Immigration Update

The Government of Canada announced the launch of the two-year Global Skills Strategy pilot project, effective June 12, 2017. The new Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been created to help employers recruit highly specialized and skilled talent more quickly. While it is not yet clear how these changes will impact UBC, there are three major components in particular that may affect our recruitment of foreign faculty members and other academics:

  • Two-week processing of work permits – Foreign academics, if newly applying from outside Canada, will be eligible for priority two-week processing of their work permits. Spouses and dependents of the worker will also be eligible for two-week processing.
  • Work permit exemption for short-term researchers – Researchers coming to perform research at the invitation of UBC will be eligible for a work permit exemption if they are coming for 120 days or less. This exemption applies once within a 12-month period. The University’s process has generally enabled such researchers to arrive under the work permit-exempt Business Visitor stream, so it is not yet clear how this new exemption might apply differently.
  • Dedicated service channel – A new dedicated service channel for certain employers and Universities has been announced. This dedicated service channel has not yet been formalized, but from all indications, Universities will be provided with a dedicated account manager who will answer questions and provide guidance on the process.

More details on these changes and how they will affect UBC faculty should emerge in the next few months as the Global Skills Strategy is implemented. Further information may be found in the IRCC News Release.

Fellowship Earnings – no longer attracting taxes

UBC has made a change recently to fellowship (FEL) earnings and is no longer withholding income tax for Postdoctoral Fellows who are in receipt of FEL earnings. The change also applies to students in receipt of fellowship earnings. This change came into effect May 31, 2017. Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies communicated this in early June to all those affected.

This change was prompted by a review of current UBC practice and the resulting conclusion that this change is necessary to bring UBC into compliance with Canada Revenue Agency tax policy.

Should Postdoctoral Fellows or administrators have further questions please visit: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/scholarships-awards-funding/research-teaching-assistantships for details.

Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) at UBC Vancouver –Registration for 2017/18 Cohort Underway

Administrators & Deans now is the time to sign up your new academic leaders for the 2017/18 ALDP cohort.

The Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) is an annual, cohort-based program sponsored by the Office of the Provost. The Program is open to all new Heads, Deans, Associate Deans and other academic leaders at UBC Vancouver, and begins with the two-day intensive “Boot Camp, Part I: Getting Started as an Academic Leader at UBC” on August 28th and 29th. Over the course of the 2017/18 academic year, ALDP offers:

  • Two intensive “Boot Camps” in late August and early December, which focus on leadership fundamentals new academic leaders need in order to establish themselves well in their roles
  • 3 Workshops focusing on broad leadership topics such as “Engaging with conflict,” “Leading change,” and “Planning for Year Two”
  • A number of 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

ALDP alumni have stated that the Program has helped them become more effective leaders and derive more personal satisfaction from their leadership roles.

Administrators, Heads, and Deans are encouraged to highlight and offer ALDP to those being recruited to academic leadership positions. For questions about the Program and to enroll a new academic leader in the 2017/18 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/.

Finance Support Program – Online Training Tool for Administrators

An online training program has been developed to help demystify the steps of Faculty job classification, recruitment and form completion. The training, which is part of the Finance Support Program – Payroll & Positions, is a combination of instructional videos, self-test questions and an appendix which highlights key documents and useful links. Whether you’re new to an administrator role or have been in the position for a while you will find benefit in this training tool. All you have to do is create an account on the Edx training platform – You will need to use your CWL username and ID. Select ‘Use my institution/campus credentials’, complete the one time setup, and then click on the link to enroll and view in the course. Questions can be directed to Faculty Relations or Ray McNichol.

Research Associates – Compensation

Research Associates at UBC are eligible to receive the 0.35% Economic Stability Dividend (ESD) increase that was announced by the BC government on November 29th, 2016. The ESD, which is effective May 1, 2017, is as a result of a higher than predicted economic growth in BC. As a result of this increase the minimum salary for Research Associates as of May 1, 2017 is $54,441.

A reminder that compensation for Research Associates is covered under the mandate of the Provincial Government through the Public Sector Employers’ Council (PSEC), and as such salaries may only change as per the PSEC mandate and the approval of the Board of Governors. Salaries may also increase if the initial offer letter contained language that specifically allowed for a salary increase upon reappointment.  The Research Associate offer letter templates found on the Faculty Relations website contain suggested language.

The University has received requests from Research Associates for a tuition waiver benefit. We have already started a consultation process and are seeking input from Research Associates via an online survey. A link to the survey was provided to all active Research Associates on March 1st.  Any Research Associate who did not receive an email regarding a tuition waiver benefit should contact the Faculty Relations Admin email.

Professional Development Reimbursement Funds

Professional Development Reimbursement Funds (PDR) that have been carried over from the 2012/2013 academic year must be used and claimed by June 30th, 2017. Unused funds from five years ago can only be carried over until June 30th of this year and will be deemed to have been forfeited on July 1st.

For Sessional Lecturers without continuing status, the carry-forward limit is two years and claims made by the June 30th for funds assessed on the February 15th assessment or by December 31st of this year for funds assessed on August and October 15th. Please note that the funds can be carried forward even if you are not teaching this semester and that the claims need to be made within 12 months of the date when the expense was made.

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 refer to the PDR page.

A reminder that claims can be submitted up to three times per year, and must be within 12 months of the expense being incurred. The expense must have the support of the Academic Head of Unit. A reminder also that departments are responsible for tracking goods purchased with PD funds and ensuring, where applicable the return of such goods.

2016 Bargaining

The first bargaining bulletin for the 2016 bargaining period has been released and is posted on the Faculty Bargaining page of the Faculty Relations website. All further bulletins will be posted there.  The University’s and the Faculty Association’s proposals are found on the following pages:

2017 Merit & PSA Review

As we move into the New Year it is time to commence preparations for the 2017 merit & PSA review. The review period, as per the Collective Agreement is April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017.

Joint Appointments: Promotion and Tenure Considerations

For those faculty members who are jointly appointed in more than one academic unit, it is important that the tenure and promotion process is documented and agreed upon by the hiring units prior to the individual faculty member’s start date. The tenure and promotion process can be found on the Faculty Relations website, and please refer to the Joint Appointment Checklist which can be downloaded as a Microsoft Word document from the Faculty Relations Joint Appointment page.

Senior Appointments Committee Deadline

Please be advised that the deadline for the 2016/2017 Senior Appointments Committee (SAC) cases is April 19th, 2017. This date is firm and is set in order for SAC to be able to review the submitted cases before their final meeting on June 23rd, 2017. Any cases submitted beyond the deadline will not be reviewed until the start of the 2017/2018 academic year in September. Please share this information with your departments, so they can plan accordingly.