Faculty Relations Newsletter: March 2012

In This Issue

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New Offer Letter Templates

New offer letter templates are now available on the Faculty Relations website for all appointments. Administrators should be using the updated templates.

Tenure Stream Offer Letter Templates

In addition to the new offer letter templates for tenure and tenure-track appointments new procedures have been established at each campus. These procedures are documented on the Faculty Relations Offer Letter webpage. At UBCV the new procedures require administrators to select 1 of 3 options with respect to drafting offer letters:

  • use the offer letter template;
  • modify the offer letter template with Faculty Relations review; or
  • modify the offer letter template without Faculty Relation review.

Faculty Relations advises against the use of the third option. If this third option is utilized, all legal and financial consequences flowing from the signed offer letter will be the responsibility of the unit.

Additionally, administrators are required to document their rationale for providing a particular starting salary. This procedure is in place to support the University’s salary equity goals.

More information, the documentation form that is to be used in fulfillment of the new procedure and the new procedures are available on the Faculty Relations Offer Letter webpage.

New Provisions for Assignment of Courses to Sessionals

Following a mediation on a policy grievance filed by the UBCFA, an agreement has been entered into between the University and the UBCFA that clarifies and sets out the rights of a Sessional Lecturers with continuing status and Sessional Lecturers without continuing status to assignment of courses.  It also sets out how the pool of courses for external, non bargaining unit positions must be created.  The Memorandum of Agreement on Sessional Lecturer Course Assignments is a significant document and should be reviewed by all administrators, Heads and Directors before assigning courses for the upcoming summer and winter terms.

2012 Salary Increase

Normally at this time of year Faculty Relations begins to prepare for the July 1 salary increase process for eligible faculty in the faculty bargaining unit (i.e., CPI, merit, PSA, etc). As the current Collective Agreement expires on June 30, 2012 and we do not yet have an agreement for July 1, 2012 all salary increases are on hold until a new agreement is ratified. If we do not have an Agreement as of July 1st, the terms of the current Agreement that are non-economic will remain in place until a new Agreement is negotiated and ratified.

There is one economic benefit, the 1% Lump Sum Payment, which is part of the current Agreement which will be paid out as per normal. Regular faculty members will receive payment on their June 30, 2012 paycheque and Sessionals Lecturers will receive payment in September.

With that said, it is appropriate at this time to ask all faculty members to submit their annual summary of activity and c.v. for the past year. Administrators may want to commence the evaluation process once all annual reports have been received, but allocation of Merit & PSA must be postponed until the values are specified in a newly ratified Agreement. Further instructions regarding the CPI process will be communicated to administrators in the near future.

Administrative Leaves for Heads and Directors

Faculty Relations would like to clarify that only Heads and Directors of academic units are eligible for administrative leaves as per Board of Governors Policy #22 and Article 1.2(c) of the Agreement on Conditions of Appointment for Faculty.

Heads and Directors are eligible for 8 months of administrative leave for successful completion of a 3 year term and 12 months of administrative leave for successful completion of a 5 year term. That being the case, Acting Heads or Directors will normally not be eligible for administrative leave.

Heads and Directors are also reminded that where an administrative leave is granted, the time served as a Head or Director and time taken on administrative leave will not be included in years of service for the purpose of calculating study leave. For Acting Heads and Directors, time served will normally count towards study leave, so long as they do not become eligible and subsequently take an administrative leave.

Canada Research Chair (CRC) Submission Deadline

The CRC is a permanent program introduced in 2000 by the Government of Canada to establish 2000 research professorships in eligible degree-granting institutions.

UBC has been allocated 186 chairs. The selection process at UBC is administered by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic. There are two selection cycles per year: April and October. Chairholders must be employed full time at the host institution.

Faculty Relations reminds Heads and Administrators that the next internal submission deadline for CRC nominations is March 16, 2012. The applications will be submitted to Ottawa on April 30, 2012. CFI applications should accompany CRC nominations, if applicable.

Please visit UBC’s CRC webpage for more information. The federal government also provides more information about nominations, renewing chairholders, and program administration.

2012 Senior Appointments Committee (SAC) Deadline for Tenure and Promotion Reviews

An important reminder that noon, April 27, 2012 is the deadline for Faculty Relations to receive tenure and promotion cases for the 2011/12 SAC year. This date is firm, as there will be no meetings booked beyond the end of June. Please share this information with your departments so they can plan accordingly.

Faculty Member Criminal Record Checks

The Criminal Records Review Act (CRRA) helps to prevent the physical and sexual abuse of children and the physical, sexual and financial abuse of vulnerable adults by requiring individuals to whom the Act applies to undergo criminal records checks (CRCs).

The CRRA provides a limited exemption for post-secondary institutions (such as UBC) and their employees. This means most UBC faculty and staff who interact with or teach UBC Students under the age of 19 as part of their work are not required to have a CRC.

Faculty Relation brings to your attention that this exemption does NOT apply in the case of UBC faculty who work directly with children (other than UBC Students) or vulnerable adults, or who potentially have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults. Faculty members not falling within the exemption are subject to a CRC every five years.

For the purposes of clarity, under the Act a “child” means anyone under the age of 19 and a “vulnerable adult” means anyone who receives health services from a health services provider, for instance, a hospital, mental health facility or a community care facility. Working with children or vulnerable adults is contemplated by the Act to mean working with or having or potentially having unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults:

  • in the ordinary course of employment,
  • in the practice of an occupation, or
  • during the course of an education program.

But again, this does not apply to UBC faculty working with children (ie. persons under 19) who are UBC students.

More information about CRCs, helpful definitions and procedures are available on the UBC Human Resources Administrators webpage. If you are unsure as to whether an individual you are hiring is to fill a position that requires a CRC, or if you have any questions regarding the CRC requirement, contact your Human Resources Advisor or Faculty Relations Manager

Principal Subject Taught (PST) Code Changes

Please note that the PST codes have changed. UBC is required to maintain and report PST data to Statistics Canada twice a year for full-time & part-time faculty in the following ranks:

  • Professorial Ranks
  • Instructors
  • Lecturers (including Sessionals)
  • Post Doctoral Teaching Fellows

We are not required to maintain or report the PST for Adjunct, Clinical, Honorary and Visiting faculty appointments, Research Associates or Librarians.

The PST value is recorded by Departments and Faculties on the Faculty Appointment Form, and then in turn is entered on HRMS by the Service Representatives in Payroll. The data on HRMS is used to produce the reports for Statistics Canada.

Please ensure that the updated PST codes are used when processing new appointments. Statistics Canada refers to PST Codes as “Classification of Instructional Programs” (CIP) codes. Visit the PST webpage for more information and to access the updated PST codes.

United States Tax Reporting Requirements

There has been much concern from American faculty about the reporting requirements of the United States government, and specifically whether they must disclose to the United States government when they have signing authority for University financial and research accounts. The Office of University Council has just issued a very helpful bulletin that sets out guidelines regarding the reporting requirements as it relates to University accounts.

Faculty encourages Heads and Administrators who American citizenship to review the bulletin yourselves and forward it to members in your unit who are affected by these requirements.

New UBC Copyright Website

UBC has a new website dedicated to providing information about copyright issues for all members of the UBC community. Should Heads, Administrators or faculty have any questions about copyright issues please refer to the website: http://copyright.ubc.ca/.

Work Permits vs Permanent Residency

Faculty Relations would like to remind faculty members employed at UBC on a temporary work permit to apply for permanent residency.

Work permits are intended to be for employees working temporarily in Canada. The longer the duration of a temporary stay, the greater the onus will be on the faculty member to satisfy Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) of their temporary intent, especially when requesting an extension of a work permit. Applications to continually renew one’s temporary work permit are at a greater risk of denial by CIC.

Full-time UBC faculty members (tenure/tenure-track) who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada are expected to apply for and obtain permanent resident status in order to maintain their employment in Canada.

There are three common avenues for faculty members to apply for permanent residency:

  • the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP);
  • the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP); and
  • in some cases, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Additional information about these options and permanent residency generally, can be found on the Faculty Relations Immigration webpage.

Professional Development Opportunities for Post-Doctoral Fellows (PDFs)

As valuable contributors to UBC’s research engine, PDFs are involved in the teaching and supervision of research at the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as pursuing the goals of their supervisor’s research group and advancing their own research interests.  UBC has made a firm commitment to enhancing the PDF experience by creating the Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO).  The PDFO delivers professional development workshops that help PDFs build essential skills to improve their research contribution at UBC.  These development opportunities also allow PDFs to more positively represent their UBC experience in the next phase of their careers.

Please encourage your PDFs to take their training to the next level. Visit www.grad.ubc.ca/postdocs to see what the PDFO has to offer.

Board of Governors Policy Amendments: Policies #75 & #97

On February 2, 2012 the UBC Board of Governors approved amendments to the following policies:

  • Policy #75 – Appointment of Graduate Students to Teach a Course Requiring a Board of Governors Appointment; and
  • Policy #97 – Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment.

Policy #75 sets out the conditions regarding a graduate student’s ability to teach in his or her own program of studies, while ensuring that the undergraduates he or she teaches are being educated by a well-qualified instructor.

Policy #97 attempts to: (a) identify conflicts of commitment, actual and potential conflicts of interest, and situations that may give rise to the perception of a conflict of interest, particularly in the area of research; and (b) to provide procedures whereby such situations are disclosed and either avoided or appropriately managed.

2012 Faculty Collective Bargaining

The University and the UBC Faculty Association bargaining committees met on February 14th and 15th to begin negotiations for a renewal of the faculty collective agreement. Further meetings are scheduled for March and April. Separate negotiations on the Library component commenced on February 29th.

Proposals tabled by the University included, among other items, the following: a two year term for the agreement; creation of a roster of faculty member mediators to resolve inter-faculty member disputes; merger of the Merit and PSA pools into one pool; allow faculties to continue to determine their “year” for Merit and PSA awards; revise criteria for the professoriate ranks and revise existing procedures for Assistant Professors to allow for tenure only in conjunction with promotion to Associate Professor; access for PhD students to teaching opportunities, and a number of “housekeeping” issues.

Please continue to check the “News” section of the Faculty Relations website for further bargaining updates.

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.

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