APRUO BULLETIN, March 2023

Published on:

What You Told Us!

APRUO Survey Results

Sylvie Lauzon, President, APRUO

As we prepare to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the APRUO’s existence, the Administrative Committee (AC) has begun a reflection on our future direction as an Association.  The AC thought it would be helpful to begin this exercise by gathering the opinions of its members through an online survey. 

A seven-question survey was sent to 326 active members on November 30, 2022. The response rate was 49.1%, with 160 responding.  Of these, 143 to 147 responses (depending on the question) were valid.  The following are the results and a brief analysis.

  1. Satisfaction (n = 147)

In general, members are very satisfied with APRUO, with 81% of respondents rating 5, 6, or 7 on the 1-7 scale (x = 5.32; σ =1.25).

  1. Interest in expanding the APRUO’s role (n = 144)

A good majority of members support expanding the role of APRUO, with 71% of respondents checking 5, 6, or 7 on the scale from 1 to 7 (x = 4.99; σ =1.64).

  1. Forms this expanded role could take

Of the proposed forms an expanded role for the APRUO could take, two categories stand out: the personal development of its members (29.4%) and social and societal engagement (28%). 

In the 21 proposals submitted under the "other" category, the protection and improvement of our rights and benefits (n = 11) stood out as the first priority, followed by a desire for information and support related to our benefits (n = 5). 

  1. Types of activities to attract members' participation

Conferences stood out as the most popular type of activity inviting member participation with 39% of responses, followed by cultural activities and outings/meals with 28% and 22% of responses respectively. 

Of the 13 suggestions submitted under the "other" category, workshops and conferences were the most popular (n=7). 

  1. Website use (n = 144)

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (n = 91, or 63.2%) said they did not visit our website. 

Of these 91 people, 61 provided us with a reason for not visiting our website:

  • Have no interest or don't see the need: 27
  • Have not developed the habit: 15
  • Are too busy or otherwise committed: 7
  • Did not know it existed: 7
  • Do not have internet or find it difficult to access: 5
  1. Approval of sending advertising materials from CURAC (n = 146)

The majority (73.3%) agreed that APRUO could send out these mailings.

  1. Comments or suggestions

The comments or suggestions submitted varied considerabl;y, but the most frequent comment (n=18) was to thank the work of the AC officers and to recognize the importance of their role in the well-being of retirees.

This was followed by requests for action on a variety of health issues (n=9) and the importance/improvement of communication on such matters as pension and benefit conditions, and the role of the APRUO (n=8).

Brief Analysis

Overall, it was found that members value APRUO and feel that it effectively represents their interests.

Members would like to see some expansion of the role of APRUO, particularly concerning their personal development and maintaining meaningful connections among each other. However, it is very clear that this expansion should not come at the expense of the importance of maintaining and even improving the various benefits associated with retirement, particularly those related to health.

Communication is also of great importance to members. The increase of information relating to social benefits, the regular dissemination of information on APRUO and its members are the subject of several comments.

The website, despite its very recent reconstruction, is not currently a widely used source of information for members.

Conclusion

The results of this survey offer avenues to explore as we consider the future direction of the APRUO. They will also provide food for thought for the members of the Board of Directors.  A resulting Action Plan will be unveiled at the AGM in May 2023.

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George White, 1939-2023

George White, who served with distinction as the Treasurer of the APRUO for the better part of two decades (from 2002-2019), passed away on 11 February 2023. George came to the University of Ottawa in 1970 to join the then newly formed Department of Computer Science, where he taught until his retirement in 2002. He also served as Chair of Computer Science.

George’s colleagues on the APRUO Administrative Committee remember him as a conscientious and meticulous Treasurer; a pillar of the AC for many years, with a strong devotion to service and collegialty; a great source of wisdom; and the possessor of a terrific sense of humour. He will be sorely missed.

George’s family has passed on a lovely obituary, which they have requested to be shared with the APRUO membership. The obituary can be accessed at: https://ottawacitizen.remembering.ca/obituary/george-white-1087180119/

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Academics Without Borders

From time to time the APRUO receives news updates from Academics without Borders (AWB), an organization devoted to supporting the development of higher education in middle- and low-income countries. The University of Ottawa is a member of AWB’s Network, a consortium of Canadian universities and colleges that support AWB’s mission.

Membership in the AWB Network offers opportunities for academics to share their expertise and knowledge as volunteers in capacity-building projects – projects they may propose themselves – in partnership with institutions in low and middle-income countries.

AWB has sent us their latest news update, which can be accessed at the following weblink, along with previous news items: https://www.awb-usf.org/news/. If the idea of volunteering with AWB interests you, the website also offers information on how to go about doing so: https://www.awb-usf.org/volunteers/#volunteer-with-awb .

____________ 

Exploring the APRUO Website

The results of the APRUO’s recent survey indicate that many members of the APRUO do not make use of our revamped website. At the same time, we regularly receive queries from our members via the “Contact Us” function, and in the great majority of cases the answers to your questions are already posted on the website. We welcome your communications, and we certainly don’t want to discourage you from reaching out to us, but at the same time we thought that a few Bulletin articles highlighting what the website has to offer would be welcome.

Many of the messages we receive from individual members have to do with post-retirement benefits, and these tend to focus on health benefits, library access, and access to computer software, particularly, Microsoft 365 (MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook). On the website, we have striven to make the information about benefits as complete and as up-to-date as possible.

If you go to www.apruo.ca and click on the “Benefits” tab, you will see a general message about benefits, including information about how best to contact Human resources at the University. On the left side you will see a series of 14 items, each of which provides information about a particular benefit. The exception is the first item in the list, “Full Summary of Benefits,” which compiles all the information in a single page.

Thus, if you have questions about how to find extended health and travel insurance policies for retirees, take a look at the “Health Insurance” item: https://apruo.ca/benefits/health-insurance. If you have questions about your Healthcare Spending account (HCSA), including information on how to contact Canada Life, you will find it in the “Healthcare Spending Account” section: https://apruo.ca/benefits/health-care-spending-account. The section on “Library Access,” along with a new section on “Access to Computer Software” also deal with frequently asked questions: https://apruo.ca/benefits/library-access and https://apruo.ca/benefits/access-to-computer-software.

If you have suggestions for improvements and additions to the website, or if you encounter any problems while using it, please be sure to contact us.

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APRUO Membership Renewal

The key to our effectiveness as an Association is the support we receive from our membership. This month and next, we will be following up on our annual membership campaign to reach out to those of colleagues whose membership in the APRUO has recently expired. If your membership has recently lapsed or if you have not previously joined the Association,  we’d like to encourage you to sign up.

To renew your membership is very easy:

  • - Go to https://apruo.ca/user/signin/?goto=membership%2Frenew-membership

And follow the instructions for existing users (“Renew Membership”) or for new members (“Become a Member”).

Or

  • - Send an “INTERAC” transfer of $25, $50 or $75 (1, 2 or 3 years) to treapruo@uottawa.ca

Or

  • - send a cheque to APRUO in one of those amounts to:

Treasurer APRUO

University of Ottawa

141 Louis Pasteur

OTTAWA K1N 6N5

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