Staffing During Weather Disruptions

On occasion, extreme weather events may disrupt access to campus. UBC is committed to continuing to provide services and operations.

The university’s official policy is Disruption of Classes/Services by Snow Policy: the Snow Policy (SC5) (formerly Policy #68).

If the university curtails classes/exams or services, the announcement will be made at https://www.ubc.ca. The UBC website is the authoritative source of information and will give the most accurate and up-to-date information as to the status of the university.

Cancellation of classes/exams, curtailment of services, or a statement about non-essential services being limited are not a closure. A curtailment of services means that the university is operating at a reduced service level and has made the decision to cancel some or all classes, some or all exams, and/or some services.

At UBC Vancouver, the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Enrolment & Academic Facilities will make the decision on a possible curtailment of services after consultation with designated individuals across campus.

At UBC Okanagan, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal will make the decision on a possible curtailment of services after consultation with designated individuals across campus.

Essential services

Administrative heads of unit must consider what services are essential. Essential services in the context of extreme weather conditions are those services that are needed to ensure the safety, security, welfare, and health of the community, property, and research and certain operational and contractual activities of the university. Once an administrative heads of unit has determined what the essential work is, they must determine which positions and staff are needed to do this work. Specific questions should be directed to HR Advisory Services.

Expectations of employees in roles identified as essential

Employees required for essential services will be expected to attend work.

There are specific provisions in the CUPE 2950 collective agreement regarding when to determine which positions are deemed essential. Please contact HR Advisory Services to discuss those positions you deem essential.

Expectations of employees in roles not identified as essential

Non-essential employees are expected to attend work if possible. Non-essential employees may choose to stay home only after making arrangements with their administrative head of unit or their manager about making up the time (if scheduling permits), taking a vacation day, working from home, or taking a day off without pay. There may be specific collective agreement terms that may apply, and managers can consult with HR Advisory Services.

The CUPE 2950 Collective Agreement has specific provisions related to this. Please see below and contact HR Advisory Services should you have employees who are members of CUPE 2950.

Employees unable to get to campus due to weather disruptions

If employees receive approval to telecommute, they will be paid as they are considered at work and performing the duties of their job. Employees who are not able to telecommute must seek specific direction from their administrative head of unit or manager. Potential options are to allow employees to use banked time, vacation, or make up the lost time on another day. Alternatively, employees may elect to take an unpaid leave for the day.

Please note that unionized staff are not normally able to work from home.

Sending staff home with worsening weather

If classes/exams/services are curtailed part way through the day, then the administrative head of unit has the authority to send non-essential staff home early during the day without loss of pay.

If classes/exams/services are not curtailed mid-day but your non-essential staff are concerned about their commute because of worsening weather, it is important to respond appropriately to those concerns by exercising appropriate managerial authority to the specific circumstances. It is reasonable to allow an employee to leave early based on their ability to make up the time (if scheduling permits), take vacation, work from home, or take part of the day off without pay.

There may be specific collective agreement terms that may apply. Managers can consult with their HR Advisory Services contact.

If you are concerned that your actions are setting a precedent for future similar situations, please consult with HR Advisory Services as above.

Units with employees who are members of CUPE Local 2950

There are unique provisions in the CUPE Local 2950 collective agreement with respect to the Official University Closure. Specifically, Article 13.01 and the Letter of Agreement regarding Article 13.01 allows for a department to make a decision about curtailing their services and gives criteria on which to base the decision, including the Vice-Provost’s direction regarding the curtailment of service. In the event a decision is made to curtail services, only the employees affected by this decision will be paid if they were normally required to attend work during that time. We encourage you to reach out to HR Advisory Services in these circumstances.

If you have employees in your unit who are members of CUPE Local 2950 and they are deemed essential, it is important that you contact HR Advisory Services.

Units with employees who are CUPE Local 116

Article 24.04 of the Collective Agreement requires us to provide a leave without loss of pay in circumstances where work is not required due to weather. Therefore, if a unit is closed due to inclement weather such that the employee is not able to work, irrespective of whether they attend, they will be paid their normal rate of pay. This does not apply to situations where the work is available and the employee is unable to attend.

If there is a curtailment of services and employees are deemed essential, they are required to attend work. If they are deemed non-essential, they are expected to attend work and if they choose to stay home once they may make arrangements with their manager to do one of the following: work from home, make up the time, take a vacation day, or take the day off without pay.

Units with staff who are members of AAPS, or who are not a member of a union or association

As per the Snow Policy, staff who are deemed to be non-essential are expected to attend work if the university has curtailed services. However, they may choose to stay home once they have made arrangements with their administrative head of unit or manager to do one of the following: work from home, make up the time, take a vacation day, or take the day off without pay.