Monday, August 28, 2006

  • UW will probe club, overseas jobs
  • New text in staff employment policy
  • Details of the changed policy
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Treaty made 100 years ago today

When and where

Fall term fees due today if paid by cheque or money order (September 6 by bank payment); details online.

Doug Wright Engineering building air conditioning shutdown (A Wing only) tomorrow, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

'Single and Sexy' preview performance Friday, September 1, 11:30 a.m., Humanities Theatre, admission free. Shows for first-year students: Tuesday, September 5, at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m.; Wednesday at 9:30, 1:00, 4:00; Thursday at 10:00, 1:00, 4:00.

Seminar for graduate students who are preparing applications for postdoctoral fellowships, Thursday, September 7, 1:30, Needles Hall room 3001, organized by graduate studies office.

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[Tim's counter all ready for customers]

Tim Horton's has a new foothold on campus: Lee Elkas, director of food services, shows off the Tim's outlet in the bookstore, just off the South Campus Hall concourse, which will open for business for the first time today. The new Tim's (open 8:00 to 4:30 this week) replaces the former Bookends café. Meanwhile, Tim's in the Student Life Centre will be reopening Labour Day after its renovation project. And food services sends word that, as the new term nears, Brubakers cafeteria in the SLC will be open this week, along with Browsers in the Dana Porter Library, Tim's in the Davis Centre, the Eye Opener in the Optometry building, and Pastry Plus in Needles Hall.

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UW will probe club, overseas jobs

A statement from UW president David Johnston is being issued this morning to announce “three initiatives related to the recent arrests of three UW graduates and one current student in connection with alleged support of Tamil Tiger terrorism activity”.

Says the statement: “UW, in full partnership with the UW Federation of Students, has engaged a national accounting firm to conduct a complete forensic audit of the Waterloo Tamil Students Association. The auditors will begin that process immediately. WATSA is an official federation club representing Tamil students; it is one of 160 such student social and community clubs that operate under the umbrella of the Federation of Students throughout the academic year.

“UW will also begin immediately to conduct its own thorough review of policies and procedures regarding overseas placements for students enrolled in UW's co-operative education program. Waterloo is recognized as operating the world's largest and most successful co-op program, with over 3,600 active employers who hire more than 12,000 of our students enrolled in co-op studies. While the vast majority of placements are with domestic companies or well-known firms in Canada and the U.S., a small number of our students are also engaged in overseas development work in third-world countries, usually with well-known NGO's such as World Vision, Red Cross and so on. The review will determine if there are sufficient controls on foreign placements.

“A small task group of senior UW officials is being created to facilitate and oversee these two important reviews.”

The statement quotes the president: "These are steps we believe will complement the ongoing police investigation with which we are also cooperating. I believe our university and our students are among the best in the world, and our co-op program is a global leader. We need to do this to ensure that nothing, including the matters now under investigation, will diminish that good name and reputation.

"I also want to particularly commend our Federation of Students, and its president Michelle Zakrison, for fully engaging with us in this important activity."

The statement says the university “will report publicly on its findings in both reviews and is committed to taking whatever due diligence is necessary to maintain the community's confidence in this tremendous institution, its outstanding students and its pioneering co-op program.”

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New text in staff employment policy

Changes to UW’s Policy 18, which is the foundation document on employment of staff members at UW, have been given approval by the president, the university secretariat has announced.

The new text of Policy #18, “Staff Employment”, became effective August 11, says a memo from Karen Jack of the secretariat. It was developed by the Staff Relations Committee, which has a membership balanced between UW administration and staff association representatives. Proposals for the changes were circulated on campus in the early summer.

“This is an important policy to staff as it deals with staff employment practices, including recruitment, selection, hiring, promotion, transfer, discipline and release,” says the memo.

The policy itself states that it “is designed to ensure that uniform standards and consistent employment practices are applied throughout the University (UW) and to encourage maximum opportunity for promotion or lateral transfer of staff. It also protects the legal interests of both UW and its staff when entering into employment agreements. The Policy articulates the line organization’s responsibilities with respect to employment practices and the extent of participation of the Human Resources Department (HR) in the recruitment, selection, hiring, promotion, transfer, discipline and release of staff members.

“While the administration of this Policy is the responsibility of the line organization, HR is expected to make the line organization and the appropriate Head aware of decisions which appear to be contrary to the spirit of this Policy.”

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Details of the changed policy

The secretariat memo lists “highlights” of the changes in the new Policy 18, which replaces a series of earlier versions dating back to the 1960s:

• “Table of Contents – added for ease of reference.”

• “Introduction and Purpose – separated into two sections: (1) Purpose and (2) Eligibility.”

• “Training and Development – this is a new section recognizing the importance of training and development in the work life of staff; it includes reminders to supervisors to encourage growth and development of staff and allocates staff up to 30 hours annually to pursue courses offered by the newly created office, Organizational & Human Development (formerly, Staff Training & Development).” (Says the policy: “Supervisors are expected to encourage staff to use the 30 hours offered.”)

• “Recruitment – re-ordered to include information previously contained under the heading Promotion & Transfer; it includes a new section on UW’s commitment to excellence, recruiting the best staff possible, maximizing opportunities for advancement and new challenges for staff; encouraging staff to apply for positions for which they appear to be qualified.”

• “Career Path Positions – this is a new section reflecting recent practice, appropriate for some positions, in providing flexibility re recruiting individuals at differing levels of skill and knowledge; position is advertised at various classification levels, e.g., USG 9/11.”

• “Advertising – this section has been clarified for ease of reference and includes the conditions under which external advertising may occur; new to this Policy is the ability to conduct simultaneous internal and external advertising and applicant consideration for positions classified at USG 16 and higher; the current Policy states that for special circumstances or for highly specialized jobs, a request could be made to the Associate Provost, Human Resources & Students Services to conduct a simultaneous search.”

• “Selection Process – this section contains various statements which appeared throughout the Recruitment section and clarifies the process for both internal (to the University) and external applicants.”

• “Probationary Periods – the section on performance reviews has been modified to lay out the expectations re communicating performance expectations and feedback, and giving staff a reasonable period of time to improve if performance is unsatisfactory; new to this section is information on when it might be appropriate to extend a probationary period and limits on how long that extension could be.”

• “Organizational Change – modifications to this section have been made with a view to emphasizing the importance of regular communication and consultation, not just when organizational change is imminent; the need for managers and staff to anticipate future needs as much as possible, and to require supervisors to provide affected staff with a paper copy of the relevant section (7) of Policy 18 and encourage them to seek advice/support from HR and/or the Staff Association.”

• “Reduction in Working Hours – this is a new section which basically states that any reduction in working hours needs to be treated as an organizational change which means the principles of section 7b apply.”

• “Relocation Assistance – the series of sessions on job search techniques, resume writing and preparation, interview skills, etc., will no longer be offered; HR will continue to provide information and refer staff to external agencies upon request; there is no change to the personal support offered to staff through EAP, Counselling Services and HR.”

• “Long-term Disability – this section has been reduced as the majority of information was of a procedural nature and can be found in the Income Continuance Programs for On-going Employees brochure available on the HR website.”

• “Resignations – given the elimination of mandatory retirement, the paragraph dealing with normal retirement date has been deleted.”

• “Appendix A (‘Procedures for the Consideration of Internal Applicants for Positions’) – sections D and E have been modified to clarify and reflect current practice re the initial interview and screening process used for internal applicants (e.g., sometimes the initial interview and screening is conducted by a hiring committee/panel and, sometimes, due to the number of applicants, it is not feasible to interview all qualified candidates).”



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