Relocation and Travel Assistance Guidelines Updated

UBC provides relocation and travel assistance to eligible faculty and senior management staff in accordance with Policy #82.  We’ve made some changes to the guidelines outlining the steps in proceeding with the movement of household goods and personal effects and the reimbursement of these and other relocation expenses that we hope you will find helpful.  These changes also reflect recent changes to processes in Supply Management and Accounts Payable. Find the revised guidelines and information on receiving relocation assistance from central funds at

If you have any questions about the revised guidelines, please contact Joyce Wei, Relocation Administrator, in Human Resources at 604.822.6865 or

Federal Election on May 2 and Scheduled Hours

On April 8, a memo was distributed to Heads Up Vancouver regarding the university’s obligations to staff and faculty who will be working or have teaching commitments on Monday, May 2, while voting is underway for the Federal election (7 am to 7 pm).

UBC staff and faculty who are registered voters and who are scheduled to work or have teaching commitments that day are entitled, under the Canada Elections Act, to three consecutive hours in which to vote. Many employees’ scheduled working hours may overlap with voting hours. View the memo at .

Important Changes to Government Legislation and Regulations

A memo was released on April 4 about important changes to government legislation and regulations that may affect faculty and staff:

 1. Legislative changes to the provincial Criminal Records Review Act, expanding its application to individuals working with vulnerable adults, in addition to children. It is essential to now review the roles of faculty and staff in your unit who work with vulnerable adults to determine whether they meet the criteria that necessitates a Criminal Records Check. For more information on criteria, please visit

 2. Regulation changes to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program. New Immigration Regulations start on April 1, 2011 and will impact some faculty and staff. For details, please visit

 3. BC Government changes to the provincial minimum wage. Note that these changes will particularly have an impact on student employees. For details, please visit

Travel Advisories for Faculty and Staff in Japan

Recently, the university directed all UBC students currently in Northern Honshu and Tokyo and surrounding areas to return to Canada. This decision was made in light of the Government of Canada extending travel advisories for Northern Japan, and the uncertainty surrounding nuclear facilities in the region after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

The safety of faculty and staff and their families is of the utmost importance, and given these developments, UBC is urging faculty and staff currently in these areas of Japan, for either business or personal reasons, to use available information to make the right decision for themselves and their families. Options to consider include leaving Japan, or moving away from the impacted areas. UBC will cover the cost of travel for those wishing to return to Canada. For information, please visit

Support for Staff & Faculty Affected by the Disaster in Japan

The UBC community is deeply saddened by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Our thoughts are with those affected by this tragedy, especially the many faculty, staff, and students on our campuses.

The following support and information is available for faculty and staff:

Information for students is available on the UBC Bulletins page.

Vancouver Ergonomics Reps Needed

Want to learn about injury prevention and proper posture? Interested in helping your colleagues? Become an Ergonomics Rep and raise awareness of the importance of musculoskeletal health within your department/unit.

As an Ergo Rep you will:

  • Minimize musculoskeletal risks by optimizing workstations
  • Help set up new employee workstations
  • Assist colleagues with workstation set-up
  • Be an ergonomics resource for your department

Register now for the next Ergonomics Training Course on February 21, 2011, 1-4 pm.

Lisa Castle’s Message on the Changes to HSE and HR

By Lisa Castle, Associate Vice-President, Human Resources.

On behalf of everyone in HR, I am excited to welcome the members of the Health  Promotions Programs unit into Human Resources.  While always part of my portfolio, the recent reorganization of the Department of Health, Safety and Environment will see HPP  transitioning into HR’s Total Compensation unit  under the leadership of Michelle Berner (Director, Total Compensation).

The reorganization of HSE was undertaken in order to better allow the university to increase its commitment to identify and manage risk across the organization. The new portfolio (including much of HSE, the Risk & Insurance group from Treasury, and the current staff from Risk Management) will report to Vice-President, Finance, Resources and Operations, Pierre Ouillet, and be headed by the university’s new Chief Risk Officer, Ron Holton. Mr. Holton helped UBC develop its existing risk management framework in 2009/10, and was most recently the Vice-President, Risk Management and Assurance Services, for VANOC.

While the transition period will be a challenging time for everyone, I believe that the end result of this reorganization will allow Human Resources and Risk Management to become stronger in their support of UBC’s Students, Faculty and Staff, and the organization generally.

I will miss my colleagues in the other units in Health, Safety and Environment, as they move into their new portfolio. We will continue to work together to move our portfolios forward, and I wish them every personal and professional success!

Criminal Records Checks for UBC Staff and Faculty at PHSA Facilities

A memo regarding Criminal Records Checks for Staff and Faculty who work at Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) facilities was distributed to Department Heads and Administrators on the Vancouver campus last week. Find the memo on our memos page.

An Update on UBC Child Care Options

As new child care options are created at the university, HR and the VP Students office have issued an update on Child Care at UBC.  Please read up on child care options available to parents at UBC, on the Focus on People website

Emergency Preparedness at UBC

Be prepared for any emergency

How prepared are you in the case of an emergency at UBC? The University has numerous procedures and systems in place to help keep you safe in an emergency situation. However, these initiatives are only effective when we all take the time to be prepared.

Emergency Communications

During an emergency, the most current and official information will be available on the main website.

Staff and faculty are also being encouraged to sign up for cell phone emergency alerts. To register, add your cell phone number to your contact information in the Personal Summary section of the Faculty and Staff Self-Service Portal.

Emergency Procedures

Familiarize yourself with our emergency procedures at

Review your departmental emergency plan: every department should have one and all staff and faculty should be aware of the plan. Upon request, Emergency Planning staff from Health, Safety and Environment can attend staff and safety committee meetings to review emergency procedures in person. Contact for more information.

More Information

Have questions about emergency preparedness at UBC? Contact for more information.

Athletics and Recreation at UBC for Staff and Faculty

UBC Athletics has a number of offerings for UBC Staff and Faculty during the school year. UBC Employees can access Athletics and Recreation, including:

  • $5 tickets for all UBC Thunderbird games
  • Access to Intramural Programs
  • Discounts on UBC REC programs
  • Discounted access to the UBC Aquatic Centre, the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, and UBC Birdcoop.

For a full list of Athletics and Recreation opportunities on the Vancouver campus for Staff and Faculty, view the brochure (pdf).

New Benefits Microsite

If you have visited our Benefits webpages in the last week, you’ll notice some big changes!

We’ve revamped our benefits section into a microsite to improve information searches for web users. We have also grouped benefits based on “lifestyle stages” as many of employees experience family caregiving, parenthood, and leaves. Take a wander through the website and let us know how it’s working –

UBC Letterhead & Stationary Available

The following message is being sent to HR Network members on behalf of Arlene Chan, Marketing and Project Manager, Supply Management.

Templates for printed UBC letterhead and envelopes are now available for UBC faculties and units. In the interest of economy and sustainability, these items are to be phased in when existing supplies run out.

UBC stationery communicates a consistent image for UBC and reinforces the UBC brand. Your UBC stationery will be printed by Xerox Global Services (XGS) in partnership with the Data Group of Companies. UBC stationery items, including business cards, letterhead and envelopes, are only available through XGS’s online ordering portal. There is no other authorized supplier of UBC stationery.

As mentioned in the July 23 Broadcast E-mail sent from Pierre Ouillet (Vice President Finance, Resources and Operations), business cards and stationery printed by other means are not official UBC stationery and the university will not approve the funds regardless of the funding source. This applies to the entire catalogue of stationery items.

To order UBC stationery, unit Administrators will need to register for a user-ID to access the XGS ordering portal via Supply Management at

Important Information on Sun Life Claims

Please forward this important information to your faculty and staff. As of June 25, 2010, Sun Life has closed its Edmonton office – the location in which UBC employees sent their claims to be processed. All claims sent to the Edmonton office have been redirected to Sun Life’s Waterloo office. Download the latest extended health and dental care claim form with the updated Waterloo address from our online Benefits pages. Sun Life is using new technology which “lifts” data from paper claim forms so that no manual data entry is required – however, it’s still preferable (and more sustainable) to go the paperless claim route for the quickest turnaround on your claim reimbursement.