Purpose of the Policies
This policy handbook outlines Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society’s expectations for its staff and their behaviour both in the workplace and as PIPS representatives outside of the office. All PIPS staff are expected to follow the policies outlined in this handbook regardless of their rank, identity, or position with the Society.
The purpose of the policies outlined in this handbook is to establish a healthy, safe, and productive workplace for all PIPS staff, and to ensure that the Society is operating properly and at its full potential. Action will be taken to enforce these policies in the instance that they are violated by a PIPS staff member, as explained in the “Violation & Enforcement” section of this document.
Business Division: Those employed by PIPS in a non-editorial capacity who manage the day-to-day operations of the Society, such as office management, accounting, payroll, human resources, correspondence, archiving, legal matters, liaising with the Board, advertising, and secretarial duties.
Employee: Full-time, contracted PIPS members who meet the requirements of an employee as listed in the B.C. Employment Standards Act. See “Forms” for details.
Leave of Absence: A staff member’s planned leave for non-leisure purposes between four and 12 weeks. If a member can complete their work on a leave of absence, they can continue to receive pay. If they cannot, they will not receive pay.
Staff Members: Someone contracted with PIPS to perform duties on on a PIPS publication as outlined in their contract(s).
Staggering Pay: Moving payment earned during one pay period to the next pay period, including all subsequent payments.
Supervising Editors: The designated editors for management of PIPS publications and staff.
The Managing Editorial Committee (MEC): The supervising editors of The Runner.
Vacation: A staff member’s planned leave for leisure purposes for up to 20 business days with pay. Any more time will go without pay.
Visitor(s): Visitors to the PIPS office that are not staff members, employees, contributors, or members of the Board of General Purposes.
Credit Card Use
The PIPS credit card should be in the sole possession of the Business Division. The Operations Manager shall have their name on the credit card and be held responsible for it. The information on the card should be changed as the person employed in that position changes. All receipts from credit card use are to be kept and recorded.
When making online purchases, staff members should consult with the Business Division ahead of time to assure the use of the credit card. The Operations Manager should be the one to input the credit card information, and should ask for all online receipts to be forwarded to them.
The credit card’s limit shall not exceed $3,000.00. Purchases above $3,000.00 must have the approval of the PIPS Board of Directors, per the PIPS Bylaws, and should preferably be made via cheque. All outstanding balance on the credit card should be paid off automatically via the bank account in order to avoid late fees.
When making a purchase on behalf of the Society, it is imperative that staff members receive approval from their supervising editors and/or the Business Division in order to receive reimbursement for their expenses. After the purchase has been made, one must fill out an Expense Form (see Forms) with attached receipts, and deliver it to the Business Division.
Supervising editors for PIPS publications must consult with the Business Division when approving expenses.
Supplies & Acquisition Proposals
All requests for office supplies should be made through the Business Division. If a staff member would like to request the purchase of a new piece of equipment or an addition to the regular set of office supplies, they should write their request in a formal proposal submitted to the Business Division. The proposal should include the reasoning for the purchase, the potential benefits, a selection of possible costs, and some research into how and where to get the proposed supplies.
Events and Prizes
On the occasion that PIPS hosts an event that awards prizes, the original purchase and awarding of said prize must be documented on an Event Prize Tracking Form (see Forms).
Office Conduct Policies
Work Ethic & Demeanor
All PIPS staff members must demonstrate professionalism and respect in the workplace. They can achieve this by being friendly, communicative, and collaborative with their colleagues, and by abstaining from disruptive or offensive behavior during working hours (see “Safe & Healthy Workplace”).
PIPS staff members must treat equipment belonging to the Society with respect and care. PIPS equipment should not be misused, misplaced, or damaged, and must be signed out and back in with authorization of the Operations Manager or Coordinating Editor. Any damage to PIPS equipment must be reported to the Operations Manager of the Society.
Once a staff member signs a contract with PIPS, they will be provided with a key to access the office by the Operations Manager of the Society. If staff keys are damaged, lost, or stolen, they must report it to the Operations Manager in order to be provided with a new copy. If the Operations Manager determines that the staff member is at fault for the loss or damaging of their key, they may be charged for its replacement.
PIPS staff may only access the office during its operating hours, which can be viewed on the door of the PIPS office located in the Kwantlen Coast Capital Savings Library.
Absenteeism and Tardiness
Staff are expected to be punctual when arriving to the office. If a staff member cannot come into the office as scheduled, they should inform the supervising editors of the publication they work for as soon as possible.
Visitors to the PIPS office must be accompanied by a staff member of the Society and follow the behavior outlined in the Work Ethic & Demeanor policy above. If a visitor violates said policy or any policies outlined in the Safe & Healthy Workplace section of this handbook, they may be asked to leave the office. This may be enforced by staff or on-campus security at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Depending on the nature of the violation, further disciplinary measures may be taken at the discretion of the staff.
Visits that are not PIPS-related should be kept to a minimum, and at times visitors who are not on official PIPS business may be asked to leave the office so that work can continue unabated.
Work Area Cleanliness
PIPS staff are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and efficiency of their personal work area, as well as the shared space of the PIPS office. Paper documents should remain properly filed or placed into recycling if no longer in use, and all food and/or drink items should be cleaned up or stowed away before staff leave the office.
Email & Mail
Most PIPS staff will be assigned an email address specific to their position in the Society by the Operations Manager. All messages sent from or received through staff email are property of PIPS, and should be archived rather than deleted. If a staff member needs more storage space for their email account, they should contact the Operations Manager to request the necessary funding.
Messages sent from PIPS email addresses must be professional and respectful. PIPS staff are encouraged to attach a standardized signature outlining their name, title, and contact information to their account.
After choosing a password for their PIPS email account, staff members must provide that password to the Operations Manager. During staff turnovers, the Operations Manager is responsible for assisting incoming staff members in acquiring their staff email and changing the account password.
When leaving the office for the day, staff members must ensure that lights, fans, and other general electronics are turned off and that office doors and other secured areas are locked. If applicable, set the office alarm, put away food, and tidy the office before leaving.
While representing PIPS outside of the office, staff are expected to adhere to the Work Ethic & Demeanor policy outlined above. They must act professionally on behalf of the Society and use their time effectively while working as a PIPS representative. As organizers of PIPS events, staff of the Society are responsible for all setup and cleanup.
Human Resources Policies
Once contracted by PIPS, paid staff members are required to fill out a federal TD1 and a TD1BC form (see “Forms”), which can be obtained from the Operations Manager, as well as a Direct Deposit form, which can be obtained from one’s bank or credit union. Please forward completed forms back to the Operations Manager in order to begin receiving payment.
Failure or Inability to Complete Duties
All staff members are expected to complete the duties outlined in their PIPS contracts or as assigned to them by the supervising editors of the publication they work for. If they are unable to attend work or complete their duties as expected, they must inform their supervising editors as far in advance as possible. If a staff member is ill and unable to work for five or more days, they may be required to produce a medical note to explain the absence.
Vacation & Holidays
Staff members must submit vacation requests to the Operations Manager with at least two weeks notice in advance. Should the requested vacation time interrupt the staff member’s duties to a PIPS publication, they must also coordinate with their supervising editors to determine how to best plan around their absence.
All employees who have been contracted with PIPS for at least 30 calendar days before a Statutory Holiday are eligible to receive pay for that holiday, or time off, in accordance with the B.C. Employment Standards Act.
Leave of Absence
Any staff member wishing to take an extended leave from work must submit a request to the Operations Manager at least four weeks prior to the proposed leave taking place. Approval of the leave will be at the discretion of the Operations Manager and the supervising editors of the PIPS publication for which the staff member works. Should the Operations Manager seek an extended leave, they must send their requests to the Board of General Purposes for approval.
The supervising editors will determine whether or not a staff member can continue to complete their duties during their leave of absence. If it is determined that a staff member cannot complete their duties while on leave, that staff member will forfeit their staff pay for the period in which they’re gone. Any leave longer than 12 weeks may result in termination of the staff member’s contract.
Paid staff members are expected to submit their PIPS timesheets by the 1st and 16th of every month. Pay may be staggered for failing to submit timesheets on time. The Coordinating Editor and Operations Manager should sign off on received timesheets via an approval form (see Forms).
Hiring & Firing
When seeking to fill open positions on PIPS publications, the supervising editors of said publication should show preference to members of PIPS. Open positions should be advertised for an appropriate amount of time, and all candidates should have their interviews scheduled, preferably during the hours that the Operations Manager is on the office. In addition, the candidates should have privacy during their interview, with only the Operations Manager and relevant supervising editors present.
When a staff member leaves a publication, either by termination, resignation, or expiration of contract, exit interviews should be conducted by the Operations Manager and supervising editors of the publication for which that staff member worked. The responsibilities of those conducting the interview are (1) to discuss what was achieved during the staff member’s term of employment, as well as any issues that may have arised (2) to ensure a smooth transition from the former staff member to their replacement, and (3) to see the return of all PIPS office equipment (keys, emails, reference material) in the possession of the staff member.
Change of Hours
Employees and staff members with scheduled work hours may, on occasion, need to alter their schedule. When doing so, they must inform their supervising editors and any staff members potentially affected by the change. Employees must also inform the Operations Manager or the Board of General Purposes. Additionally, if the change in schedule affects the hours of operation for the PIPS office, it is advisable that the employee or staff member post a notice of the alteration to the PIPS office door.
Safe and Healthy Workplace
PIPS is responsible for establishing policies and resources for ensuring the health and safety of its staff while they are in the workplace. Therefore, PIPS must empower and enable its staff to work together to try to prevent and potentially correct unsafe situations in the office.
Both the Managing Editorial Committee of The Runner and the PIPS Operations Manager are encouraged to take part in an annual training session(s) for the prevention and response to handling cases of assault, harassment, and abuse in the workplace. If there is turnover in the positions of the Coordinating Editor, Managing Editor, or Operations Manager, the new staff members in those positions are also encouraged to receive the necessary training as soon as possible after they sign a contract with PIPS.
Communication & Awareness
It is imperative that PIPS staff feel safe and comfortable with communicating inappropriate issues in the workplace to each other and their superiors. The Managing Editorial Committee and the Operations Manager, in particular, must put effort into remaining aware of such incidents, and must do all in their power to help resolve them.
Every month, publication staff are encouraged to take part in an inclusivity and diversity meeting. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss any issues pertaining to safety, discrimination, or general health in the workplace, as well as putting preventative measures in place and ensuring that PIPS is taking continuous action to achieve a productive, accepting, and diverse work environment. Notice of inclusivity and diversity meetings will be given to staff in advance by the Managing Editorial Committee.
All incidents of assault, harassment, and abuse in the workplace should be reported to at least one member of the Managing Editorial Committee and/or the Operations Manager. If someone wishing to report an incident does not feel comfortable reporting to any of these positions, the incident can be reported to the Chairperson of the PIPS Board of General Purposes. Reports may be made in person, via email, or over the phone. The report must then be reviewed, responded to, and archived in the relevant case file immediately after it is received.
If the Managing Editorial Committee, Operations Manager, or Chairperson of the Board of General Purposes suspect that assault, harassment, and/or abuse is taking place in the office, they may review or investigate by consulting with PIPS staff. If there are too many conflicts of interest within the Managing Editorial Committee and/or Board of General Purposes, the report may be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency or professional body, after consultation with the complainant.
Incident Investigation & Analysis
All reported incidents of assault, harassment, and abuse in the workplace must be investigated and analyzed by the Operations Manager and either the Managing Editor or Coordinating Editor of The Runner, as well as one member of the Board of General Purposes. Supervising staff members of publications other than The Runner are to defer to the Operations Manager if an incident is reported to them, though they should remain available for consultation.
Incident reports must be based on reasonable grounds and be made in good faith. Any intentionally false or malicious reporting of such incidents, or any retaliation against a reporter of such incidents by staff members, may result in disciplinary action (see “Violation & Enforcement).
If requested, confidentiality for both parties will be maintained except when disclosure is required by law, for safety reasons, to conduct a proper investigation of the incident, or to meet professional reporting obligations.
Evaluation & Corrective Action
Both the respondent and complainant involved in the incident of assault, harassment, and/or abuse must be given a reasonable opportunity to make their case. The respondent, upon being notified of the issuing of the report against them, must be given a chance to respond to the allegation, and be informed of the investigation’s conclusions. Disciplinary action ranging from minor to severe may be taken against the respondent (see “Violation & Enforcement”).
Management Review & Future Improvement
After the case between the complainant and respondent has been closed, the Managing Editorial Committee and Operations Manager must meet to discuss how the process of handling the incident went and which preventative measures should be put in place in order to avoid similar incidents in the future. If necessary, members of the Managing Editorial Committee, Board of General Purposes, and/or the PIPS Business Division may decide to organize additional training sessions and/or meetings to address the issue.
Violation & Enforcement
Disciplinary measures may be taken against any PIPS staff member(s) that violate the policies in this handbook. Violations will be determined by the Operations Manager and the supervising editors of PIPS publications.
Means of Enforcement
Possible disciplinary measures for violating PIPS policies include demotion, written or verbal reprimand, suspension, termination, detraction of benefits, and/or legal action.
When a policy is first violated, it should be reported to the Operations Manager and/or the relevant supervising editors. Should the Operations Manager be the violator of a policy, the violation should be reported to the Coordinating Editor of The Runner and/or the Board of General Purposes.