Frequently Asked Questions
The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) document is our response to some of the questions resulting from the Support and Exempt Transition Taskforce survey and workshops.
The Taskforce Report identified five main themes from the survey and workshops: workload and work processes, stress, communication and information, recognition and development. Currently, the Implementation Team is developing a plan to address these themes.
In the meantime, the FAQ’s page addresses your unique questions and gives a “voice” to your individual questions and comments.
Where can I find more information about Accumulated over time, flex and vacation hours?
These three areas are outlined in detail within the Collective Agreement. The cut off timelines for using accumulated overtime and vacation hours are also stipulated with the Collective Agreement.
For details, please see the following articles in the Collective Agreement:
1. Article 25.3 Overtime
• Cut off timelines – Article 25.3(d)(i) and (ii)
2. Article 20.11 Scheduled Flexible Hours of Work
3. Article 24 – Vacations and Holidays
• Cut off timelines – Article 24.1 (iii)
You are strongly encouraged to plan ahead with your supervisor/ manager and review your leave balances on an ongoing basis in order to take the accumulated overtime and vacation hours before the cut off dates.
Are part time positions or job share arrangements available at Mount Royal University?
The availability of part time positions and job share arrangements will vary throughout Mount Royal University and are dependent on the operational needs of each department.
A part time employee is an individual occupying a position and who works on an established schedule during only part of the normal work day and/or on less than the full number of work days in each week, but no less than 14 hours/week.
A job share is a type of arrangement where two people share a full time role and responsibilities. Typically, this type of arrangement is designed to accommodate the personal circumstances of the individual. Due to the nature of this type of employment relationship, job share arrangements must be approved by the manager and all details must be worked out in collaboration with your manager. The job share arrangement must meet the operational needs of the department. Both employees would work part time hours, not to exceed the total number of full time hours per week. The specific number of hours to be worked by each individual will be determined by the department in collaboration with the two employees. If the job share arrangement results in a vacancy for one of the part time positions, the vacancy will be posted.
To view available part time and job share positions for support staff and exempt positions at Mount Royal, please visit the Human Resources website
As part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring comprehensive employee benefits at the most competitive rates MRU changed benefit carriers to Sun Life Financial for the Extended Health & Dental Plans. This ensures the carrier provides a user-friendly online system and exceptional customer service. One service provided by Sun Life that is often requested by employees is a prescription drug card. Effective January 1, 2012, Sun Life will be implementing a prescription drug card with no extra cost to Mount Royal employees.
Life Insurance and Long Term Disability are still provided through Manulife Financial. Effective July 1, 2011, the premiums for Life Insurance (Basic and Optional) and Long Term Disability were decreased.
Industrial Alliance Pacific (IAP) took over the Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan on July 1, 2011 and competitive rates are provided for both the Basic and Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment. In addition, a new benefit offered to employees includes a Voluntary Critical Illness Plan. As an employee, you or your spouse can apply for up to $300,000 in Critical Illness Insurance at any time. For more information, please visit the Industrial Alliance Pacific website.
The Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is available through Human Solutions. Human Solutions is able to offer a variety of services, including counseling, care giver services, life planning assistance, smoking cessation programs, nutritional counseling and more. For more information, please visit the Human Solutions website.
For more information on benefits offered at Mount Royal, please visit the HR website.
Why and how is a support staff position evaluated and classified?
The purpose of having a classification system is to objectively evaluate the scope, responsibilities and accountabilities of a position in order to determine the appropriate classification, which then corresponds to a salary grid. It is important to remember that a position is evaluated and classified and not the incumbent in the position.
The process of evaluation is conducted using a “Point Factor Classification Plan” by members of the Classification Committee. Certain factors are inherent in all positions and the point factor system evaluates each of these factors independently. The classification factors and process is consistent with other classification plans commonly used within similar industries. Each factor is weighted accordingly.
The factors which are evaluated in the job evaluation process include:
*Complexity and creativity
*Environmental working conditions
*Physical and visual demands
*Work pressure and stress
(These factors make up the Position Description Template for Support Staff found on the L:// and/or P:// drive/Forms folder/HR folder).
In addition, the committee reviews internal equity within the institution, additional research from other like institutions, and salary surveys if appropriate before classifying a position.
Classification plans typically do not evaluate the following factors within the job evaluation process:
• Volume of work –Although volume of workload is an important and critical aspect of every position and must always be considered at the department level, volume of workload is not a factor that is evaluated within classification plans. If you have concerns related to the volume of your workload, we encourage you to discuss it further with your supervisor.
• Confidentiality – There is a level and expectation of confidentiality inherent in every role in the university and consequently, it is not a factor that is evaluated.
• Level of position the person reports to – The organizational structure which determines where a position lies does not impact the classification. Positions are evaluated based on scope, responsibilities and accountabilities, and the level to which the position reports does not alter the classification.
• Employee performance – The job evaluation process assesses the position and not the person. The job evaluation process takes into consideration the nature of the role and separates the person from the position to ensure an objective and fair process.
• Length of service - The length of an employee’s service at Mount Royal does not impact the evaluation process. However length of service is recognized at the Employee Awards event and annual increments are granted automatically for each year of service up to and including, the Long Service Increments.
• Accuracy of work – The accuracy and attention to detail in a position is related to work performance and expectations of the individual. The position may be evaluated against consequences of errors, but attention to detail and accuracy of the work itself is specific to the incumbent.
• Technological changes (i.e. changes to software systems) – With the number of technological changes, changes in systems do not necessary equate to a change in classification.
Why are some employees exempt?
The exempt employee group represents those employees who, due to the nature of the duties in their role, have been excluded from the bargaining unit (MRSSA). Typically the duties within a role that would drive exclusion from the MRSSA are either managerial in nature or duties that relate to labour relations and consequently would place the individual in a conflict of interest with the MRSSA. These determinations are made in compliance with the Labour Relations code in determining who exempt employees are. If you would like more information on this, please contact your HR Consultant.
Exempt employees are not formally represented by an Association, however, the terms and conditions of employment for exempt employees at Mount Royal University are similar or the same as those outlined in the collective agreement for support staff. Exempt positions are classified using a point factor job evaluation system.
Casual employees are not exempt employees, however they are excluded from membership in the MRSSA. For more information on casual employees, please see Collective Agreement article 1.8 and MRU Policies and Procedures located in Lotus Notes, including POL 920-3.4, POL 910-4.1, POL 910.2.41, POL 910-1.1.
If you have any questions or concerns about your employment terms and conditions, please contact your manager or HR consultant.
As retirement is a significant decision, it is important to start discussions with your supervisor or manager to help you with the transition towards retirement and succession planning for your position and department.
To assist in retirement planning, you are strongly recommended to attend the Retirement Planning workshops offered through Learning and Development in Human Resources.
In addition, there is aRetiree Employee Alumni Chapter which offers networking, social and volunteer opportunities for retired employees of Mount Royal.
Where do I find the contact information for employees?
Mount Royal University is a growing campus and with the significant growth we have experienced over the past few years, it can be difficult to know who to contact or what areas to connect. Listed below are helpful resources that all employees have access to including:
• Lotus Notes Directory– The “MRU Internal Telephone Directory” allows you to search by name or department and lists the contact, their position and telephone extension. This directory is available on your computer through LOTUS notes or can be accessed from an off campus computer on the web through www.mymru.ca, Employee Services tab and under Quick Links for Employees, Online Employee Directory at: https://notesweb.mtroyal.ca/HR/MRCPhoneDirectory.nsf/Employees?OpenForm
• Organizational Charts - A second tool is the organizational charts of MRU located within the L and/or P file folder/Forms/HR. The organizational charts are will assist you in understanding the different divisions, departments and positions at Mount Royal.
If you are unsure of the department to contact or which person may be best to speak to, we would encourage you to speak with your supervisor or fellow co-workers as they may also be able to direct you to the appropriate department or individual.
• Engage weekly with HR to proactively resolve employees’ workplace challenges
• Represent members, with appropriate legal advice when necessary, in resolving workplace challenges
• Negotiate on behalf of its members a fair and an equitable collective agreement
• In collaboration with HR, provide workshops and development opportunities
• Answer questions about work related matters and the Collective Agreement
• Represent members on various institutional committees
• Maintain the Staff Lounge for members to enjoy
• Host and organize a Professional Development day (usually in May)
• Organize social events such as coffee and lunch visits
• Support a bursary and a scholarship for our students
• Volunteer at various MRU events
• Hold the Annual General Meeting
• Communicate with members utilizing various tools such as email, MRSSA website, and monthly bulletin updates
• Host the annual Stampede breakfast in July.
MRSSA members participate in numerous MRU committees:
• Budget Advisory • Transportation Advisory • Academic Planning
• Alumni Advisory • Effective Team Award • Accessibility Services
• Day Care • Implementation Taskforce • Diversity and Human Rights
• Benefits administration
• Classification and compensation
• Contract administration and negotiation
• Wellness and disability management
• Employee and family assistance program
• Employee relations
• Organizational development
• Payroll administration
• Recruitment and selection
• Learning and development opportunities
How is workload addressed?
The volume of workload and distribution of work are operational functions that can be addressed with management at the department level. Workload and work management is one of the recommendations from the Transition Taskforce report and the Implementation Team will look at areas highlighted in the report.
Check out our Staff and Management Handbook
Questions? Contact Human Resources by e-mail.