Facilities Weekly

Share your feedback on Planon

Last week, if you are a regular Planon user, a feedback survey has been sent to your email, or a paper version was provided to you. We are asking for your help to please respond to all the questions as your feedback is important, regardless of your level of involvement in the processes.

The survey will close on Friday, April 29, 2022.

The questions that you will be asked will be tailored to your role, and involve work management, inventory and purchasing, PMFS mobile app, and timecards and reporting. Your feedback is anonymous and no personal information will be saved with the responses.

This survey is conducted by the Customer Services & Informatics team in partnership with Operational Excellence. Your feedback will help establish a baseline assessment of your experience using Planon, and help stabilize and improve the system. We anticipate to conduct this survey annually to help measure improvements and keep track of areas that require attention in Planon.

For questions or concerns, please reach out to Kishani Gibbons, Director, Customer Services & Informatics (kishani.gibbons@ubc.ca).


University Boulevard bus loop road detours

Due to three projects under construction simultaneously — School of Biomedical Engineering (SBME) Building, Gateway Health Building, and a utility steam tunnel repair, the University Boulevard bus loop will be closed starting April 19 to May 1, 2022. During this closure, no trolley busses or vehicles will be entering the University Boulevard bus loop. Single lane vehicle traffic for deliveries will be maintained.

To view the map and learn more, visit the Facilities website

As part of the Wesbrook Mall Upgrades, the Wesbrook Mall corridor between Student Union Boulevard and Chancellor Boulevard is also being upgraded in phases to repair the condition of the roadway and enhance safety and user experience for all modes of transportation. Construction will begin in April 2022 and will continue until September 30, 2022.

The first stage of construction will begin on April 19, 2022, and will result in a full closure of Wesbrook Mall between Walter Gage Road and Student Union Boulevard until approximately May 29. Nearby streets and sidewalks will also be affected during this time. Learn more about what to expect during construction.

Watermain repair on 16th Avenue in the University Endowment Lands (UEL)

The University Endowment Lands will be completing an emergency repair on an incoming watermain on 16th Avenue. Our team will support this work from April 20 – 22, 2022 by switching over our campus water feed, once the repair commences.

During this switchover, we do not anticipate any disruption to our water supply. However, you may notice some differences in your water during the changeover:

  • Some users may experience temporary low water pressure in their buildings.
  • Changes in the flow of water within UBC’s water distribution system may cause temporary turbidity (discolouration and/or cloudiness) in the water. Water clarity should return to normal after a short period of typical use. Our water will remain safe to use and drink throughout the changeover.
  • Research equipment such as boosters may not operate as expected due to possible low water pressure.

For questions or concerns, please contact your zone Facilities Manager.

Projects approved by UBC Board of Governors

A number of projects received approval in the March Board Committee meeting:

The agenda package and minutes of the March Board Committee meeting are available on the UBC Board of Governors website.

UBC Facilities Apprenticeship Program is growing

We have recently posted a job opening for CUPE 116 Sheet Metal Apprenticeship — available on Workday:

What does a Sheet Metal Worker do at UBC? 

  • Fabricates eave troughs, down pipes, metal windows, metal frameworks, metal clad doors, counter tops, windows, fume hoods, and other galvanized iron, aluminum and stainless steel fixtures for heating, ventilation, roofing, windows, doors and other related installations including handling of asbestos or other hazardous insulation materials.
  • Conducts inspection tests on various machinery and equipment as it relates to sheet metal repair and maintenance, diagnoses defects and carries out repairs or recommends solution to correct problems to supervisory staff.
  • Assembles parts and joins them by welding gauge steel, soldering, brazing, bolting, riveting, screwing, and other related methods.

How do you become an apprentice?

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) manages the apprenticeship system and certifies skilled trades. Most apprentices take four years to complete, with 80% of the learning taking place at the worksite and 20% with an ITA-recognized training provider.  An apprenticeship is a work-then-school cycle repeated each year for about four years.

Facilities currently has 3 active apprentices and 2 under recruitment.

What is the application process? 

Those interested should submit their application in Workday before the posting closes. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted to complete a BCIT trades pre-entry test on the four components listed below:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Reasoning
  • Physics

The trades pre-entry tests are designed to show that you have the necessary academic skills to succeed in your trades or technical studies program. For more information, visit the BCIT website.

After in-person interviews are conducted and evaluated, the successful candidate will be awarded the position and will begin their apprenticeship journey.

For further details, please reach out to one of the Facilities Apprenticeship Committee Members:

Workday Tip: Going on leave

When you go on a leave of absence, you may be eligible to continue your benefits/pension during your leave. If you are eligible, you will receive a benefit task called Go on Leave in your Workday inbox.

It is important to complete your Go on Leave benefit task by the Submit By date indicated in the task. Failure to do so will result in automatic waiving of some or all of your benefits and/pension depending on the type of leave.

  • If you are approved for an unpaid leave of absence (e.g. unpaid personal), you are required to pay the full cost of the premium or contribution for any benefits and/or pension you Select with your task. Coverage will end for any benefits and/or pension you Waive.
  • If you are approved for a government leave (e.g. maternity/parental leave of absence), you are required to pay the employee portion of the premium or contribution for any benefits and/or pension you Select with your task. UBC will continue to pay the employer portion. Coverage will end for any benefits and/or pension you Waive.

For step-by-step instructions on Workday, please refer to the Benefit Change: Go on Leave guide in the Workday Knowledge Base.

For information about returning from leave, visit the Benefit Change: Return from Leave guide in the Workday Knowledge Base.

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:

  • Data Modeller (JR7165) – closing Apr 22
  • Relief Shift Engineer (CEC) (JR7338) – closing April 22
  • Manager, Construction Office (JR7169) – closing Apr 27
  • Trades 2 – Steamfitter (JR6783) – closing April 27
  • Trades 2 – Metal Worker Apprentice (JR7140) – closing April 27
  • Quality Assurance & Tester (JR7303) – closing April 28
  • Millwright (JR7181) – closing April 29

Don’t forget to apply as an internal candidate! Please review the Apply for an Internal Job Posting guide in the Workday Knowledge Base for instructions on how to apply.

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.

EDI: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson – Advancing racial equity

“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.” — Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson 

On Friday, April 8, 2002, the first African American woman, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, ever nominated and confirmed to the US Supreme Court made history.

Judge Jackson’s professional experience, particularly as a judge with a significant background as a public defender, and her personal experience as a Black woman in the United States will shape how she approaches cases before the court and how both majority and minority opinions will be framed and argued.

Watch Judge Jackson’s speech at the White House

Emergency tip: Hand crank radio

A hand crank radio is an important part of your emergency preparedness kit. After a disaster such as an earthquake, phone and internet services may be disrupted rendering all of your devices useless. A hand crank radio will allow you to monitor emergency broadcasts and local news. These devices also have integrated flashlights, solar power and the possibility to recharge your devices via USB connections.

For more information about emergency preparedness kits, visit the Government of Canada’s Get Prepared website.

Workplace Strategies for Mental Health: Communicating when someone is emotional – Speaker Tips

Many people listen to others, but only in the narrowest sense — they may hear the words without really hearing what others are saying. Good listening skills involve gaining a clear understanding of what the speaker intends, rather than just the words they’ve said. The following tips may be helpful:

Listen attentively 

Maintain good eye contact with the person and acknowledge you’re hearing them.

Don’t interrupt 

It’s difficult to hear when you’re talking. It’s natural to want to ‘fix’ things or give an effective answer. The problem is if you haven’t heard all of what the person needs to say, your ‘fix’ may be for the wrong issue.

Clarify what you hear 

Regularly summarize or clarify your understanding of what’s being said. This may help make sure you’re getting the correct message. It’s also important to admit if you don’t understand something.

It can be helpful for both parties to try to summarize their conversation to tie up loose ends. The summary also gives both a clear understanding of what’s been discussed and sets a direction for constructive follow-up.

Reflect on what you hear 

This differs from clarification. Reflection involves showing the person you’re aware of or understand what they’re feeling. You hold up a metaphorical mirror so the person can see more clearly what they’re saying and how you’re reacting.

Listening to understand 

This goes beyond hearing the words, to ensure you understand their intention or perspective. When people are distressed, they may not always say exactly what they mean. Giving someone the safety and space to articulate — and then clarify or correct what they say — can give you a much better chance of understanding their perspective.  

Managing your mental health

Human Resources has collected mental health resources to help you manage your ups and downs. To view more workshops, webinars and events visit the HR event listing.

Our HR representatives are always available for a confidential conversation:

  • Monica Haab (monica.haab@ubc.ca): Building Operations, Energy & Water Services, Customer Services & Informatics, and Municipal Services
  • Arvind Kang (akang03@mail.ubc.ca): Custodial Services and Infrastructure Development