Benefits

New Moving Vendor Options for Relocating Faculty and Senior Management Staff

As of July 1, 2019, there will be three moving vendor options available to eligible relocating faculty members and senior management staff and hiring departments at UBC.

In response to feedback requesting more choice when it comes to coordinating relocation services, UBC is adding two moving companies: AMJ Campbell and Armstrong Moving and Storage/Armstrong International Movers Ltd. UBC is a member of the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO), which means the University can take advantage of CAUBO’s agreements with Armstrong and AMJ Campbell. CAUBO negotiates competitive tariff agreements with its moving vendors based on a larger volume of moves, ensuring the competitiveness of quotes/estimates.

Quality Move Management (QMM) which has been UBC’s designated relocation company since 2007 remains an available option, and is the preferred vendor for senior management staff moves, as well as moves over $75K.

Quotes and estimates may be requested of one or each of the three available moving companies.

About AMJ Campbell and Armstrong

Because CAUBO manages the agreements with its moving companies, they are responsible for maintaining the appropriate quality of service. If you choose one of CAUBO’s moving companies, you must work directly with AMJ Campbell or Armstrong.

About QMM

UBC continues to manage the agreement with QMM. If you are a hiring department that selects QMM as your moving company, please continue to following existing UBC administrative procedures. UBC’s relocation administrator and QMM’s relocation coordinators remain your key contacts for QMM moves.

Existing Moving Contracts

The additional CAUBO moving company options are effective July 1, 2019. Any existing contracts or quotes negotiated before July 1, 2019 and/or moves contracted with QMM must be honoured.

Policy and Reimbursement

Under Policy HR6 – Relocation (formerly Policy #82), the University has designated relocation and moving companies that must be used if relocating faculty and senior management staff wish to have eligible expenses reimbursed by UBC’s Central Relocation Fund, the fund that supports the policy.

QMM is the preferred moving company for senior management relocations (e.g. President, VPs, AVPs) and executives (e.g. Deans) if hiring departments wish to access the Central Relocation Fund.

CAUBO-managed moving companies are also eligible for reimbursement through the Central Relocation Fund.

For more information, please visit the updated Relocation website.

Questions? Please contact UBC’s Relocation Administrator Joyce Wei at joyce.wei@ubc.ca.

Research Associate Tuition Waiver – Survey Results

In May we surveyed Research Associates regarding a tuition waiver benefit.

In response to the survey, we heard back from 185 individuals, which is approximately 59% of the total UBC Research Associate group. 70% of respondents indicated that they do not wish to have a reduction in their GWI to fund a tuition fee benefit.  This strongly supports the results of the previous survey conducted in 2017.  As a result, we will not be moving forward with a tuition fee benefit.

 

Research Associate compensation, as is the case with all other employee groups at UBC, is governed by PSEC and may only change in accordance with their mandate. Under PSEC’s mandate in order to add a tuition fee benefit, a compensation trade-off of equal value must be made, and this is typically done by reducing a General Wage Increase (GWI); as such, the University is not able to simply provide a tuition waiver benefit without reducing a GWI.  This is consistent with the compensation packages of all other employee groups at UBC.

Vacation Time Increase After 5 years

Administrators will be familiar with the 2 weeks’ Vacation time requirement for newer employees, but it is easy to overlook the fact that this amount must be increased. An employee who has been working at UBC for over 5 consecutive years is entitled to a full 3 weeks under BC’s Employment Standards Act. Furthermore, these entitlements are “paid vacation” in the sense that they include both pay and time off.  No vacation increases are required for employees already receiving 3 weeks or more.

Detailed information on the application of Employment Standards is located in the ESA interpretation manual.

Sick Leave, Income Replacement Coverage and Return To Work

The following information is provided to help clarify the steps and processes involved when a faculty member goes on sick leave, Income Replacement (IRP) leave or enters into a Return to Work (RTW) arrangement.

1. Sick Leave Process

Faculty members are eligible for up to 6 months paid sick leave.  If a faculty member goes on sick leave that will be longer than a week they should provide notification to their Department Head in writing, including a doctor’s certification of the illness, the start date of the leave, a prognosis of the expected return date and any accommodation that may be required if requesting a partial medical leave. The Department Head of the faculty member may seek assistance from the Return to Work/Remain at Work Program, UBC Vancouver.

On the Okanagan campus, if a faculty member is off work greater than 5 days or has an upcoming medical leave, the Department Head will contact the Work Reintegration & Accommodation Program (WRAP). All medical information and case management will be led by WRAP and they will provide the Department Head with updates regarding need for accommodation, return to work planning, IRP etc.

At both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan it is the responsibility of the Department to prepare the necessary leave of absence form and forward to Faculty Relations (UBC Vancouver) or Human Resources (UBC Okanagan), along with the relevant documentation so that HRMS can be updated accordingly.

If a faculty member is unable to return to work they must keep the Department updated.  At UBC Okanagan the faculty member must remain in regular contact with WRAP.  If it is anticipated that coverage under the Sunlife Income Replacement Plan (IRP) will be required, the member should apply at the end of the 3rd month of sick leave.  Members should contact the Benefits Claims & Finance Associate at 604-822-8696 or email disabilityclaims.info@ubc.ca to learn how to apply for benefits and to obtain the application forms.  A delay in applying may result in the member being without pay for a period of time.

If member runs out of paid sick leave and Sunlife has not yet approved IRP or has denied the IRP application, the faculty member will be placed on an unpaid sick leave.  It is the responsibility of the Department to create the necessary leave form and forward to Faculty Relations/Human Resources along with the relevant supporting documents.

Departments need to monitor the leave and keep Faculty Relations/Human Resources apprised of any changes.

2. Income Replacement Plan (IRP) Benefit Process – full coverage by Sunlife

Upon approval of an IRP claim, Sunlife informs the Benefits Claims & Finance Associate IRP Claims Clerk in Human Resources, who then informs the Department and instructs them to produce a Leave of Absence form which they forward to Faculty Relations/Human Resources along with supporting documents.  FR/HR will arrange for HRMS to be updated.

For a tenure-track or term appointee on IRP, the Department needs to track the appointment and ensure that a reappointment, as necessary is processed on HRMS.  For example, if a tenure track faculty member is approved for IRP after completing the first 3 years of their appointment and does not return to work by the end of the 4th year, then the department needs to create a Faculty Appointment form to process a one-year extension. They will need to do this annually until either the individual returns to work or we receive medical information that there is no likelihood that the individual will ever return to work.

It is important to track the appointment and ensure it continues to appear on HRMS with a leave status. The key reason for this is that medical, extended and dental benefits continue based on the leave appointment.  If the appointment ends then health benefit coverage ends. If we are informed with medical evidence that there is no likelihood that the individual will ever return to work, UBC will provide the individual with a limited period of benefits continuance so that they can make alternate arrangements for alternate health benefits coverage.  Faculty Relations/Human Resources will work with units in such situations.

3. Income Replacement Plan (IRP) Benefit Process – partial coverage by Sunlife

As with the full IRP leave the Benefits Claims & Finance Associate IRP Claims Clerk in Human Resources will inform the Department and instruct them to produce a Leave of Absence form which is forwarded to Faculty Relations/Human Resources who will arrange for HRMS to be updated.  If the individual is transitioning from Full to Partial IRP the department will need to complete a Faculty Appointment Form so that a secondary Employment Record can be created on HRMS. The percentage of leave and work should be clearly outlined on the appointment form and accompanying documentation.

HRMS will be updated to reflect the partial leave and partial work situation and the individual will continue to receive partial pay from UBC.

Any changes in percentage will be communicated by the Benefits Claims & Finance Associate IRP Claims Clerk to the Department, who will create the necessary appointment form to process the change.

4. Return to Work Process

Once a member on IRP has been deemed medically fit to return to work Sunlife will contact the Return to Work (RTW) Advisor who will coordinate with the faculty member, Department, Faculty Relations/HR as well as the member’s doctor or healthcare providers to set up a Return to Work schedule.  If Departments are aware of a possible return to work in advance of Sunlife’s confirmation they should contact the RTW Advisor to discuss. Once a RTW schedule has been confirmed it is the Department’s responsibility to produce the necessary appointment form and forward to Faculty Relations/HR with supporting documentation. If there are any changes in work level these will be communicated to the Department who will complete further paperwork for Faculty Relations/HR.

On the Okanagan campus, WRAP will continue case management leading up to and during a faculty members IRP leave. Return to work will be coordinated by WRAP with the involvement of the Head and in some cases Human Resources. Once a RTW schedule has been confirmed it is the Department’s responsibility to produce the necessary appointment form and forward to Human Resources.

5. Accommodation

If an accommodation for an active faculty member is required the Department should contact the appropriate Senior Manager and/or RTW Advisor (UBC Vancouver) or WRAP (UBC Okanagan)..

For more detailed information refer to the Human Resources website as follows:

Benefits After Normal Retirement Date

Faculty members who continue to work past their Normal Retirement Date and have not commenced a retirement benefit with their Pension Plan funds can continue to access most benefits. NRD is the December 31 or June 30 following the member’s 65th birthday. Two benefits, Income Replacement Plan (coverage ends 6 months prior to your NRD) and Spousal Life Insurance automatically cease for all faculty and the following benefits continue:

  • Health Benefits (MSP, Ext Health & Dental)
  • Basic Group Life Insurance (benefit is reduced to 1x annual salary)
  • Optional Life Insurance (member only)
  • Faculty Pension Plan
  • Professional Development Reimbursement (PDR) Funds
  • Tuition Waiver

If a faculty members decides to access their Faculty Pension Plan funds after their Normal Retirement Date health and insurance benefits cease.  At the end of the calendar year in which a faculty member turns age 71 all benefits cease except tuition waivers and PDR Funds.  Faculty members can apply for the Post-Retirement and Survivor Benefits Program.

Study Leave is for Study or Research

A reminder that study leave is intended to permit a member of faculty to pursue study or research, of benefit to the individual and the University. During the period of leave faculty members should not be asked to take on additional duties, whether those duties are with pay or not.

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/.

Vacation

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 HR5 – Vacations (formerly 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.

Medical Services Plan (MSP) While On Study Leave

Faculty who plan to temporarily reside outside of British Columbia for over six months in a calendar year (e.g. while on study leave) need to contact MSP to either arrange for continued coverage or to suspend coverage. Residency has important considerations for eligibility for coverage and premiums. Although absences were previously reported to the University, absences should now be directly reported to MSP. For more information on leaving British Columbia, please visit the MSP website.