Professional Development

By Marat Raimkhan

Dear CUPE 2950 members, I am delighted to extend my warm greetings to you in my capacity as the newly appointed chair of our Education Committee. I would like to provide details regarding the educational opportunities currently accessible to our members. 

Use Your Professional Development Funds 

I encourage you to review the staff professional development funding opportunities aimed at fostering career advancement within the UBC. Just a reminder that as of April 1, 2023, PD Funds for CUPE 2950 staff became available for the new funding year (April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024). The limit for our members is $1,400. This amount is prorated if you work less than 50% part-time hours. Receipts must be submitted within 90 days of the original purchase date qualify for reimbursement. Please also note that you cannot split the cost of a PD related expense between two funding years. 

You can confirm personal eligibility and available funding amounts online through Workday under the Expenses App > View > Reimbursable Allowance Plan Activity. 

These funds can be utilized for a diverse range of professional development activities aimed at enriching your knowledge, skills, and performance relevant to your role, while also fostering your career advancement within the university. Please access the Professional Development Fund for CUPE 2950 Employees Guidelines for more details.  

Additionally, I am pleased to confirm that PD Funds can be used to cover the cost of a Coursera Plus subscription. Coursera Plus is a subscription service that offers unlimited access to over 90% of courses, Projects, Specializations, and Professional Certificates, taught by top instructors from leading universities and companies. Should you choose to sign up for the service, you will receive an email containing your Coursera Plus receipt, which you can subsequently submit to UBC in order to request reimbursement for your Coursera Plus subscription. 

Please note that as per Article 20.02 of the CUPE 2950 Collective Agreement 2022-2025, the University is responsible for providing employees with necessary training to adapt to changes in technology, processes, procedures, organizational structures, or staffing. This training will be at the University’s expense, during work hours, and scheduled for mutual convenience between the department and the employee. 

Obtain a Tuition Waiver Opportunity 

As a UBC employee, you and your eligible dependent family members may have the opportunity to enroll in various UBC courses without incurring some or all of the tuition fees. A Tuition Waiver enables you to register for up to 12 credits of UBC courses within a 12-month period. There is also an option to transfer a portion or all of this Tuition Waiver to your eligible spouse or child. 

If you receive monthly payments, you are eligible for the Tuition Waiver if you meet the following criteria: 

  • Have completed a qualifying period of three months. 
  • Hold either a full-time position or a part-time position with a minimum commitment of 17.5 hours per week. 

If you receive hourly payments, you are eligible for the Tuition Waiver if you meet the following criteria: 

  • Have accumulated three months of service. 
  • Have maintained a minimum of 17.5 hours of work per week during the three-month period leading up to the course start date, equivalent to 227.5 hours over the three-month (or 13-week) duration. 

Both monthly and hourly employees must consistently meet these eligibility conditions. For example, if you transition to a part-time role with hours falling below the minimum requirement, you will no longer qualify for the benefit. 

Eligible courses include: 

  • UBC undergraduate-level courses numbered 100-199, 200-299, 300-399 and 400-499 
  • UBC undergraduate-level courses and programs with specialized fees (Medicine, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Law and Dentistry) 
  • UBC Extended Learning and Sauder School of Business Continuing Business Studies approved non-credit courses, including non-credit courses required for completion of certificate program (non-cohort certificate program) 
  • UBC Distance Education and Technology courses 

Your annual maximum eligibility will reset every year on your Tuition Waiver anniversary date. 

For the initial year of your anniversary date, your maximum amount will depend on the type of course you begin with: 

  • Undergraduate Credit Course: Annual Maximum is $2,337.36 

This amount covers the cost of 12 undergraduate credits, with each credit priced at $194.78. 

Please note that the maximum amount may vary for undergraduate credit courses and programs with specialized fees, such as Medicine, Law, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

  • Non-Credit Course: Annual Maximum is $2,337.36 

This amount is equivalent to the cost of 12 undergraduate credits and can be used for non-credit courses. 

Share your Professional Development Stories 

We would also greatly appreciate it if you could share any courses you’ve completed, whether using your UBC PD Funds, Tuition Waiver, or external sources of funding. By sharing your experiences with your fellow members, we can all benefit from each other’s insights and knowledge. Please utilize the Padlet Wall to make your posts!  

Leverage the StrongerBC Future Skills Grant 

The StrongerBC future skills grant empowers British Columbians to shape their own futures. This grant serves as a financial support system and covers up to $3,500 in expenses for individuals pursuing eligible short-term skills training programs offered by public post-secondary institutions. It is designed to equip learners with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in an ever-evolving job market, supporting personal and professional growth while contributing to the development of a skilled and adaptable workforce in British Columbia. The StrongerBC Future Skills Grant serves as a valuable resource for those seeking to enhance their qualifications and stay ahead in today’s dynamic economy.¬†

Learners can choose from a growing list of more than 400 programs. Registration for the current semester is open now. Please note that the first date of instruction for eligible courses is between September 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023. The StrongerBC future skills grant has not been confirmed for Winter 2024 yet. Check back regularly for updates regarding Winter 2024 funded registration. 

Here is a compilation of several workshop, micro-credential and training options that meet the eligibility criteria for the StrongerBC Future Skills Grant.

British Columbia Institute of Technology  

Associate Certificate in Human Resource Management  

Project Management Associate Certificate 

Coast Mountain College 

MS Office Certificate  

College of New Caledonia 

Computer Essentials for the Workplace  

Computer Literacy (MS Office, MS Teams)  

College of the Rockies 

Summit Leadership Series  

Justice Institute of British Columbia 

Micro-Credential in Crisis Communications  

Associate Certificate Leadership & Conflict Resolution  

Langara College 

Computer Skills for the Office Certificate  

Northern Lights College 

Leadership Fundamentals Certificate  

Royal Roads University 

Workplace Communication Skills Micro-credential Program  

University of British Columbia 

Writing and Communication Skills for the Workplace  

University of Victoria 

Essential Soft Skills Training  

University of the Fraser Valley 

Professional Communication Essentials associate certificate  

Vancouver Community College 

Award of Achievement in Coaching  

Get Ready for Our Upcoming “Lunch & Learn” Sessions 

We’re excited to announce the return of our “Lunch & Learn” events! These engaging gatherings offer a unique opportunity for participants to come together during their lunch break and delve into various intriguing topics and skills. During a “Lunch & Learn” session, a presenter will lead a brief yet informative discussion or workshop on a subject of interest. Whether it’s focused on professional development, personal growth, emerging industry trends, or any other relevant theme, these sessions are designed to expand your knowledge and enhance your skillset. 

The beauty of “Lunch & Learn” lies in its convenience. You can participate without adding extra commitments to your workday, as these sessions take place during your lunch break. Feel free to bring your own lunch, relax in a casual atmosphere, and engage in knowledge sharing and insightful discussions with your colleagues.  

Your insights regarding your learning preferences and interests would be highly valued and greatly appreciated. Kindly take a moment to respond to the survey

Stay tuned for more details on our upcoming “Lunch & Learn” sessions, and get ready to feed your curiosity while enjoying your midday meal!