Thursday, 12 December 2013

Payroll Updates

Payroll Operations would like to remind you about lump sum payments for support staff, pay dates for December, the deadline for holding paycheques, CPP and EI deductions, and update you about tax changes for 2014.

Holiday and Winter Closure 2013/14

This year the university Holiday and Winter Closure starts on December 25, 2013 and ends on January 1, 2014. This means that the University of Alberta is officially open on December 24. Staff may choose to take a vacation day on December 24, subject to operational requirements and the approval of their supervisor. The university will resume regular hours on Thursday, January 2.

Happy Holidays from Human Resource Services

With 2013 coming to a close and the holiday season drawing near, the staff in Human Resource Services wish you a happy holiday and best wishes for a wonderful new year! May your holiday be filled with joy and laughter and may the cheer of the holiday season be with you throughout the year ahead.

Appointment Letter Caveats for Non-Canadian Staff

When completing appointment letters for non-Canadian staff members, please include the caveats found on the Hiring Foreign Nationals: Appointment Conditions webpage.

Change to Illness and Special Leave Accruals

In the 2012 - 2015 NASA Collective Agreement, appendices were added to Part A, Part B and Part C to facilitate efficiencies within Human Resource Services and aid in the administration of our leave plans within the PeopleSoft HCM system. These changes will come into effect on January 1, 2014.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Holiday and Winter Closure 2013/14

As the holiday season approaches, Human Resource Services would like to remind you that the university will be closed from Wednesday, December 25, 2013 to Wednesday, January 1, 2014. The university will resume regular hours on Thursday, January 2, 2014. Please visit the Statutory Holidays and Winter Closure webpage for more information on upcoming statutory holidays and winter closure dates.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Academic Services Updates

Academic Services would like to share reminders about Academic Smart Forms, Cast Agreement Salary Scales and provide clarification on CAST Staff Member Increment Eligibility.

Online Tax Slips 2013

As announced in our January 2013 newsletter, the 2013 tax slips for current and former employees will only be available online via Bear Tracks. Tax slips will no longer be sent via mail to employees except in rare cases where online access is not available. Employees who have not yet consented to receive online tax slips will be contacted directly via email to ask them to consent. Please remind all new employees in your department to complete the one-time Tax Slip Consent process to ensure they can access their online tax slip beginning February 17, 2014. Please contact your Employment and Pay Advisor if you have any questions or need further support with this process.

FEC Reference Manual Revised for 2013

The revised FEC Reference Manual for 2013 has been published on the Human Resource Services website. To download the new version please visit: If you need further assistance please contact

Human Rights Education Recognition Award

The Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights is seeking nominations for Human Rights Education Recognition Awards which recognize individuals who promote human rights education activities and values at the University of Alberta. The cut-off date for all nominations is November 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm, so now is the time to submit your nomination.

Payroll Updates

Payroll Operations would like to announce the Winter Closure Tips Sheets for 2013-14 and share reminders about holding paycheques and processing Territory Payroll Tax.

Lump Sum Payment for Support Staff

Support Staff who are actively employed by the University of Alberta on November 30, 2013 will receive a one-time payment up to a maximum of $400 which is subject to statutory deductions. Support Staff who have worked full-time for the last 12 months are eligible for the full amount; others will be pro-rated. Lump sum payments will be paid to Support Staff via direct deposit on December 24. Resource Planning has confirmed that lump sum payments for base budgeted operating positions will be centrally funded. A one-time budget transfer will take place in January or February equivalent to the actual lump sum payments processed by Payroll Operations.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

FEC Reference Manual Updated

The revised FEC Reference Manual for 2013 has been posted to HRS Website. To download this version please visit:

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Support Staff: Lump Sum Payment

Support Staff who are actively employed by the University of Alberta on November 30, 2013 will receive a one-time payment up to a maximum of $400 which is subject to statutory deductions. Support Staff who have worked full-time for the last 12 months are eligible for the full amount; others will be pro-rated. The payment comes as a result of the negotiated settlement from the 2012-2015 collective agreement as outlined in the Memorandum of Settlement. Support Staff will automatically receive the payment on their regular December 24 paycheque via direct deposit. Support staff who are on leave will receive the payment on their first regular paycheque upon returning to work. Please see the Lump Sum Payment webpage for more information.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Support Staff Spending Account Allocations

On January 1, 2014, eligible support staff members will receive a total allocation of $1,250 to divide between their Health Spending Account (HSA) and their Personal Spending Account (PSA). On October 15, 2013 staff will be invited to allocate the $1,250 between their two spending accounts in whatever combination works best for them before the open enrollment window closes on November 15, 2013. If you have questions about this process please visit the Spending Account Allocations Information Sheet or contact your Pension & Benefits Advisor for more information.

Celebration of Service Letters

The Celebration of Service will be held on November 21, 2013 to recognize all University of Alberta Faculty and Staff members who have service dates reflecting 25, 30, 35, 40 or 45 years of service within the 2013 calendar year. Please note that this years honorees may include retirees, individuals approved for the Voluntary Severance Program or individuals whose positions have been disrupted. Letters listing this year’s honorees will be sent to departments in the next few weeks.

Winter Closure Pay Requirements

To be paid for winter closure, auxiliary and regular support staff need to work their last normal working day prior to the winter closure and their first normal working day after the closure. If an auxiliary or regular support staff has an end date of December 31, they are not eligible to be paid for winter closure. Please contact your Employment and Pay Advisor for more information.

Support Staff Benchmarks Available

The Benchmarks & Sample Job Fact Sheets web page includes sample job fact sheets and organizational charts representing a sampling of positions on campus. The Administrative, Laboratory Technician/Technologist, Research Support, and Student Services categories have been posted. More categories are under development and will be added to the webpage as they become available. Please contact Compensation & Job Design if you have any questions.

Resources for Change and Transition

Leading a team during times of change and uncertainty can be a challenge. The Change and Workplace Transition webpage on the Human Resource Services website has resources and information that can help support you. Please contact Health Promotion and WorkLife Services at for more information or support.

Looking for Temporary Staff?

Human Resource Services offers an Interim Staffing Solutions (ISS) service which delivers a qualified pool of employees to address temporary administrative staffing needs. ISS provides skilled temporary employees to help cover vacations, illness leaves, sudden resignations, peak periods, special projects, and reorganizations. ISS is accountable for the performance management of all ISS employees and handles all recruitment, interviewing, proficiency testing (e.g., MS Office), hiring, and general orientation.

Flu Clinics

Getting your flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to prevent yourself from getting sick this flu season. Both University of Alberta students and staff are eligible to receive an immunization for free at university clinics. The Main Campus flu clinic runs in SUB from November 5 - 8, 2013. The clinics are made possible through a partnership with the Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Students' Union, University Wellness Services and Health Promotion and WorkLife Services. For more information please visit the Flu Season webpage on the University Wellness website.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Canada Savings Bonds Open Soon

The Canada Savings Bonds Payroll Savings Plan allows salaried employees to contribute to the plan through automatic payroll deductions. The Payroll Savings Plan campaign begins on October 1, 2013 and runs until November 1, 2013. All salaried staff are eligible to sign up for the payroll deduction by visiting CSB Online Services.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Keying of General Illness Leave

Rehabilitative employment time sheets are provided to a staff member by Health Promotion and WorkLife Services (HPaWS) when they are using General Illness leave and begin a return to work, or when they reduce hours by using less than full time general illness leave. The time sheets are not a replacement for the keying of actual general illness leave which must still be entered by the department. In recent weeks, HRS has noticed that keying of illness leave is sometimes not up to date, and there are discrepancies between what is reported on rehabilitative time sheets and general illness utilization that has been keyed. We ask that departments keep both the timesheets and general illness leave keying as accurate as possible.

2013 Canada Savings Bonds Campaign

The Canada Savings Bonds Payroll Savings Program E-Campaign will be available from October 1 to November 1, 2013. More information will be sent to all staff via email a week prior to the start of the campaign. Please visit the Canada Savings Bonds webpage on the HRS website or contact your Employment and Pay Advisor for more information.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Voluntary Severance Program (VSP) for Continuing Academic Staff

The U of A is offering a Voluntary Severance Program (VSP) to all continuing academic staff appointed under the Faculty, Faculty Service Officer, Librarian, or Administrative and Professional Officer Agreements. The deadline for applications is Monday, September 16, 2013. Please review the Retirement Options for Continuing Academic Staff to assist you with your decision. For more information or to view upcoming dates for information sessions or financial planning sessions please visit the VSP website at

Voluntary Severance Program (VSP) for Continuing Academic Staff

Yesterday, Continuing Academic Staff received an email about the Voluntary Severance Program (VSP).  For more information or to view upcoming dates for information sessions or financial planning sessions please direct staff to 

Fall/Winter Hours Begin Sept 1

The University of Alberta will move to Fall/Winter hours on September 1, 2013. Employees with a regularly scheduled workday of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. will revert to 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you have questions regarding this message please phone Human Resource Services at 780-492-4555.

Updating Links in Appointment Letters

When preparing an Appointment Letter and Supplementary Conditions (if applicable) for new academic staff in continuing positions, please ensure that the most up-to-date link is included for the Moving Expenses and Relocation Benefits for Academic Staff Members Procedure found in UAPPOL. In some cases new hires are being directed to a broken link because it is an old web address which is no longer available.

Payroll Updates

Payroll Operations would like to inform you of the minimum wage increase on September 1, 2013 and direct you to the Payroll Checklist for Employee Appointments to support you as you prepare for hiring this September.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Summer Student Employment Program

The Oteenow Employment and Training Society is bringing back their Summer Student Employment Program. The purpose of the program is to provide hands-on training to further develop the student’s skills and experience while providing the employer with a wage subsidy and a suitable candidate for employment.

Auxiliary Hourly Trust Employees Eligible for General Illness Leave

As of July 1, 2013, Auxiliary Hourly Trust paid employees are eligible for general illness coverage under the Trustholders Extraordinary Expense Fund (TEEF). This means that a surcharge of 1% salary will be collected beginning July 1 from any trust employees not funded from a Tri-Council Grant who have acquired auxiliary status of more than 1707 hours of employment.

End Dates and Winter Closure

As you prepare to hire staff for the fall please consider the impact of an employee’s end date on whether or not they are eligible to be paid for Winter Closure. Auxiliary and regular support staff need to work their last normal working date prior to winter closure and their first normal working day after the closure in order to be eligible.

Immigration News

Academic Services (Immigration) would like to inform you of significant processing delays for visa applications and update you on a new application option for permanent residence.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Change to Vacation Accrual

Please review the following information about changes to vacation entitlements effective July 1, 2013 for NASA Salaried Support Staff in your department.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Social Insurance Number: Requirement Changes

Effective April 30, 2013, the Canada Pension Plan (Social Insurance Numbers) regulations were amended. As a result, the physical Social Insurance Number (SIN) card no longer needs to be shown. Instead, departments must require employees to inform them of their SIN within three business days of when they start work. Please contact your Employment and Pay Advisor if you have any questions about this change.

Removal Grant for CAST and SOTS

Staff governed by the Contract Academic Staff: Teaching (CAST) or the Sessional and Other Temporary Staff (SOTS) agreement may be eligible for a removal grant toward expenses necessarily and reasonably incurred in moving to Edmonton. In an effort to improve the wait time for staff to receive a removal grant upon hire, the Removal Grant/Moving Allowance Authorization form has been added to the HRS Forms Cabinet.

Immigration News

Academic Services (Immigration) would like to update you on a new requirement for renewal of permanent resident cards and offer advice about visitors from India and China.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Updated Statutory Holiday and Winter Closure Webpage

The Statutory Holiday and Winter Closure webpage has been updated and now include dates for the remainder of 2013 and 2014. Visit the webpage or subscribe to the Statutory Holiday and Winter Closure google calendar to view the new dates.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Mandatory Direct Deposit Procedure Change

Human Resource Services (HRS) has recently implemented changes to the UAPPOL Payment by Electronic Banking/Direct Deposit Procedure to improve service, make payments more convenient for recipients, and reduce administrative costs. Beginning May 1, 2013, the university requires that all payments made to employees, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and resident visiting speakers are paid by direct deposit. Participating in direct deposit is mandatory for all payments from the University of Alberta in the form of salary, wages, stipends, allowances, scholarships, fellowships and honorariums.

Friday, 10 May 2013

T2200 - Should You Sign?

Employees, particularly academic staff, may ask you to sign a completed T2200 income tax form which allows them to declare expenses that relate to the terms and conditions of employment that are not reimbursed by an employer (e.g., home office, cell phone, travel expenses).

Immigration News

Academic Services (Immigration) would like to update you on increased processing time for LMOs, payment of foreign visitors, transitioning from a post-graduate work permit, implied status, and foreign students working on campus during the summer.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Voluntary 5-day Personal Leave Plan: Deadline Extended

The deadline for the Voluntary 5-day Personal Leave Plan has been extended to May 31. For new staff members starting between May 31 and July 1, the deadline for applications is 4 p.m. on July 8.

Discrimination, Harassment and Duty to Accommodate Policy

The Office of Safe Disclosure & Human Rights (OSDHR) recently distributed campaign materials to all senior leaders, staff and faculty members on campus about the Discrimination, Harassment and Duty to Accommodate Policy which included a folder, information sheet, poster and quick reference guide.

Health and Wellness News

Health Promotion & WorkLife Services (HPaWS) would like to let you know about the Not Myself Today campaign which raises awareness about mental health. They also want to encourage you to nominate a team or an outstanding team member for the upcoming University of Alberta Recognition awards.

Academic Staff: UAPP Vote on Changes Open May 10

AASUA members (who are also UAPP members) will be sent a voting link via email so they can vote on the proposed UAPP changes. Voting will be open between noon on Friday, May 10 and noon on Friday, May 17. Please review the following information prior to voting.

Academic Staff: UAPP Annual Member Statement Posted

The Annual Member Statement ending December 31, 2012 has been posted to the Universities Academic Pension Plan (UAPP) website. Individual statements are available by accessing the Retirement Planner icon at the bottom of the webpage.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Immigration: Revised Labour Market Opinion

Service Canada has updated the Labour Market Opinion(LMO) application form. As of May 4, 2013, Service Canada will no longer accept out-dated versions of the form. The new Labour Market Opinion application form and the revised tip sheets are available on the Labour Market Opinion webpage on the Human Resource Services (HRS) website.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Careers Website Changes: Support Staff Salaries

Annual salaries will now be advertised on all Support Staff job postings greater than 12 months to better align with industry standards. Historically the monthly salaries were posted for these positions, but with the implementation of semi-monthly pay the monthly salaries are less meaningful. Casual Staff postings will continue to use hourly salary rates. Please contact Recruitment Services if you have any questions or comments.

Resources for Change and Transition

Leading a team during times of change and uncertainty can be a challenge. In some cases leaders are also faced with delivering unwelcome news. Visit the Change and Workplace Transition webpage on the Human Resource Services website to find resources and information that can help you successfully lead your team through change.

Immigration: New Requirement

Citizenship and Immigration Canada now requires hosts to provide foreign visitors with a signed Employer Declaration when inviting them to Canada. The Employer Declaration is sent to the foreign visitor with the invitation letter and asserts that the letter is an accurate description of the terms, conditions, wages and occupation. The declaration also makes hosts understand that departure from the details listed in the invitation now has consequences, namely, the university could become ineligible to participate in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for up to two years.

Spring/Summer Hours Begin May 1

Starting May 1, the University of Alberta will move to Spring/Summer hours. For employees with a regularly scheduled work day, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Spring/Summer hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The university will return to Fall/Winter hours on September 1.

Give, Grow, Play: Registration

Registration for the Give, Grow, Play learning event for Support Staff will open on April 22. A message will be sent to Deans, Directors, Chairs and APOs to encourage supervisors to allow staff to attend this unique and cost effective learning opportunity. Visit the Give, Grow, Play website to learn more about the June 25 & 26 event and the lead up activities including the Corporate Challenge Blood Drive, and the Habitat for Humanities build.

Skillsoft: New Version Available April 19

A new version of Skillsoft will be available on April 19. With this new upgrade, bite-sized online learning opportunities are not only available at your computer, but also via iPad and other tablets. We encourage you to take advantage of thousands of free online workshops, books, and audiobooks for yourself or to support your staff. Please visit the Skillsoft website for more information.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Voluntary 5-day Personal Leave Plan 2013/14

The Voluntary 5-day Personal Leave Plan (PLP) will be offered again to eligible academic and support staff in 2013/14. Please visit the PLP webpage on the Human Resource Services website for a description of the plan, application forms, and application deadlines.

Payroll Updates

Payroll Operations has several updates and reminders to share including Semi-Monthly Schedule changes, reminders about Tuition Remission Forms and Fiscal Year End GL Distributions, and updates to payroll forms. 

Support Staff Salary Scales Updated

The Support Staff Salary Scales for 2013-14 and 2014-15 have been published to the Salary Scales web page on the HRS Website. If you have any questions about the salary scales please contact Employee Relations.

Monday, 11 March 2013

2013 Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) Suspended

Based on this year’s Provincial Budget announcement, the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) has been suspended for 2013. STEP is administratively managed by Recruitment Services on behalf of the University of Alberta. If you have any questions, please direct them to Amber Wood at or 780-492-9071.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Mandatory Critical Illness is now a Taxable Benefit

As a result of a change in legislation by the Federal Government, beginning January 1, 2013 contributions paid by the University for the mandatory Critical Illness Insurance will now be considered a taxable benefit to employees. This change will be reflected in Bear Tracks on the employee's T4 for the 2013 tax year. Please contact your Pension & Benefits Advisor if you have any questions.

Trust Research Academic Benchmarks Available

In response to the recommendations included in the Review Committee for Job Evaluation report, Compensation & Job Design (C&JD) has developed new benchmarks for Trust Research Academic positions which are available on the HRS website. Benchmarks and Sample Position Descriptions are available for the Research Associate and Trust Administrator categories.

Immigration News

Immigration Services would like to share a reminder about the disclosure of financial assistance for foreign visitors and make you aware of the new version of the Application for a Labour Market Opinion form which is now available on the Human Resource Services - Immigration webpage.

Relocation: Advance Notice Needed

The University's preferred moving companies - Armstrong and Premiere - are particularly busy over the summer months. The moving companies require at least two months' notice of an upcoming relocation. If adequate notice is not provided, they may not be able to accommodate the desired moving dates for the new staff member. Please email or contact Cindy Mawhinney, Academic Human Resources Advisor in Academic Services

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Support Staff: Give, Grow, Play Logo Contest

The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) and Organizational Learning and Effectiveness (OLE) are thrilled to announce the Give, Grow, Play event for Support Staff planned for late June 2013. To kick things off, Support Staff are invited to enter the Give, Grow, Play Logo Contest before February 28th to be eligible to win their choice of an iPad Mini (16GB, Wifi) or a Nexus 7 tablet.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Bulletin #1: Support Staff Voluntary and Spousal Critical Illness Insurance

Support Staff will receive Bulletin #1: January 2013 Support Staff Voluntary and Spousal Critical Illness Insurance via campus mail. The bulletin will introduce additional Voluntary Critical Illness insurance to supplement existing basic coverage for support staff employees and introduce voluntary coverage that is now available for their spouse.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Online Tax Slips Available Feb 11th

The 2012 T4 and T4A tax slips will be available online in Bear Tracks starting on February 11, 2013. To increase efficiency and reduce administrative costs of printing approximately 11,000 slips each year, this February will be the last year that Payroll Operations will print the tax slips for mail distribution. Beginning in 2014, Bear Tracks will be the one and only way to view tax slips for current and former employees. This change will enable employees to receive their tax slips much faster than via traditional print and mail methods, and save the University more than $15,000 in administrative costs.

2012 Tax Slip Changes for Semi-Monthly Paid Employees

The 2012 tax slips include all earnings paid and deductions incurred between January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. Any payments received in 2013 for earnings from 2012 will be included in the 2013 tax slips. The last semi-monthly pay period included in the 2012 tax slip is the December 1-15, 2012 pay period. The December 16-31, 2012 pay period will appear next year on the 2013 tax slip. Please help us spread the word that only pay cheques or payroll deposits received in 2012 are included in the 2012 T4 and T4A slips.

Tax Slips: 2012 Update

Payroll Operations would like to share an update about online tax slips, and information about tax slip changes that impact Semi-Monthly paid employees. They would also like to invite your help in spreading the word about online tax slips in Bear Tracks.

Payroll Reminders

Payroll Operations has a few reminders about Net Pay Changes, TD1 and TD1AB claim amounts, and would like to ask for your help to clear the Payroll suspense account.

Academic Staff Benefits Changes

There are a number of recent improvements to Academic Benefits that were recommended by the Academic Benefits Management Committee (ABMC), and approved by the AASUA and Administration. For more information please review the Joint Communication which was distributed by email on January 15th, 2013.

Reminder: PSPP Rate Increase January 1, 2013

As announced earlier this year by the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), contribution rates are increasing on January 1, 2013 for all PSPP members and employers. The new rates are available on the PSPP website.

Canada Summer Jobs 2013

The federal government announced the 2013 Canada Summer Jobs program and will accept online applications from February 1 - 28, 2013. Faculties and Departments must submit applications directly to Service Canada and will be notified by April 30th about the status of their application. As in previous years, Recruitment Services will provide Service Canada with one Union Concurrence Letter for all U of A applications. For full program details and eligibility requirements visit the Service Canada website. For further information on these or other summer employment programs visit the Summer Temporary Employment Programs webpage or contact Amber Wood.

HRS Forms: A Few Small Changes

Human Resource Services is in the process of revising forms to improve consistency and make contact information and instructions easier to find. The look-and-feel of the forms and some elements such as contact information are the focus of the changes; the content of the forms will largely remain unchanged. The new forms will be uploaded to the HRS Forms Cabinet over the next few months after they are completed and carefully reviewed. Please use the contact information on each form to provide feedback.