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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Committee releases results of staff compensation review

The Provost’s Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation (PACSC) has released the results of a staff compensation review in a memo circulated to regular ongoing staff members today.

"The Robust Employer-Employee Relationship theme within the University’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan includes the “Be an exemplary employer” goal which recognizes that employee attraction and retention is critical to our success," the memo begins by way of background. "Compensation is a key component of employee attraction and retention and as a best practice, the competitiveness of such arrangements should be tested on a regular basis. For these reasons, the Provost agreed to a full and comprehensive staff compensation review during the May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2018 salary agreement, by the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation (PACSC)."

"After a competitive bidding process, Gallagher McDowall & Associates – a consulting firm that specializes in compensation – was selected as third-party support for the review," the memo continues. Gallagher’s proposal and project plan defined the scope of the review which sought to answer the following questions:

  • What is the University’s compensation philosophy?
  • Is the staff salary structure aligned with that philosophy?
  • Is the staff salary administration aligned with best practices in compensation management?

The committee's memo goes on to report on the review's findings:

"To achieve our vision of being an employer of choice, staff compensation at the University extends beyond salaries and includes benefits, pension, paid time off, and a collegial teamwork-based culture with work/life balance. In addition, the University is committed to the development of staff as it can enhance employees’ earning potential in the future. The compensation philosophy also includes competitive design and its equitable and consistent application to employees (including a linkage to performance), plus open and transparent communication."

"Gallagher tested the staff salary structure for market competitiveness. Within the compensation philosophy, the competitive market was defined to primarily consist of organizations within the local/regional area including public sector, private sector, and not-for-profit organizations, in addition to a broader geographic market, other universities, or specific industry sectors for specialized roles. The ideal position for competitiveness is for job values within each grade to fall within the market median or 50th percentile, but this position is not guaranteed on a job by job basis. This target is well aligned with the legislative requirement for executive compensation which dictates that executive salaries cannot exceed the 50th percentile of salaries within the corresponding comparator group."

"A representative sample of jobs – 155 benchmark jobs, 21 percent of all jobs and 26 percent of the population – were reviewed by Gallagher against the market. To confirm that these benchmark jobs are representative of all of the jobs within the staff salary structure, Gallagher conducted an audit of our job evaluation system and process. Gallagher noted that the job evaluation tool is applied with rigour, and there is a high level of consistency with the principles and design of the job evaluation methodology. The University’s results for the benchmark jobs relative to the 50th percentile are -2.1 percent from a job value perspective and +1.2 percent from a base salary perspective. Results 5 percent above or below the 50th percentile are considered aligned and therefore, our results show that our current staff salary structure is well matched with the competitive landscape." 

"Further, Gallagher’s findings indicate that our salary administration practices are aligned with standard practices within the broader public sector and specifically, education institutions; however, their review identified a few areas that could benefit from more clear and detailed communications."

The committee is organizing lunch and learn sessions that will provide a detailed overview of the review's results.

"Presentations with an in-depth overview of the Staff Compensation Review findings will be available," the memo concludes. "Please register for a Lunch & Learn session to learn more."

The sessions will be held on the following dates (click on a link to register):

Velocity hires new associate director

A message from Velocity.

Carmelia Nunez.Velocity is pleased to welcome Camelia Nunez as its new Associate Director, as she works to build on the growth of its University of Waterloo entrepreneurship program.

For Nunez, this is an opportunity to leverage her entrepreneurial background, close familiarity with the post secondary environment, and experience working with students, to advance the entrepreneurial mindset at the University of Waterloo.

Passionate about learning and helping students reach their full potential, Nunez has continued to teach at the University of Waterloo for over ten years. From language courses, to entrepreneurship and business courses, as a teacher, she has always challenged her students to think outside the box and dare to choose the unbeaten path.

Nunez previously followed her entrepreneurial calling and launched an EdTech startup, Milao Language, a virtual language-learning environment, where people could chat with an artificially intelligent tutor and receive spelling and grammatical feedback in real-time.

Most recently, Nunez was part of the Office of Research at the University of Waterloo, where as Corporate Research Partnerships Manager, she worked towards aligning interests between university researchers and businesses to create collaborative research partnerships through innovative projects. Prior to this role, she worked for Mitacs, where she gained a strong understanding of government funding sources and assessing project proposals for funding applications.

Nunez is a highly motivated strategic thinker and relationship builder with a strong multilingual and cross-cultural competence. She earned her BA and Master’s degree in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) at the University of Waterloo and is currently working towards completing her PhD in Hispanic Linguistics at Western University.

Please get in touch with Camelia to learn more about her new role, which includes oversight for Velocity Start, which runs weekly workshops to develop business skills, Velocity Residence, a dorm for student entrepreneurs, Velocity Science, a lab to develop world-class science companies, the Velocity Fund, a pitch competition that awards $375,000 in grants each year, and the Velocity Garage startup incubator.

CIHR funding information session on Friday

Interested in learning about the upcoming Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) Project Grant competition?

Register to attend the information session on Friday, January 19, from 1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Enterprise Theatre at EC5-1111.

The session will include a panel discussion with four reviewers from the Fall 2017 competition who will share their insight and recommendations for crafting a strong application, followed by a one hour presentation about the application process.

Panel members

  • David Rose, Professor, Biology
  • Todd Holyoak, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Advisor, Biochemistry
  • Colleen Maxwell, Professor, Pharmacy
  • Bernie Duncker, Professor, Associate Dean Research, Biology

Questions can be directed to

Wednesday's notes

 A New Light on Dementia poster.

The film version of a play produced with the assistance of a Waterloo researcher has its premiere in Toronto Friday at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Theatre.

Cracked: New Light on Dementia, directed by Anthony Grani, is a movie of the play of the same name, based on research conducted by Waterloo professor Sherry Dupuis along with other health researchers specializing in aging, dementia, and research-based drama.

The researchers helped develop the original play with playwright/director Julia Gray, professional actors, and people living with dementia and their families.

Cracked “challenges the stigma associated with dementia, inspires alternative ways of thinking about dementia, and encourages everyone to take part in making this a better world for people living with dementia.” The story follows “two women with dementia and their families, from diagnosis through to their new lives in a long-term care home. The families grapple with what the diagnosis means, if and how the diagnosis changes their relationships and how they struggle to be with each other in the present.”

The launch event is free, but advance registration is required to guarantee a seat at the event. Tickets are available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis, and doors open at 7:30 p.m. Register for tickets online.

The four members of Capella Intima.The latest in the Noon Hour Concert series at Conrad Grebel University College takes place today with Hamilton & Durand: Pub & Parlour. Capella Intima will present a programme of late 18th and early 19th-Century glees and catches that would have been popular during the early days of the City of Hamilton, featuring soprano Sheila Dietrich, alto Jennifer Enns Modolo, tenor Bud Roach and baritone David Roth. Selections by Parry, Stanford, Billings, Cooke, and Sullivan will be included, with readings and recollections from the period of the founding of Hamilton, with a little Kitchener-Waterloo history thrown in for good measure.

The concert begins at 12:30 p.m. in the Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

Employers on campus next week hosting employer information sessions include Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., Genesys, Facebook, CIBC, BlackBerry Limited, Datadog, Thomson Reuters, Ceridian, Amico Infrastructures (Oxford) Inc., Manulife Financial (Data Science/Advanced Analytics), Rubikloud Technologies,  Aviva Canada, Sortable, Loblaw Digital-Technology, Communications Security Establishment, and Uken Games. Visit the employer information calendar for more details.

Link of the day

50 years ago: (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay

When and where

Clarity in scientific writing, Wednesday, January 17, 10:00 a.m.

Leather Jacket Day, Wednesday, January 17, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Waterloo Store, South Campus Hall.

Noon Hour Concert: Hamilton & Durand: Pub & Parlour, Wednesday, January 17, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

Exploring Career Pathways, Wednesday, January 17, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., TC 1112.

GMOs: Facts and Misconceptions, documentary with director in attendance, followed by panel discussion, Wednesday, January 17, 7:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Warrior Men's Hockey vs Windsor, Wednesday, January 17, 7:00 p.m., CIF.

Interviews: Preparing for Questions, Thursday, January 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., TC 1208.

CBB Biomedical Discussion Group "Non-invasive fall detection using 3D Deep Convolutional Autoencoder" featuring Dr. S.Khan, University of Toronto, Thursday, January 18, 3:00 p.m., EC4 2101a.

Beyond Essays: Approaching Peace Education Differently opening reception, Thursday, January 18, 4:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Gallery. 

Research Matters: Getting Published, Friday, January 19, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project Grant - Information Session, Friday, January 19, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., EC5 1111 (Enterprise Theatre).

Knowledge Integration Seminar, "The Web as Infinite Archive: Why we Turned to Machine Learning, Distributed Computing, and Interdisciplinary Collaboration to understand the Recent Past," Friday, January 19, 2:30 p.m., EV3 1408.

Biology Seminar: Bacterial Phages shaping the gut microbiome, Friday, January 19, 3:30 p.m., EIT 3142.

Cracked: new light on dementia – Film Launch, Friday, January 19, 8:00 p.m., Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

Waterloo Game Jam LEARN Event, Saturday, January 20, 9:00 a.m. to Sunday, January 21, 5:45 p.m., QNC 1502 and 2502.

Warriors Volleyball vs McMaster Warrior Night, Alumni Big Ticket, Bell Let’s Talk, Saturday, January 20, (W) 6:00 p.m., (M) 8:00 p.m., PAC.

Warrior Women’s Hockey vs. Laurier Minor League, Residence Day, Staff and Faculty Appreciation Day, Sunday, January 21, 2:30 p.m., CIF.

Problem Pitch Competition applications close, “Apply to pitch important industry problems for a share of $7,500,” Sunday, January 21, 11:59 p.m.

Grammar studio series: Workshop 1, Monday, January 22, 10:00 a.m.

NEW - Interviews: Proving Your Skills, Monday, January 22, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

NEW - How to Start Your Own Business, Monday, January 22, 2:30 p.m., TC 2218.

HeForShe Ideathon, Tuesday, January 23, STC 2002.

NEW - The Centre for Teaching Excellence presents - Teaching Dossiers, Tuesday, January 23, 1:30 p.m., TC 2218.

NEW - Résumé Tips: Thinking Like an Employer, Tuesday, January 23, 5:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Grammar studio series: Workshop 2, Wednesday, January 24, 10:00 a.m.

Résumé Tips (for employees only), Wednesday, January 24, 12:00 p.m., TC1208.

Noon Hour Concert: Schubert Trout Quintet, Wednesday, January 24, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

Seminar, Bio-inspired operations on formal languages, and their properties,” Da-Jung Cho, Department of Computer Science, Yonsei University, Seoul, Wednesday, January 24, 1:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Chemistry Seminar: Pushpull Alternating and Hypercoordinate Asymmetrical Architectures for Light and Moisture Stable Polystannanes, Wednesday, January 24, 2:30 p.m., C2-361.

Vision Science Research Seminar Series featuring Dr. Mitchell M. Scheiman, Salus University, “Objective Assessment of Disparity Vergence after Treatment of Symptomatic Convergence Insufficiency,” Wednesday, January 24, 4:30 p.m., OPT 347.

NEW - Professional School Interviews (Standard), Wednesday, January 24, 5:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Velocity Start: What’s Your Problem? Wednesday, January 24, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Getting organized: tools for resisting racism and white supremacy, Thursday, January 25 to Saturday, January 28.

Environment Seminar Series: Nancy Worth and Daniel Cockayne of GEM, Thursday, January 25, 11:30 a.m., St. Paul's 1102.

Fretz Visiting Scholar Lecture: Muslim-Mennonite Encounters in the Russian Empire, Thursday, January 25, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall.

NEW - Career Interest Assessment (Strong Interest Inventory), Friday, January 26, 10:30 a.m., TC 1112.

Lectures in Catholic Experience featuring Austen Iverveigh, “Communicating the Church in the Age of Francis,” Friday, January 26, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Academic Centre Vanstone Lecture Hall.

WIMIN: Waterloo Women: Ideas, Makers, Innovators, Friday, January 26 to Saturday, January 27, Applied Health Sciences expansion.

Waterloo Game Jam MAKE Event, Friday, January 26, 4:30 p.m. to Sunday, January 28, 6:15 p.m., QNC 1502.

NEW - Chemistry Seminar Series:  Hypervalent Iodine Chemistry, Wednesday, January 24, 11:00 a.m., C2-361.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

  • Job ID# 2017-2276 - Academic Advisor - Dean of Math Office-Math U/G Office, USG 7 – 8
  • Job ID# 2017-2277 - Academic Advisor, International - Dean of Math Office-Math U/G Office, USG 7 – 8
  • Job ID# 2018-2319 - Administrative Assistant – Psychology, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2017-2267 - Director of Finance – Finance, USG 19
  • Job ID# 2018-2318 - Career Advisor - Centre for Career Action, USG 8 – 10
  • Job ID# 2017-2144 - Course Management Coordinator - School of Accounting & Finance, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2017-1964 - Scheduling Specialist, Process and Data Analyst – Registrar’s Office, USG 8

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2017-2101 - Administrative Coordinator - Institute for Quantum Computing, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2017-2168 - Executive Administrator, Budgeting and Planning - Deputy Provost Office, USG 14
  • Job ID# 2018-2308 - Research Coordinator - Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering, USG 7