Monday, April 12, 2010

  • Staff employment policy up for changes
  • Lapsed laptop? You can toss it this week
  • Round numbers about square feet, and more
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Staff employment policy up for changes

A proposed revision of a major UW policy document was sent across campus for comment on Friday. Says a memo that was sent to all staff members: “The Staff Relations Committee is soliciting feedback on proposed changes to Policy 18, the policy dealing with staff employment practices, including training, recruitment, selection, hiring, performance evaluation, discipline, organizational change and release.”

The memo notes that “This is an important policy for staff. The committee encourages you to review the proposed changes and send any questions, concerns or comments you may have to the committee by Friday, April 23.” Comments can go to Rebecca Wickens of the university secretariat, rebecca.wickens@

The current Policy 18 was last revised in 2008. The committee’s memo included a summary of the changes that are being proposed:

[Quotation marks]Section 1. Purpose. The introductory section includes a new sentence emphasizing that the Human Resources department serves in an advisory capacity with respect to the day-to-day administration of the policy. The last paragraph was relocated to this section from the former Section 10 (Interpretation) and revised to say that the committee may waive provisions of the policy if the application of such provisions would produce a result that is contrary to the spirit and intent of the policy. (The paragraph previously allowed the committee to set aside provisions in the interests of reorganization or management development.)

Section 2. Eligibility. This section was revised to reflect a recent decision of Executive Council (endorsed by the committee) to extend applicability of Section 8(c) (Process for Organizational Change – Loss of Employment) and Appendix B (Notice Entitlement) to staff whose appointments are contingent on funding and who have completed ten years or more of service at the university. For the purposes of this section, the calculation of years of service for part-time staff whose appointments are contingent on funding is not calculated on a pro-rated basis.

Section 3. Training, Development and Educational Opportunities. Language has been added to clarify that staff are entitled to up to 30 hours annually to pursue courses offered by Organizational & Human Development and that the university encourages staff to undertake educational programs on a part-time basis by providing education benefits (see Policies 4 and 39).

Section 4. Recruitment. This section was reordered and certain parts of the section were revised for clarity, in particular, those titled “Advertising,” “Selection Process,” and “External Applicants”.

Section 6. Performance Evaluation. This is a new section which sets out the timing and process for staff performance evaluations, and the training available to managers regarding the performance evaluation process.

Section 7. Disciplinary Action Including Dismissal from Employment.  Changes were made within the written warning part of Section 7 to clarify what a written warning should include. A new sentence at the very bottom of the section was added re a Staff Relations Coordinator being present when dismissal is communicated to a staff member.

Section 8. Organizational Change. This section has been condensed and reordered for clarity. As well, the section now sets out the guiding principles for dealing with a staff member affected by a reorganization, and includes expanded protocols and procedures for handling organizational change with or without loss of employment.  

Section 9. Long-Term Disability. A note has been included at the beginning of the section to indicate that special provisions apply to staff approved for LTD.

[Quotation marks]Section 11. Interpretation.  This section now states that the Staff Relations Committee, rather than the Vice-President, Academic & Provost, will make a determination on interpretation of the policy. The second paragraph of the section was moved to Section 1 (Purpose).

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Lapsed laptop? You can toss it this week

A week-long “e-waste pickup initiative” is under way on campus, giving departments a chance to get rid of superannuated computers, peripherals and other electronic hardware with a lot less than the usual amount of paperwork.

“Central Stores will be offering a 5 day departmental e-waste pickup starting Monday and ending Friday, April 17,” a memo says. “Departments with university owned e-waste can call Central Stores at ext. 32262 to arrange for the pickup.  Departments will be asked for an approximate item quantity, so that proper scheduling times can be established.

“This 5-day initiative is to allow departments to clear out their old unused e-waste and to do so without the normal form or paperwork requirements.  Central Stores has allocated staff specifically to handle this 5-day event.  Please take advantage of this opportunity to rid your department of this space consuming electronic waste.”

Then on Saturday, a similar offer is being made to individuals both on and off campus, as Stores will host an “E-Waste Green Day” with the support of Cambridge-based recycling firm Greentec.

If you are storing old computers or cell phones, long since replaced, it’s time to safely and freely dispose of them,” the memo from Stores says. “The electronic recycling event, in partnership with Research In Motion, will help to divert hazardous electronic waste from local landfills. Ontario consumers and businesses throw out more than 90,000 tonnes of old computers, servers, printers, cartridges, cell phones and PDAs every year. 

“The general public, as well as faculty, staff and students of the university, can drop off their personal used electronic equipment from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at East Campus Hall, 263 Phillip Street. Staff will be available to assist in unloading the equipment from vehicles. All items are then shipped directly to Greentec’s facility in Cambridge for processing.”

“Disposing of electronic equipment represents a huge environmental hazard,” says Tony Perrotta, CEO of Greentec, one of the few e-waste recyclers fully certified and approved by the Ministry of the Environment. “Computers especially are filled with compounds of mercury, lead, arsenic and hexavalent chromium. If you have old computers at home taking up space, this collection day is the best and safest way to dispose of them.”

Perrotta continues: “Nothing leaves Greentec’s recycling facilities that is dangerous to the environment or human health. Where possible we will refurbish and recycle to increase the lifecycle of electronics, and every item that has reached its end-of-life is safely and correctly disposed of according to Ministry guidelines.”

The memo notes that Greentec’s advanced security processes ensure all information stored on devices is permanently and anonymously destroyed before disposal or refurbishment. “ However, it is up to all consumers to back up any important information as once the units are dropped off at the event it cannot be returned to the original owner.”

Items accepted for free recycling will include CRT/LCD monitors, computers, TVs, laptops, keyboards, mice, speakers, printers, copiers, scanners, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, telephones, cellphones, cartridges and computer peripherals. Technical information is available from Greentec at 519-624-3300 or info@

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Round numbers about square feet, and more

Better start with a correction: Thursday's Daily Bulletin said that the optometry clinic in the university's newest building, 10B Victoria Street South on the downtown health sciences campus, extended over 40,000 square feet of space. Well, no; an extra zero crept in, and in fact the clinic is 4,000 square feet in size. (The main clinic on two floors of the Optometry building on Columbia Street is about 25,000 square feet, says Gary Marx, administrator of the school of optometry.)

A former Warrior football player, and two current players who have now been suspended from the team, are facing criminal charges including break-and-enter and possession of stolen property, and one of the three is also charged with possession of drugs — steroids — for the purpose of trafficking. Some details of a Waterloo Regional Police investigation were made public Friday when one of the three players appeared in court in Kitchener. The alleged offences include a break-in at the Optometry building on Columbia Street, close to Warrior Field, the Record newspaper said Saturday. With this news, the other shoe drops following word two weeks ago that Waterloo’s athletics department was working with Canadian Interuniversity Sport, the national governing body, over “an investigation related to banned substances (steroids and growth hormone)” involving a football player. That player has been suspended from the football team and also banned from campus; a second player has been suspended, and the third of the men who face criminal charges is no longer a Waterloo student. CIS-endorsed drug tests are under way for all members of the Warrior football squad, as well as teams at nearby universities.

[Enns]When the Juno Awards for achievements in Canadian music are presented this Sunday, nobody will be watching more eagerly than the singers and academic colleagues who work with Leonard Enns of Conrad Grebel University College. Enns (right) is a nominee for the "classical composition of the year" Juno for his "Nocturne", composed in 2005 and recorded last year by the DaCapo Chamber Choir on its CD "ShadowLand". The text for the piece is from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice", in which Lorenzo is describing the music of heaven to Jessica. Says Enns: "I tried to recreate, in the music, a moment of engaged, energized, near-magical reality; the closest picture of this is stars playing hide and seek with the curtains of northern lights on a prairie winter night." It's the second year in a row that a recording by DaCapo, which Enns conducts, has been up for a Juno.

“The April 30, 2010 fiscal year-end is approaching,” says a memo from director of finance Jane Manson, “and it is important that all current year transactions are posted and reviewed in a timely manner.” For this final month of the 2009-10 year, she has this advice: “Departments should establish a cut-off date in April for internal billings . . . any activity occurring after the cut-off date should be included by the department as new year business . . . departments should review their statements on a regular basis throughout the month of April to ensure accuracy of the April transactions.” And more: “Travel claims or settlements for trips completed and vendor invoices for all goods received up to and including April 30 must be received in Accounts Payable as soon as possible for payment, but no later than April 30. . . . All cash and cheques received on or before April 30 should be prepared for deposit to the bank no later than April 30 and sent to the bank no later than May 3.” There’s much more, reflecting the complexity of the university’s near-billion-dollar finances; the memo includes a list of staff and phone numbers for departments to consult as required.

A series of French-language documentaries about international development, being broadcast for six weeks on Télévision Francophone en Ontario (TFO), is the work of a Waterloo faculty member and a colleague from Lakehead University. The concept and research for “Citoyens du Monde” (Citizens of the World) came from UW’s Bruce Muirhead — associate dean (graduate studies and research) in the arts faculty and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation — and Lakehead’s Ronald Harpelle. Filmed in more than a dozen countries, the series examines six broad themes: water, women, politics, health, information and communication technologies and the emerging economies of Brazil, China and India. The emphasis is on research currently being conducted in these areas of international development and possible solutions to serious problems. The series follows Muirhead and Harpelle as they conduct research for a book on the history of the International Development Research Centre, a unique part of Canada’s foreign assistance program. Together, they meet with scientists and researchers around the world to discuss the obstacles to development and some of the solutions that have been studied. The book, The International Development Research Centre: 40 Years of Ideas, Innovation, and Impact, will be available later this year, with the English version to come from Wilfrid Laurier University Press. TFO broadcasts of the series started last week (Wednesdays at 8:00, through May 12). “An English version of the series will soon be ready for broadcast,” Muirhead reports.

Wendy Stoneman of the electrical and computer engineering department sends word that her department "will be holding a book drive until the end of April to raise funds for the John Starr Hamel Memorial Scholarship. We are working in co-operation with Better World Books. For each book accepted we will receive funds for the scholarship. In addition to this, the sale of the books will also translate into funds for Invisible Children in Uganda and promote world literacy. We invite faculty, staff and students to do some spring cleaning and bring their unwanted (but gently used) textbooks to us. A collection box is available in CEIT room 3033B."

And . . . dance recital season is here again, with the Humanities Theatre booked by one local dance school after another: Shine Dance this past weekend, OnStage Dance this weekend, Shine Dance back next week, and so on. (The Carousel Dance Company, formerly an arm of the university but now independent, will be taking its turn in May.) Each recital weekend means a crowd of proud parents, nervous teens, little girls in sparkles and heavy eye-makeup, and vendors of dancewear and souvenirs in the Hagey Hall lobby . . . plus the somehow touching sign that gets posted around the building: "Please do not dance in the hallways."


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Link of the day

Licorice has a day?

When and where

Winter term examinations continue through April 23. Schedule.

Extended library hours through April 23: Davis Centre library open 24 hours a day, except Sunday 2 to 8 a.m.; Dana Porter Library open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Details.

Senate graduate and research council 10:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

Inventory clearance monthly bookstore sale, Tuesday-Wednesday, South Campus Hall concourse.

Canada 3.0 ‘Interactions’ event in Calgary, sponsored by UW Stratford Campus and others, Tuesday 8:30 a.m., 200 Barclay Parade SW. Details.

Senate undergraduate council Tuesday 12:00 noon, Needles Hall room 3004.

Staff career workshop: “Exploring Your Personality Type” Tuesday 2:00, Tatham Centre. Details.

Arts faculty council Tuesday 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology seminar: P. Lynne Howell, Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, “Deciphering the Pesudomonas aeruginosa Type IV Pilus Assembly Complex” Tuesday 3:30, Chemistry II room 361.

Stratford lecture: Brendon Larson, environment and resource studies, “Biodiversity of the Future” Tuesday 7 p.m., Stratford Public Library.

Education Credit Union seminar: “Financing and Purchasing a Vehicle” Wednesday 12:10 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302, RSVP janinew@ by April 7.

Staff career workshop: “Sell Your Skills” Thursday 2:30 p.m., Tatham Centre. Details.

Doug Payne, information systems and technology, retirement reception Thursday 3:30, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall, RSVP elmartin@

Regional Transportation Master Plan open house Thursday 6:00 to 9:00, First United Church, Waterloo. Details.

University senate monthly meeting April 19, 4:00, Needles Hall room 3001.

Luv Lulu, Hate Cancer sale of used workout wear, to benefit Canadian Cancer Society, April 20, 2:00 to 8:00, TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard. Donate items in advance at TechTown, get chance to win $500 Lululemon shopping spree.

Book launch: Polish Orphans of Tengeru by Lynne Taylor, department of history, April 20, 5:00 to 7:00, University Club, RSVP k4king@

Discovery Days in Health Sciences event for high schoolers, April 21. Details.

Campus-wide utility shutdown April 24 at 4 p.m. to April 25 at 8 p.m.: all main campus buildings, no heat or hot water; buildings in north and east areas, including Villages, SLC, Optometry, Davis, DWE and  CPH, also no electrical power.

Unofficial grades for winter term courses begin appearing on Quest April 26. Grades become official May 25.

Fee payment deadline for spring term is April 26 (promissory note) or April 29 (bank transfer). Details.

‘Making Assessment Meaningful’ annual symposium on “learning about teaching”, April 26-27: Monday, Presidents’ Colloquium, address by Catherine Wehlburg, Texas Christian University, 2:00, Humanities Theatre, reception follows; Tuesday, faculty workshops 9:00 and 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 26-29, Davis Centre. Details.

UW-ACE upgrade to Angel version 7.4: system will be down Tuesday, April 27, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Opportunities and New Directions conference on post-secondary teaching and learning, sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Wednesday, April 28. Details.

Advances in Health Informatics Conference 2010 hosted by NIHI, WIHIR, and schools of optometry and pharmacy, April 28-30, Health Sciences Campus, Kitchener.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference April 29-30, Ryerson University, Toronto. Details.

Engineering alumni and friends reception, “Designing the Future” April 29, 6:30 p.m., Waterloo Regional Children’s Museum. Details.

Spring term classes begin Monday, May 3.

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