FBA Education Fund secures new funding

A health care education and training fund managed by HEU and other unions in the Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) will receive a further $1.25 million in funding from health authorities to provide skills upgrading and career mobility opportunities for union members.

The FBA Education Fund underwrites training and educational opportunities for facilities subsector members, especially in areas of identified need within health care. The application and selection process is overseen by union members and staff.

The multi-union FBA negotiated $5 million to establish the fund as part of the 2006–2010 collective agreement. The Fund received another $1.25 million, which had already been allocated for training needs of members, in the 2010–2012 round of bargaining.

The announcement of an additional $1.25 million in funding over the next year will bring the total funding of the FBA Education Fund to $7.5 million over six years.

About 1,500 applications for training assistance from every occupational group have been supported from the FBA Education Fund since 2006.

"This announcement of new funding is an acknowledgement of the unmet demand for training from health care workers," says HEU's acting secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson.

"Health care delivery is in a state of constant change," adds Pearson. "And our unions have been very effective stewards of an education program that has helped so many members stay up-to-date in their profession, or vocation, or to make career changes."

Over the next few weeks, the multi-union committee overseeing the fund will meet to establish criteria for accessing the newly allocated funding.

More information, including application forms, will be available in the fall.