FBA Education Fund wraps up after successful run

$5 million fund has provided upgrading and career advancement opportunities to hundreds of HEU members since 2006

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Hundreds of HEU members have upgraded their job skills or expanded their career options as a result of a multi-million dollar training fund negotiated by the union in the last round of bargaining.

In 2006, the Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) secured a $5 million Education Fund to assist regular employees (and displaced employees within their recall period) to take courses related to their current job or to advance their health care career through more extensive training programs.

The FBA Education Fund has also helped address serious skills shortages in health care occupations.

The Fund, which is in effect for the 2006-2010 facilities subsector collective agreement, has now allocated almost all of its training monies.

“More than 850 short-term applications and over 300 long-term applications have been approved from October 1, 2006 to May 20, 2009, totalling almost $4.7 million for members’ training,” says FBA Education Fund coordinator Mary Waddington. “Funds are committed for training into 2010.”

Effective May 29, the FBA Education Fund will no longer accept short-term training applications; long-term training applications were accepted until May 8, 2009. Current applicants may not have a decision on funding until June 30, and there’s no guarantee that funds will be available for all eligible applications.

The union-run FBA Education Fund Committee will meet in June to decide on final allocations from the Fund.