Faculty Relations Newsletter: August 2016

Collective Agreement

Please be advised that the substantive changes agreed upon by the University and the Faculty Association are currently being incorporated into the 2014 – 2016 Faculty Collective Agreement. All changes will be effective as of the date of the Interest Arbitration Award (March 31, 2016) unless otherwise provided, and will remain in effect until July 1, 2016. Once incorporated, the changes will be accessible at www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-relations/collective-agreements/. Please continue to check the website for updates.

If departments would like an explanation regarding changes to the Collective Agreement, please connect with

  • Faculty Relations (Vancouver Campus)
    • Faculty Relations Administrative Assistant: 604-827-1010
  • Human Resources (Okanagan Campus)

Implementation of the 2014 GWI & 2015 GWI, CPI, Merit & PSA

Now that a Collective Agreement for 2014-2016 is in place the faculty salary increases can proceed. The increases are comprised of a number of items including General Wage Increase (GWI) as well as Career Progress, Merit & Performance Salary Adjustment which are collectively referred to as Progress Through the Ranks (PTR). Due to the number of increases and the complexity of each, the anticipated timing of the increases for 2016 are as follows:

  • 2014 GWI for regular Faculty – July 30th paycheque
  • 2014 GWI for Sessional Lecturers – August 15th paycheque
  • 2015 GWI for Sessional Lecturers – August 31st paycheque
  • 1% lump sum for Sessional Lecturers – September 30th paycheque
  • 2015 GWI & PTR for regular Faculty – November 30th paycheque
  • 1% lump sum for regular Faculty – December 15th paycheque

These dates could change should any unanticipated issues arise. If this were to occur, date changes will be communicated accordingly. Please check www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-relations/compensation/faculty-salary-increases/ for any updates.

Salary Increases for Research Associates

This fall Research Associates will be receiving general wage increases in keeping with the mandate provided by the Provincial Government through the Public Sector Employers’ Council (PSEC). The effective dates and amounts of the increases are as follows:

July 1, 2015 1.00%
May 1, 2016 0.45%
July 1, 2016 0.50%

As a result of these increases the minimum salary amounts are adjusted as follows:

July 1, 2015 1.00% $53,739
May 1, 2016 0.45% $53,981
July 1, 2016 0.50% $54,251

Units need to ensure that when hiring new Research Associates they are providing at least the minimum salary amount.

We anticipate that the increases will be processed in on the September 30, October 15 and October 31 paycheques. The increases will be processed in the same manner as the last set of increase for Research Associates (2012-2013), and will simply be applied to the regular earnings accounts that were in place for each person as of 2015 July and later.

Information regarding the process will be shared with administrators in the coming weeks.

New SAC Guide for 2016/2017

The Senior Appointments Committee (SAC) Guide to Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure at UBC has just been updated for the 2016/2017 year. The latest revisions and additions bring further clarity to the eligibility, application and review process for candidates in all tenure-track positions. The SAC Guide is updated each year based on input from all faculties at both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

The Guide and a summary of this year’s updates are both available in PDF format online at: Tenure, Promotion & Reappointment for Faculty Members.

Board of Governors Policy Update

Honoraria Payments

Please be advised that Policy 87, Research, was revised in April 2016. The language regarding honoraria (see section 4.11) has been updated to provide clarification regarding honoraria payment. The revised section reads as follows:

Where honoraria for a UBC person from all third party sources (contracts, grants, etc whether the funding source is Research related or otherwise and whether the honorarium is for Research activities or otherwise) exceeds one-sixth of a UBC Person’s total compensation (excluding benefits) from UBC during the annual period July 1 to June 30, then the approval in writing of the Provost is also required in addition to the approvals listed in sections 4.11.1 (referring to the Head of Department or Director of the UBC Person) and 4.11.2 (referring to the Dean of the Faculty where the UBC Person holds his or her primary appointment (where applicable)).

Given the language of the policy, internal honoraria (such as from GPO) have no limits and are not subject to the stipulated approvals. Only external honoraria (i.e. from third parties) are caught by the 1/6 rule. That being said, the amount of internal honoraria must be added into the total compensation used to determine if the 1/6 rule is triggered. In applying the 1/6 rule, the following calculation may prove helpful:


Administrators are reminded that to determine the total external honoraria paid to a faculty member within the academic year they should run HRMS Query 604 (HON_AND_HN1_PAID_TO_EE). Please run this query prior to processing external honoraria to ensure the faculty member has not exceeded the 1/6 limit for the academic year.

UBC Relocation

Please be advised that Policy 82, Relocation of Faculty Members and Senior Management Staff, was revised in June 2016 and the revisions have been in effect as of June 30, 2016. The HR Total Compensation Unit has created a memorandum outlining a number of the pertinent changes that have occurred as a result of the policy revision which include increases to the dollar amount of Central Caps, new allowances for travel expenses, and tax and financial advising services related to moves. The memorandum can be found at www.hr.ubc.ca/memos/designated-relocation-vendor-updated-procedures-for-policy-82-july-21-2016/.

Research Funding Reminder – Unrestricted Research Accounts

Where a faculty member is entitled to remuneration for services rendered, payment of the remuneration should be processed through the payroll department so that appropriate tax and other withholdings can be made and the University can make the applicable employer contributions.  If a department wishes to support a faculty member’s research by allocating research funding to an unrestricted research account for the faculty member, care should be taken to ensure that the research funding is not provided in lieu of taxable remuneration for services rendered.  The department should be able to justify why the research funding is appropriate in the circumstances.  Research funding should not be paid directly to a faculty member otherwise payroll withholdings will be required.  Rather, it should be allocated to an account within the University for use by the faculty member to conduct research.  Situations will vary and judgement will need to be exercised in each instance to determine if research funding is appropriate.

For example, where a faculty member is appointed to a senior administrator position and is being properly remunerated for the position it may be appropriate to make research funding available to the individual through a University account to allow the individual’s research to continue where the senior administrator position will adversely affect the faculty member’s ability to seek outside funding from granting agencies because of the time commitments of the new role.  It is generally expected that research funding would be appropriate for appointments of one year or longer as a unit head, director of a school and/or institute and as a Faculty Associate Dean, Faculty Dean, Provost or Associate Vice Provost and for similar positions.

All transfers of funds to unrestricted research accounts must be approved in advance by the Office of Research Services which will increase the budget for research if approval is granted.

The University is required to withhold tax and other amounts from remuneration paid to employees for their services.  The University is also required to make employer contributions in respect of such amounts.  An employee can ask the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) to rule on the employee’s pensionable and insurable employment.  If the CRA were to determine that research funding should properly have been paid to the employee as taxable remuneration the University could be required to pay both the employee’s and employer’s Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance contributions plus applicable interest, subject to appealing the CRA’s decision.  If the University is assessed amounts for allocating research funding that should properly have been paid as taxable remuneration all assessed amounts will be charged to the applicable department.

Emeriti and Liability Insurance

Upon retirement, Faculty Members may continue to engage with the University to further contribute to their disciplines, their departments and UBC as a whole. Often, these retired Faculty Members may be granted the status of Professors Emeriti if eligible. However, Administrators and Department Heads must remember that the conferral of status does not create nor govern the relationship between a retired Faculty Member and UBC. One of the implications of this being that without an actual appointment, the relationship would not be covered by UBC’s Liability Insurance Policy. This would create a risk exposure for both retired Faculty Members and UBC. Therefore, Administrators and Department Heads must also process term appointments for Retired Faculty Members as Professor Emeriti if they will continue to perform work at UBC (paid or unpaid). As per UBC Policy 27, Emeriti may be appointed salaried or unsalaried appointments.

If a retired Faculty Member with a non-remunerated appointment is making voluntary contributions to UBC and on its behalf, they will fall within the scope of UBC’s Liability Insurance Policy as a Volunteer Worker. In the Policy a Volunteer Worker is defined as follows: “Volunteer Worker shall mean any person appointed by UBC to perform duties pertaining to student-related activities or to perform duties on behalf of UBC including participation on UBC committees. The Volunteer Worker must be non-salaried but may receive remuneration in the form of an honorarium, stipend or reimbursement of expenses.” As a Volunteer Worker, the retired Faculty Member would be covered by UBC’s Liability Insurance, both general (while performing duties on behalf of UBC) and professional (with respect to work performed under direct or indirect control of UBC). To ensure that UBC’s Insurer will classify a Faculty Member as a Volunteer Worker, it is important that a retired Faculty Member’s appointment letter expressly states that the position is without salary or benefit and identifies their expected duties. WorkSafeBC insurance is not available for volunteers, however UBC has an optional AD&D insurance policy that will provide coverage. For more information regarding the volunteer AD&D Insurance Policy, please connect with Risk Management Services at: www.rms.ubc.ca/insurance/insurance-programs/volunteer-insurance/.  Note that coverage must be arranged through the volunteers’ department administrator.

If a retired Faculty Member has a remunerated appointment and is providing services and contributions that are in substance of an employment nature, then they are not characterized as Volunteer Workers but rather are UBC employees. As an employee, a retired Faculty Member would be covered by UBC’s Liability Insurance Policy and WorkSafeBC in the same manner as all other UBC employees. For information regarding UBC’s liability insurance policies and scope of coverage, please visit: www.rms.ubc.ca/insurance.

Immigration Update

Electronic Authorization & Travel Outside of Canada

As we informed readers in our last newsletter, starting March 15, 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires visa-exempt nationals who arrive or transit through Canada by air to have an Electric Travel Authorization (eTA), as well as appropriate travel documentation and identification, prior to entry. Currently, there is a leniency period that runs until September 29, 2016 where travelers can still arrive or transit through Canada without an eTA provided that they have the appropriate travel documents and identification. The required travel documents and identification can be found at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/apply-who.asp.

Individuals who have permanent resident status will need to ensure that they have proof of permanent residence when they are travelling by air.  Anyone who does not have a permanent residence card should ensure they apply for and obtain one prior to travelling.  Individuals who are not able to provide proof of permanent resident status will be required to apply for an eTA. To determine if you require an eTA, please visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp.

Invitation for Foreign Fellows and Visiting Faculty

A reminder to administrators that when hiring foreign nationals who are eligible to obtain a  work permit without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), that you must submit information about the University (Offer of Employment) and pay a $230 Employer Compliance Fee to IRCC through the IRCC Employer Portal. Department administrators must retain copies of the Offer of Employment details and the confirmation of payment of the Compliance Fee for record keeping purposes.

Please see www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-relations/immigration/letters-of-invitation/ for further details regarding this process.

Advertising Guidelines

In order to comply with minimum advertising requirements as set out by Service Canada, departments are advised that all employment advertisements posted in specific publications/websites (e.g. University Affairs, National Job Bank, or WorkBC) relating to the same position must include all the job specific information (e.g. title, rank, requirements, etc.). Moreover, the advertisements cannot have conflicting details (e.g. if one ad cites 4 years of experience and another citing 5). Should a department wish to place a truncated version of an ad, they must include all the job-specific information. Superfluous information such as information about the University, the city, and the area’s attractions do not have to be included in a truncated advertisement.

For more information regarding further advertising requirements, please visit www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-relations/recruitment/advertising-guidelines/.

Visiting Professors, Scientists & Scholars: Reference Checks

Departments are reminded that the policies and procedures of the University apply to both paid and unpaid appointments as every individual at UBC is expected to observe, at all times, the highest professional standards.

Flowing from this point, prior to sending invitations to prospective visiting professors, scientists & scholars, departments must do their due diligence to ensure that the individual will be able to meet this high standard. Due diligence measures can include both formal and informal reference checks. Also, during the invitation process, it is helpful to keep in mind the UBC Respectful Environment Statement for Students, Faculty and Staff, which reflects the University’s core values of mutual respect, equity, and the promotion of a safe, caring, and respectful campus community.

Cancellation of Study Leave

A reminder regarding the cancellation of study leave due to illness, maternity and/or parental leave.

Cancellation of Study Leave Due to Illness

When a faculty member becomes ill for a significant period of time during the Study Leave, then the leave could be converted to a Sick Leave as necessary. If the Sick Leave is only for a short period and does not result in the cancellation of the Study Leave, then the Study Leave arrangement continues unchanged until the normal end of the term of the leave.

If the Study Leave must be converted to a Sick Leave, then the salary will be returned to the full level that was in effect prior to the start of the Study Leave.

The Study Leave time that is converted to Sick Leave is deferred to a later date which is mutually agreed upon by the member and the department, and the amount of salary paid during the leave will be the same as the original Study Leave salary entitlement. Accrual of time for the next Study Leave will commence as of the end-date of the original Study Leave.

Cancellation of Study Leave during Maternity/Parental Leave

If a faculty member goes on Maternity or Parental Leave during the Study Leave, then the Study Leave will be cancelled. The salary entitlement and deferral of the Study Leave will be handled in the same manner as in the cancellation due to illness.

If you have any questions regarding cancellations of study leave, please connect with the applicable contact at Faculty Relations (Vancouver Campus) or Human Resources (Okanagan Campus) contact. Contact information can be found at www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-relations/contact/.


A reminder to all regarding the policies and procedures for vacation time and vacation pay entitlement. The differences in entitlements for each group under the Faculty Relations umbrella are as follows:

  • Regular tenure stream faculty and Lecturers are entitled to one month of paid annual vacation leave each year.
  • Librarians and Program Directors entitlement varies depending on length of continuous service. For more information, please visit Policy #56.
  • Sessional Lecturers are entitled to 4% of gross earnings in lieu of vacation to be paid with the salary payment each payday. After five consecutive years of full-time equivalent service, vacation pay rises to 6% of gross earnings.
  • Research Associates and Postdoctoral Fellows may negotiate paid annual vacation entitlement with their supervisor and/or Department Head. At a minimum, they are entitled to paid annual vacation leave each year as per ss. 57 and 58 of the Employment Standards Act (ESA) which provides them the following:
    • After 12 consecutive months of employment, 2 weeks of leave with a total pay for that time being 4% of their total wages earned in the previous year.
    • After 5 consecutive years of employment, 3 weeks of leave with a total pay for that time being 6% of their total wages earned in the previous year.
  • Clinical and Adjunct Professors are generally not entitled to paid annual vacation leave as they are likely, by virtue of their profession, excluded from the ESA through operation of s. 31 of the Employment Standards Regulations (Regulations). However, please check the Regulations to determine whether the clinical or adjunct professor falls within the exception as it only applies to certain listed professions (e.g. architecture, law, and medicine). If the clinical or adjunct is not an excluded professional, their paid annual vacation entitlement is the same as for research associates and postdoctoral fellows.

Please note that departments must ensure that employees take their paid annual vacation.

Staffing Updates

Faculty Relations welcomes its new senior manager, Andrew Woodhouse.

Andrew is a graduate of the Peter A. Allard School of Law and is excited to return to campus. Andrew articled at Bull, Houser and Tupper LLP, and then worked at the Health Employers Association of BC, where he represented health employers in grievance processes, arbitrations, and various tribunals, and provided day-to-day advice about collective agreement interpretations and other employment matters. Andrew also participated in collective bargaining, and will be doing so again here at UBC.

In his new HR role, he has been gifted a portfolio of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy.

Outside of work, Andrew tries to keep with the energy of his two young children. He would like to express thanks for the very welcoming atmosphere here at UBC and looks forward to getting to know everyone on the team.

Disclaimer: The Faculty Relations Newsletter is provided for guidance only. For questions about specific issues or cases, please contact a member of Faculty Relations. If there is a conflict or inconsistency between what is reported in the Newsletter and the Collective Agreement or University policy, the latter prevails. Note that information in the Newsletter is subject to change. If you are reading a past issue of the Newsletter check the Faculty Relations website to ensure that the information is still correct.