Faculty Relations Newsletter: June 2014

Faculty Bargaining Update

The University and the Faculty Association are currently bargaining the next faculty collective agreement. Bargaining started in April of this year, and all proposals from both sides of the table have now been presented. Discussions have been productive and continue later this month. For more details and regular bargaining updates from Lisa Castle, VP Human Resources, visit the Human Resources Bargaining Feed. Faculty members can subscribe to regular bargaining updates at this feed as well.

Immigration Updates

Important Change Coming to Work Permit Renewal Process for Tenure Stream Appointees

Service Canada has notified the University of a change to the work permit process for tenure stream faculty members. When a foreign faculty member’s work permit is expiring Faculty Relations normally has to obtain a new Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Service Canada before the faculty member can apply for a new work permit. In the past Service Canada has not required that the position be re-advertised.  They have now informed us that tenure stream positions must be re-advertised in order to apply for a new LMO.  Positions must be advertised according to the usual LMO criteria. For this reason, Faculty Relations continues to strongly encourage foreign faculty members to apply for permanent residency as soon as possible. This change has not yet been formally announced but Service Canada has informed us of the change verbally.  The Faculty Relations website will be updated to reflect the change once the announcement is formalized.

Permanent Resident Visa Applications

Individuals appointed to tenure or tenure-track positions may apply for Permanent Residency through the BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). This process is faster than applying directly to Citizenship & Immigration Canada (normally less than 1 year). The nomination of the faculty member by their academic unit must be coordinated by a Faculty Relations Assistant Manager at UBC Vancouver, or by Human Resources at UBC Okanagan susan.fukushima@ubc.ca. Units may not apply directly to the BC PNP.

For faculty members not applying via the BC PNP, or for term-appointed faculty members, Permanent Resident applications should be made through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). This process requires that the faculty member has been employed full-time in Canada for 1 year or more, with the language proficiency appropriate to their position. For a single faculty member, the CEC process requires submitting an application, with supporting documents, along with a processing fee of $550, and then a Right of Permanent Residence fee of $490 if the application is approved. Processing time can vary, but it usually takes around 13 months. More detailed information and CEC application materials are available at Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC). Faculty Relations and Human Resources do not handle CEC applications, so faculty members must apply directly to CIC.

For more information on Permanent Residency Visas, visit Faculty Relations Permanent Residency & Citizenship, and Citizenship & Immigration Canada.

Faculty Appointment Form required for Foreign Academic Appointments

A reminder to all departments, in order for Faculty Relations to obtain a Labour Market Opinion or exemption for foreign academic appointments, all required documentation must be submitted, including the Faculty Appointment Form. A missing form can cause delays in the approval process.

Minimum Advertising Requirements for Obtaining a Labour Market Opinion or Exemption for Foreign Academics

In order to obtain a positive Labour Market Opinion (LMO) required for hiring a foreign academic, departments should first advertise the vacant position widely – normally in 3 different locations. Faculty Relations encourages more than 3 placements where possible. A reminder that posting on 3 different UBC websites does not qualify as 3 placements.

Departments must keep copies of the advertisements with proof of the first and last day on which they were posted (print a screen grab, photocopy the ad, or copy a receipt confirming the dates the ad was posted). This documentation must be included in the LMO application.

New CBSA Rules: ‘Flagpoling’ is No Longer Available

The Canadian Border Services Agency will soon be disallowing the practice of ‘flagpoling’. Flagpoling is when an individual in Canada goes to the US border simply to obtain a ‘Refused Entry’ slip, and then he or she immediately turns around and stays in Canada, as a means of extending a work permit. Faculty Relations and Human Resources do not advise faculty members to engage in this practice. If administrators in any units advise their members to use flagpoling as a means of renewing their work permits, they should be aware it is no longer available. Foreign academics can legally obtain work permits and permanent residency by the usual process of obtaining a US visa, leaving Canada and entering the US, and returning some time thereafter.

Professional Development Funds available to Faculty Members after age 71

All faculty members are entitled to Professional Development Reimbursement (PDR) funds under Part 2, Article 7.09 of the Collective Agreement between UBC and the Faculty Association. In the past PDR funds were not available to faculty members after age 71. In March of this year UBC and the Faculty Association came to an agreement that these funds would continue to be available to faculty members beyond age 71.

Reminder: 2009/2010 Professional Development Reimbursement Funds

A last minute reminder, the deadline for using and claiming PDR funds from 2009/2010, for most faculty members, is June 30, 2014. Please see the February Newsletter article for more details.

Bullying & Harassment Education

As discussed in the February Newsletter, new provincial legislation has been passed under the Workers Compensation Act to curtail bullying and harassment in the workplace. As part of our obligation and commitment to the new legislation, UBC has developed a 20-30 minute online training course that must be completed by all UBC personnel. Supervisors on the Vancouver campus are responsible for ensuring that all employees (faculty, staff and student) complete the course by July 31, 2014. The electronic certificate provided on completion must be retained and kept available for presentation at the request of a WorkSafeBC officer at any time. The online course is available here. If you have trouble accessing the course, contact your local Health & Safety Committee Co-Chair. On the Okanagan campus, face to face education has been provided in workshops and discussions held with each department and faculty. The materials used in the workshops have been made available to any individuals who missed the workshops and is available on the HR Okanagan website.

For more information on the new laws and UBC’s Respectful Environment policy, visit the University’s Bullying and Harassment Prevention site.

UBC is required to ensure that all faculty, staff and student employees receive education regarding Bullying and Harassment. Individuals who are not our employees do not fall under this requirement.

Faculty Honoraria

Lump sum honoraria are only paid in specific circumstances:

1. Teaching overload: this applies to full-time faculty members (not Sessional Lecturers).
2. Research: Where applicable faculty members may receive research honoraria.
3. Additional Admin/Service duties: Faculty members who take on additional administrative duties over and above their normal service duties may receive an honorarium.
4. Honorary Faculty: As per Policy 42 (section 2.2.3), honorary faculty may receive a lump sum honoraria.
It is not appropriate to pay employees honoraria other than as noted above. Individuals who are employees of UBC should be paid via semi-monthly Payroll, which means pay must be processed on a Faculty Appointment Form. Please refer to the Faculty Relations website for further details.

Lump sum honorarium payments to faculty members must be submitted using the Faculty Honoraria Form according to the following guidelines:

Sessional Lecturers: Honoraria of any amount paid to Sessional Lecturers must be reviewed by Faculty Relations for UBCV, or Human Resources for UBCO. Only one name can be listed per form.
• For honoraria to other faculty members in amounts over $4,500, the form must be sent to Faculty Relations for UBCV, or Human Resources for UBCO. Only one name can be listed per form.
• For honoraria to other faculty members in amounts under $4,500, the form should be sent directly to Payroll. Multiple names can be listed on a single form.

Maternity, Parental and Adoption Leave

Administrators are reminded that maternity, parental and adoption leaves for faculty members should begin on a Sunday and end on a Saturday. This is to coincide with EI weeks and to avoid any possible loss of EI benefits. If the employee is paid by UBC for any days during that EI work week, then EI will consider the two week waiting period to have begun at the start of the week following. Since the EI SEB top-up mirrors the EI (2 week waiting) and the claim period, the leave must start on a Sunday and end on a Saturday. Please ensure your faculty members are aware of this and request their leaves accordingly.

Further information on these leave benefits for faculty (excluding postdocs) is found on the Human Resources website. Postdoctoral fellow information is found at, www.hr.ubc.ca/benefits/leaves/pdf-award/ and www.hr.ubc.ca/benefits/leaves/pdf-employee/

ePaf and ePaf Training

A reminder that unpaid faculty appointments should be processed online via ePaf. Payroll holds regular ePaf training sessions and the next one at the Vancouver campus is on July 9, 2014. To find more about the training or to register for the course visit: www.hr.ubc.ca/learning-development/most-workshops/. Payroll & Faculty Relations encourages units who are still processing unpaid appointments on paper to switch to ePaf.

Academic Administrator Appointments can be up to Three Years

As announced in the July 2012 Newsletter, the job designation NBAM01 – Academic Administrator, can be used for faculty members other than Heads and Directors who are carrying out administrative duties. Faculty members can now be appointed academic administrators, paid or unpaid, for up to three years. This change will reduce some of the extra work that was required to reappoint academic administrators who chose to continue their service beyond one year. The salary earnings attached to these positions are HON earnings.

Visiting International Research Students

UBC recently created the Visiting International Research Students (VIRS) category for processing visiting research students. Visiting undergraduate or graduate students conducting research at UBC for between one and twelve months, with approval from their home institution and the UBC host department, can be processed by Go Global through the VIRS category. For more information on this program, visit Go Global: VIRS. Go Global is also contacting departments to provide information on this new category.

Although Go Global manages visiting international students, UBC often gets visiting students who are citizens or permanent residents of Canada. For information on these students, see Canadian Visiting Graduate Students or Canadian Visiting Undergraduate Students.

In the past Faculty Relations accommodated departments by processing these individuals as Visiting Scholars. As the VIRS category now exists Faculty Relations will no longer be processing Visiting Scholar appointments.

Faculty Retirement Planning: Workshops & Consultation Coverage

A reminder to all Faculty members that retirement planning workshops are made available for all Faculty Association members age 55 or older. These workshops provide practical and valuable information on financial, legal and lifestyle retirement matters for faculty members. On the Vancouver campus, they are held 4 times a year, two in the fall and two in the spring. Faculty Relations sends email reminders to eligible faculty members 1-2 months in advance of each workshop. On the Okanagan campus, workshops are conducted once or twice per year with pre-invitation to all eligible faculty from Human Resources, Okanagan.

Also, Faculty Association members are eligible for reimbursement of up to $750 for consultation costs specific to retirement planning. Faculty members consulting with an approved retirement counselor can submit a claim using the form available here and submitting to Faculty Relations in Vancouver or to HR on the Okanagan campus.

Retirement planning information and resources for UBC faculty are available at Faculty Relations: Planning for Retirement.


  Note that the Newsletter is provided for guidance only.  For questions about specific issues or cases, please contact a member of Faculty Relations/Human Resources.  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.

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