'It's extremely disappointing ... a real set back.' - BCGEU president Darryl Walker.
Vancouver (29 July 2009) - A special student aide program to encourage people to enroll in community health worker (CHW) training programs to fill vacancies in the home support sector has been eliminated by the Liberal government of Premier Gordon Campbell in British Columbia.
"Our home support system faces real pressures because of a shortage of trained staff," says Darryl Walker, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE).
"So it's extremely disappointing that Victoria has eliminated this program which encouraged people to gain the skills needed to work in this important part of our health care system," Walker says. "It's a real set back for recruitment and retention initiatives."
Under the program students who completed the CHW and care aide training course would be eligible for a $2,500 reduction in the student loan amount they owed. In all about $6.8 million was allocated for the program over the last two years, which benefited hundreds of students.
The Liberals have cut the CHW aide program as part of a series of student assistance cuts totalling $16 million. Officials in the ministry of advanced education say the move was necessary to help meet the Campbell government's target to implement program and service cuts totalling $1.9 billion over the next three years.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE