Proposed Policy Amendment: Policy #50

CALL FOR COMMENTS – PROPOSED POLICY AMENDMENT: POLICY #50 (LEAVE TO TAKE POLITICAL OFFICE)

The UBC community is invited to comment on proposed amendments to Policy #50 (Leave to Take Political Office).

Policy #50 currently permits faculty members to take leave to campaign for and hold political office. The proposed amendments extend the scope of Policy #50 to include all salaried members of faculty and staff who are employed on an ongoing basis by the University. The proposed amendments also extend eligibility for political leave to employees who are elected to a First Nations band council and employees who are elected to full-time municipal or city positions.

The University recognizes that all employees, not just faculty members, may wish to seek political office.  The proposed amendments equalize the opportunities available to all employees and facilitate civic engagement in the greater community.

Currently, Policy #50 provides for paid leave to faculty members during the campaigning period and unpaid leave while holding political office.  The proposed amendments provide for unpaid leave for all employees during the campaigning period and while holding political office. The Policy Review Committee carefully considered this issue and felt there was no justification for differentiating between groups of employees. Furthermore, the Policy Review Committee was not able to identify the rationale for providing paid leave during the campaigning period. Finally, most collective agreements and handbooks do not provide for special paid leave similar to the collective agreement between the University and the UBC Faculty Association.

The Administration is striving to bring a Policy proposal for approval to the Board of Governors at its meeting in April 2013, in time for the next provincial election.

The proposed amendments are now being published and all members of the University community are encouraged to provide their comments. Please submit feedback to the Office of the University Counsel at university.counsel@ubc.ca by noon on February 22, 2013.

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