expiry, whichever comes first.

A visa-exempt national is a foreign national who does not normally need a visa to enter Canada. Please refer to IRCC’s website for a list of countries whose citizens will be required to apply for an eTA. Exceptions include citizens of the United States and foreign nationals with a valid visa – those who require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) do not have to apply for a separate eTA, it will be part of the TRV process.

Offer of Employment and Compliance Fee

A reminder to administrators that after you have submitted an Offer of Employment and paid the Compliance Fee you should print a copy of the Transaction Receipt. Additionally you can also print a copy of the submission queue with all other names redacted. Provide a copy of this to the postdoc or visitor along with the Offer of Employment confirmation number so that the individual can attach to their work permit application as proof that UBC has supplied the necessary information and fee to IRCC. We have unfortunately had a few cases recently where the immigration officer denied a work permit application because there was no proof that UBC had submitted the required information.  Note also that you have the option to print each section as you complete the Offer of Employment; you may want to do this if you want to keep a record of the information submitted to IRCC.

BC Provincial Nominee Program

The Province has recently announced a new intake system, the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS), for British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). SIRS is a points-based system that gives candidates a registration score to determine whether candidates are invited to apply. Scores are based on an individual’s ability to succeed in the labour market, such as level of education, years of direct work experience, and a BC employment offer. The introduction of SIRS aims to provide a more transparent and efficient system to facilitate skilled immigrants applying to PNP. For more information, contact Faculty Relations at UBC’s Vancouver campus, or Human Resources at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Each province has an annual limit on how many nominees it may put forward. The provincial nominee programs are very popular and in 2015, British Columbia reached its limit by late August. Faculty members who are interested in applying for permanent residency through the BC PNP should submit their registration early in the year to maximize their chance of being nominated.

Senior Appointments Committee (SAC) Deadline For 2015/2016 Year

A reminder that April 13, 2016, is the final submission date for SAC cases for the 2015/16 year. This date is to ensure that the committee will be able to review these cases before their final meeting on June 24, 2016. Any cases provide to Faculty Relations after this date will be pushed to the next year (excluding NEW cases). We have discontinued the practice of having additional meetings after June. To help with this, we ask that Department and Dean’s offices handle the trouble cases early and that you prioritize meetings on tenure and promotion.

Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) – Vancouver Campus

The Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) will again be offered to new Heads, Directors, Associate Deans, and other academic leaders at UBC’s Vancouver campus in 2016/17, beginning in August. ALDP is an annual, cohort-based program sponsored by the Office of the Provost, and implemented through a partnership between Human Resources and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. ALDP offers group and individualized leadership development support throughout the academic year, including:

  • Two intensive “Boot Camps” in late August (final week) and early December, focusing on leadership fundamentals
  • Workshops focusing on broad leadership topics such as “Engaging With Conflict,” “Leading Change,” and “Planning for Year Two”
  • Breakfast and lunch-time studios focusing on specific topics relevant to needs of academic leaders, such as “Supporting and Assessing Faculty Career Development,” ”Employee Relations“, “Building Effective Partnerships”, “Supporting Research in Your Unit,” and “The Changing Landscape of Teaching and Learning”
  • Leadership styles assessment and an opportunity to receive reflective, individual feedback on leadership development, using an Appreciative Inquiry approach
  • Confidential, one-on-one executive coaching to support cohort members in identifying and achieving their leadership goals
  • Online learning modules accessible through the ALDP Connect Learning Management System site

Prior ALDP cohort members have reported becoming more effective leaders, and deriving more personal satisfaction in their leadership roles, as a result of their participation in the Program.

Administrators, Heads and Deans are encouraged to highlight and offer ALDP to faculty when recruiting for academic leadership positions. For questions about the Program and to enroll a new academic leader in the 2016/17 Program, please contact Julianna Chen, ALDP Program Manager, at julianna.chen@ubc.ca or 604-827-2783. Further information about ALDP can also be found on the Program website, http://aldp.ubc.ca.

Academic Leadership Series (ALS) – Okanagan Campus

The Academic Leadership Series is run on an ongoing basis for Heads, Directors, Associate Deans, Deans and other academic leaders at UBC’s Okanagan campus. The series is coordinated by Human Resources, Okanagan, and begins each year with a two-day retreat in August followed by monthly Lunch & Learn sessions focused on both administrative and broad leadership topics. The ALS also supports an important level of networking and connection between the members of the Okanagan Academic Leadership team. Coaching is also provided to support individual leaders.

Faculty Professional Development Reimbursement (PDR) Fund – Expiry Of Funds

For Regular Faculty Members and Sessionals with Continuing Status: A reminder that unused PDR funds earned in 2011/2012 must be used and claimed by June 30, 2016. Claims for funds earned in 2011/2012 not received by Financial Operations (FinOp) on the Vancouver campus by the cut-off date of June 30, 2016, will be forfeited by the individual.

For Sessionals without Continuing Status: Unused PDR funds expire after two years rather than five years. The expiry dates for the non-CS funds are: 1) June 30 for unspent PDR funds from the February 15 assessment date and 2) December 31 for unspent PDR funds from the August 15 and October 15 assessment dates.

All faculty members (except Sessionals) can view their PDR fund balance online. Sessional Lecturers who wish to know their PDR fund balances can contact Tina Lu at (PPS PDR). For further information on PDR funds, please visit the Faculty Relations’ website.

A reminder that claims can be submitted up to three times per year, and that they must be submitted within 12 months of the expense being incurred.

Research Associate Professional Development Fund

A reminder that salaried Research Associates are eligible to apply for up to $2,000 in professional development (PD) funds for each two-year funding cycle period. Funding requests for the current two-year funding cycle end on March 31, 2016. Unlike Faculty, Research Associates cannot carry over PD funds.

Upon submission of the completed claim, the PD Fund Coordinator will review the claim. Once a claim is processed, a confirmation email will be sent. For further information, contact the PD Funds Coordinator.

Information on the Research Associate PD funds is found on the Human Resources website.

Sessional Conference Fund

Sessional Lecturers are eligible to apply for funds to present papers at conferences. Eligible expenses include: accommodation, conference registration, and transportation expenses. Funds are available on an annual basis and an announcement is sent out to all eligible Sessional Lecturers each January. Applications must be submitted to the Faculty Association by the end of February. For more information, please visit Faculty Relations’ website.