Facilities Weekly

Protecting yourself from wildfire smoke

Lower Mainland continues to see poor air quality values as a result of the thick wildfire smoke in BC. In the event of a wildfire, the best way to protect yourself is to reduce exposure.

  • Stay indoors and keep the air clean (windows/doors closed, no vacuuming).
  • When in a vehicle, keep windows closed with air conditioning set to recirculate.
  • Reduce time spent outdoors and avoid vigorous outdoor activities.
  • Visit places with controlled air supply such as the swimming pool or the libraries, etc.
  • People with asthma or other chronic illnesses should ensure they have an adequate supply of inhalers/medication and should activate their asthma or personal protection plans.
  • For non-emergency medical advice or assistance, visit HealthLinkBC or call 811.
  • For current air quality readings across Metro Vancouver please visit Metro Vancouver’s real-time air quality map.

Visit the Wildfire Smoke Health & Safety page for resources about air quality health and safety awareness, the risks of wildfire smoke, and the best ways to protect yourself.

Helpful reminders: Grand Master Keys

In compliance with Policy and Procedure I-C-06, here’s what you need to know about carrying grand master keys:

  • When in use they must be tethered to you with a key back device
  • When not in use they must be stored in your assigned lockbox/proxsafe
  • A key in a keyset must not be removed or separated
  • Keys assigned to an individual must not be shared
  • If a key gets stuck in door, and the locksmiths are unavailable to help, the key must be broken
  • Broken or unusable keys must be returned to the Access Desk for replacement
  • Lost grand master and master keys must be reported as soon as practical and two hours before the end of the day to your direct supervisor and manager, after every effort has been made to find the misplaced keys
  • Employees leaving UBC, transferring departments or moving jobs within their current department that no longer requires the use of  their grand master/master keys or certain keys must return their keys to their direct supervisor
  • All returned keys must be taken back to the Access Desk
  • Random audits of lockboxes will be conducted to ensure keys not in use are being stored appropriately

If you would like to read the entire policy and procedure you can find it on shared drive S:Policies & ProceduresI-C-I-C-06 Grand Master Keys.pdf.

UBC Farm main gate close on Mondays

The UBC Farm will be keeping their main gate closed on Mondays moving forward.

A reminder to Facilities staff who need access to the Farm on Mondays to bring their master keys and lock up after they leave. For any access issues, please reach out to Francois Desmarais at francois.desmarais@ubc.ca.

Shout outs

  • April Wong, Clerk – Shout out to April for her help in coordinating the project workshops. You have been extremely helpful and always a delight to speak to — thank you!
  • Mike Liang – Big shout out to Mike for getting our vehicles cleaned up for the new Fall term. What a great year to begin the new academic year!

People in motion

  • Charles Creelman returns to Building Operations as Project Coordinator, Electrical Technical Support from Energy & Water Services where he was involved with the planning, design and overview of all short and long-range campus electrical utility systems, including the current UBC Main Substation switchgear replacement project. To ensure a smooth transition, Charles will continue to support EWS with this project until it is completed and will be transitioning his existing EWS projects to Richard Hugli, Manager, Electrical Utilities over the next 6 months.
  • Carson Koo joins Building Operations within Facilities as a Carpenter.
  • Facilities’ Municipal Services is pleased to welcome Fiona Keating as Municipal Engineer and Riley Kuebler as Labourer.

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:

  • Truck Driver Medium/Labourer (JR9393) – 9/14/2022
  • Fleet & Asset Manager (JR9380) – 9/14/2022
  • Trades 3 – Electrician (JR9532) – 09/15/2022
  • Utility Worker (JR9545) – 09/17/2022
  • Auxiliary Service Worker (10 Positions) (JR9288) – 09/23/2022
  • Project Manager 1 (JR9483) – 09/27/2022

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. Reminder to attach a copy of your resume when you apply for a career opportunity in Workday.

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 – Inequities in the post-secondary education system

Over 1.7 million students in Canada have a student loan. On average, one debtor owes at least $26,075. All of these student debts in the country combined are at least $18 billion.

Student loans have increasingly come to be seen as a diversity, equity and inclusion issue because student debt is disproportionately held by women and people of colour.

What are the long-term impacts of student loans? 

Marginalized and underrepresented employees are starting their careers with larger debts to repay, which delays major life milestones, such as buying a home, building retirement savings, and accumulating wealth.

To pay off their student loans, some even focus on the pay of their work, instead of applying for a job that is a better match with their interests and offers the best long-term career development opportunities.

Aysha Akhtar is a first-year master’s student at McMaster University. She knows that the first 10 to 15 years after she graduates will be spent paying back her student loans. Read about Aysha’s experience

Emergency tip: When to change the batteries in your smoke alarms

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly. Don’t forget to:

  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarms at least twice per year. You can use Daylight Saving Time as a reminder to do this.
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years

Learn more about Smoke Alarms on the City of Vancouver website.

Managing your mental health

Human Resources has collected mental health resources to help you manage your ups and downs. To view 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
  • Gregor MacDonald (gregor.macdonald@ubc.ca): Custodial Services and Infrastructure Development