What we do matters 

A message from John Metras, Associate Vice-President, Facilities 

It was great to gather together last week at our annual Facilities’ Ice Cream Social. The weather was spectacular and it was a perfect time — day, evening, or night shift — for ice cream and connecting with our colleagues and partners. A special thanks to Caroline MacLeod and all our volunteers for organizing and bringing this event together. 

It was a day of big changes for Facilities, UBC announced our 17th President—Dr. Benoit-Antoine Bacon, while we announced that our colleague Jennifer Sanguinetti has accepted a position at SFU. Jennifer has been our valued leader and colleague for over 9 years, and while it is difficult to see such a great colleague leave UBC, it is wonderful to see Jennifer take the next step in her career. 

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to give our presidential candidates a tour of the Vancouver campus. I connected with Dr. Bacon on many different topics, and I was impressed by his deep knowledge of facilities. During the tours, one of the candidates noted, “You probably saw that UBC’s position in the QS World University Rankings just jumped from #47 to #34. This was due in part to UBC’s extensive work and reputation around sustainability, including the work of you and your team. You should congratulate them”. 

I am truly proud of our team’s contribution to our sustainability efforts. What we do matters. From planning and developing net zero carbon buildings, reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from the district energy system and our vehicle fleet, improving the energy efficiency of campus buildings, conserving water and using organic pesticides in our landscape operations, recycling rubber gloves and paper towels in custodial, running a municipal scale recycling and composting program, and the list goes on— we have directly contributed to UBC’s global reputation. 

Read the full message 

Chilling success: Thanks for joining Facilities' Ice Cream Social!

A heartfelt thank you to all of you who joined us for our fantastic summer event! Your enthusiasm and active participation turned it into a truly unforgettable day.

The success of the Ice Cream Social wouldn't have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of many individuals. Special thanks to Aidan Duffy, Dan Myers, Florante Navarra, Hamideh Mohammadimotahari, Jeff Ryan, Joshua Davidson, Liam Foot, Mark Anderson, Michael Laing for their help with setup, as well as Robert Ratcliffe with the takedown of the sound system.

We also want to extend a big round of applause to our dedicated volunteers who went above and beyond to make the event special, including:

  • Day shift: Annie Mullins, Colin Mingus, Dean Gregory, Hoi Ying Yu, Karen Abel, Kevin Phelan, Kishani Gibbons, Lori Takenaka, Olga Arlitt, Rosanna Ma, Sandi Phelan, Waleed Chaudhry, and Wendy Lam
  • Evening & night shifts: Balvinder Bachra, Efran Arriesgado, Ingelbert Madera, Jessie Figueras, Joebert Fundal, Liezel Barcelon, Manjit Sound, Michael Morales, and Sean Pardek 

Let's not forget our charismatic emcees, Jag Khella and Ana Boal, who kept the energy high and the smiles wide throughout the entire event.

Congratulations to the winners of the UBC Chef Challenge, who will be enjoying a lovely menu on July 27.   

We look forward to another joyous summer event next year! Until then, stay cool and enjoy the season 🌞 

Spot yourself and your colleagues in photos, available on the VPFO Flickr. Credits to Jag Khella and Hoi Ying Yu for taking the wonderful event photos!

Streamlining backfills and internal recruitment for Custodial Services 

Custodial Services will be streamlining the process for identifying backfills and facilitating internal staff moves and recruitment. This change will help facilitate quicker moves of internal staff who are interested in moving to a new shift, and create a quicker turnaround time for hiring and onboarding new staff to backfill vacant assignments. 

Please indicate your interest in a shift change by August 21 

All full time Building Service Workers within Custodial Services will have the opportunity to express interest in a shift change on an ongoing basis and will be offered the position based on seniority. 

From July 24-August 21, 2023, please use the link below to indicate your interest in a shift change. Staff who have expressed interest in a shift move during this timeframe will be considered along with candidates who have formally applied to the postings on Workday. 

Link to submit your interest in a shift change: bit.ly/custodialshifts

Auxiliary staff will be exempt from this process and will need to apply for positions when they are posted via Workday. This means that Auxiliary staff will need to monitor Workday for any resulting postings, and ensure to apply for those postings if they are interested. 

For more information, please contact Sean Lynch, Director, Custodial Services

Hot water interruption at USB on August 1

There will be an interruption to the hot water supply in the University Services Building (USB) on Tuesday, August 1 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm due to an upgrade to the District Energy Systems (DES), where controls will be switched from Delta to Siemens to enhance the efficiency and reliability of our heating and hot water systems. 

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.  

Updated zone list

The Zone list (see attached) has been updated as of July 24, 2023. Please note that the following update was made:  

  • Added: Brock Commons North – Yellow Zone 
  • Updated: Brock Commons East – Tallwood House 

Book online: Free fitness classes at The Centre 

The Centre For Occupational Health, Safety & Wellbeing, located in the University Services Building, offers a range of health and wellness services which includes ergonomic services, injury prevention education, physical conditioning, health screenings, and onsite physiotherapy and massage therapy. 

The Centre offers free fitness classes from training, yoga and high-intensity training (HIIT) to total body conditioning (TBC). These classes are now open and available to book online — exclusively for VPFO staff!  

Learn more: srs.ubc.ca/the-centre

People in motion

  • Natalie Walliser has been appointed UBCO’s Director of Infrastructure Development. 
  • Jodi Scott, Senior Learning Space Planner with Infrastructure Development will be retiring as of Oct 27, after her remarkable 21-year tenure at UBC. Jodi has been an invaluable member of our team, always ready to lend her expertise and work tirelessly to find solutions whenever challenges arose. Her deep knowledge of all aspects of learning spaces development on both UBC campuses has been truly remarkable, and many of us have relied on her wisdom and planning experience throughout the years. Please join us as we wish Jodi the very best in her retirement. Thank you for your service, Jodi, you will be deeply missed!  

Job openings

All positions at UBC are available on the UBC HR Careers website, or through the career application in your Workday account. Please note that applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on the day prior to the posting end date. The following VPFO positions are currently open:

  • Millwright (JR13319) – 7/28/2023 
  • Sub-Head Millwright (JR13749) – 8/1/2023 
  • Senior Learning Space Planner (JR13778) – 8/2/2023 
  • Project Coordinator (JR13856) – 8/7/2023
  • Associate Project Manager (JR13811) – 8/8/2023
  • Utilities Electrical Engineer (JR11625) – 8/15/2023
  • Assistant Civil Engineer (JR12802) – 8/15/2023  

Don't forget to apply as an internal candidate! Please review Apply for an Internal Job Posting in the Workday Knowledge Base for instructions on how to apply. Reminder to attach a copy of your resume when you apply for a career opportunity in Workday.

Building Safety Capacity: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

UBC has a WHMIS program that provides information about the hazardous products used on campus through warning labels, hazard symbols, safety data sheets, and worker education and training.  

An effective implementation of the WHMIS program in your areas would allow staff to answer the following questions for any products used/will be used.  

  1. What are the hazards (e.g. supplier or workplace labels)? 
  2. How do you protect yourself (e.g. gloves, ventilation, etc.)? 
  3. What should you do in the case of an emergency (e.g. spills)? 
  4. Where can you get more information (e.g. safety data sheets)? 

UBC has a General Audience WHMIS online course which covers what you’ll need to know about WHMIS as a non-lab user. For more information, visit the SRS website and review UBC’s WHMIS program.  

Weekly Emergency Tip: Emergency car kits

Emergency car kits are an essential part of our personal emergency preparedness. Whether we are commuting to and from work or going on a family vacation, we spend increasing amounts of time on the road. A good emergency car kit should have the following items: 

  • Water and energy bars 
  • Flashlight and road flares 
  • Booster cables 
  • Blanket and extra clothes 
  • First aid kit 

Find more information about emergency kits: ready.ubc.ca/make-a-kit/

Managing your mental health

HR has collected mental health resources to help you manage your ups and downs. 

As a manager or leader, you play an important role in supporting your mental health and that of your teams. Complete the new required training: Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace for Managers and Supervisors.

Representatives are always available for a confidential conversation:

  • Monica Haab (monica.haab@ubc.ca): Building Operations, Energy & Water Services, Customer Services & Informatics, and Infrastructure Development
  • Gregor MacDonald (gregor.macdonald@ubc.ca): Custodial Services and Municipal Services

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) offers an extensive suite of services to support you – from providing wellness coaching or advising on family issues to offering legal support. Access the EFAP confidential services through LifeWorks, by calling 1-866-424-0770. 

In case you've missed it 

Here is a quick recap of key events and information that you may have missed. For more details, please click on the links below or refer to our weekly portfolio newsletter, VPFO Update.

Thanks for reading!

Find this newsletter and past issues on the Facilities website

For questions and content submission
 Email: facilities@vpfo.ubc.ca

UBC Facilities is part of the VP Finance & Operations (VPFO) Portfolio, and includes six departments—Building Operations, Custodial Services, Customer Services & Informatics, Energy & Water Services, Infrastructure Development, and Municipal Services.

UBC Facilities
The University of British Columbia
Campus & Community Planning (C&CP) Building
2210 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

VP Finance & Operations (VPFO)
The University of British Columbia
Koerner Library, 6th Floor 
1958 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

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