Facilities Weekly

Our plan & our people

The VPFO is made up of diverse individuals doing important work to support the university. Join us as we spotlight champions of our strategic plan and how they drive UBC forward.

Jen Sheel, Director, Municipal Services: Creating inclusive spaces beyond the public realm

Jen takes pride in what her team does… and it shows. When you meet Jen Sheel, one of the first things you see is her dedication to making UBC a place that invites and builds connections.

In this Q&A, Jen shares how she delivers the best for UBC in the multiple roles she plays — a leader, a team player, a visitor on the Coast Salish Territory — through VPFO’s strategic directions and values.

Read more about how Jen and her team connect to the VPFO strategic plan.

Review the VPFO strategic plan: vpfo.ubc.ca/strategy


Great Trek 100th Anniversary + Time Capsule

On October 28, UBC celebrated the 100th anniversary of the trek at the Great Trek cairn/time capsule on Mail Mall. The 50th Anniversary time capsule was also opened following the ceremony and sealing of a new capsule.

Thank you to all our teams in Facilities for supporting and preparing for this event.

Read the full story

Working with Safety & Risk Services to educate the community on electrical power at UBC

Our teams recently worked with Safety & Risk Services to update information on electrical power at UBC on the Facilities website to inform and remind faculty and staff to annually review departmental continuity plans.

The updated page includes information and guidance on preparing and planning for shut downs or unexpected power outages to help reduce risk to infrastructure, equipment, and research.

Learn more

Extending Facilities Service Centre’s operating hours with the addition of two new team members   

Please join us in welcoming Service Centre Coordinators, Mark Stacey and Marie Cummings! Read about them on the Facilities website.

With the addition of Mark and Marie to the Customer Services and Informatics team, the Service Centre has extended its hours to 7:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday, as of November 1, 2022.

Reminder: Thunderbird Boulevard closure

The eastbound and westbound lanes between the Thunderbird Parkade access and Health Sciences Mall/East Mall will be closed until noon on Thursday, November 3.

The westbound lane of Thunderbird Boulevard will remain closed between Thunderbird Parkade and Health Sciences Mall until December.

This information is also available on the Facilities website.

Congratulations 25-Year Club Inductees 2022!

The VPFO team has a number of long-service member inductees this year. This is an amazing personal accomplishment for the individuals and a true testament to their devotion to service at UBC. See a full list of 25 and 35-Year Club Members within the VPFO.

Congratulations to all team members and thank you for your contribution to UBC and the VPFO!

Learn more about the 25 year Club at UBC.

Watch this video of this year’s 25-Year Club Inductees, including many of our team members in Facilities!

Driver Safety: Remember to turn on your headlights

Fall is a beautiful season, but it’s also a time when road and weather conditions make driving a little tougher. The days are getting shorter, which means you will be spending more time driving in the dark with reduced visibility.

A quick reminder to vehicle operators to turn on vehicle headlights when driving. This weekend is also daylight savings where we fall back one hour, so the darkness will be around longer.

Stay safe on the road this Fall season with these smart driving tips: 

  • Make sure your lights are in working order
  • Use your low beams or fog lights in fog conditions
  • Give yourself plenty of room to come to a stop at intersections and when following other vehicles
  • Approach all crosswalks and intersections with caution as it will be harder to see pedestrians and cyclists
  • Be aware of leaves on the road. Both wet and frozen leaves are very slippery
  • Keep sunglasses on hand for those days when there is high sun glare
  • Make sure you have a scrapper in your car to clean frost off the windows. Warm your car up and ensure you have good visibility before you drive.

Helpful resources for holiday challenges

If you are feeling anxious or stressed about this upcoming holiday season, you aren’t alone.

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 Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) confidential services, through LifeWorks, by calling 1-866-424-0770.

Our VPFO HR staff is always available for a confidential conversation. Refer to this service map to connect with the HR Advisor supporting your area.

Join the Facilities United Way Dip off on November 23!

Do you have a winning dip? Register your team and join our first UBC Facilities United Way ‘The Great Dip-off’ on Wednesday, November 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the University Services Building (USB) Atrium.

What qualifies as a dip? Well, pretty much anything that pairs deliciously with chips! Does it have to be homemade? Yes, of course!

Just want some chips and dip? Donate a minimum of $5 to the United Way for a plate of chips and unlimited tasting! Help decide the winning team for the ‘People’s Choice Award’.

Team criteria 

  • Register a team (up to three members)
  • Create a team name
  • Prepare a minimum of six cups of dip
  • Provide a list of ingredients at your table
  • Decorations are welcome

To register your team, email Hoi Ying Yu (hoiying.yu@ubc.ca) by November 16.

Grand prize

  • Each winning team member will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and claim the title of ‘THE BEST DIP in Facilities’!
  • The winning team will be selected by our panel of judges
    • John Metras, interim VP Operations, VP Finance & Operations
    • David Speight, Culinary Director, Executive Chef, UBC Food Services
    • Rickey Yada, Dean Professor, Faculty of Land &Food Systems

Second Prize: ‘People’s Choice Award’ 

  • Everyone can vote with a minimum donation of $5 for a plate of chips.
  • The second prize-winning team will each receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

Thank you for participating in Pumpkin Carving for the Kids!

Thank you to all those who came in their Halloween best. After a two-year hiatus, it was wonderful to see the Cariboo Daycare children in their costumes (with parents and staff too!).

On a sunny day that swept the clouds away, led by that sweet air of pumpkin tart, can you tell me who got the most staff votes? It’s the Metal Shop’s Sesame Street (#1)!

Second place goes to Red/Blue Zone’s pumpkin carriage (#2).

This year’s children’s favourite is from the North Gardening crew (#4).

Special mention to Municipal (#5) and the Carpenter Shop (#3).

Special thanks go to Barb Shimizu for leading the kids to the atrium, and to Gardenia Honorio, Shelly Liu and Wendy Lam for helping with the event.

Welcome to the team

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:

  • Labourer 2 (Seasonal)-1 (JR10120) – 11/3/2022
  • Trades 2 – Steamfitter / Pipefitter (JR7935) – 11/8/2022
  • Oper/Drvr-Heavy Equip (JR8236) – 11/8/2022
  • Millwright (JR10231) – 11/11/2022

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.

EDI: Ensuring employment equity at UBC

Last summer, the federal government introduced the Pay Equity Act, which ensures workers in federally regulated workplaces are paid equally for equal work and employers provide notice of their pay equity process.

At UBC, we are committed to equity in employment, with the fundamental principle for recruitment and retention of faculty and staff being individual achievement and merit.

Published annually, the Employment Equity Report provides an overview of hiring and employment practices put in place to create and sustain equitable, diverse and inclusive workplaces at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan.

Read UBC’s 2020 Employment Equity Report or review a summary of the report on the UBC Equity & Inclusion website.

Emergency tip: Disaster Response Routes

Avoid Disaster Response Routes if they are activated during a disaster. They are designated for use by emergency personnel only.

Learn more on the Government of BC’s website.

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.

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 Municipal Services

In case you’ve missed it

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.