Louise Riley, Joll Provost and Nan McFadgen attend long-term care announcement in Kentville, NS

CUPE Nova Scotia representatives are encouraged by the return of a bursary program for continuing care assistants announced by the Minister of Health and Wellness in Kentville today.

The bursary program is a partnership between the provincial and federal governments and will provide a total of $460,000. The bursary will cover $4,000 for tuition and books for students in the Continuing Care Assistant program offered through the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and Université Sainte-Anne. The current cost of the program at the NSCC is $6,700 for tuition, books and other fees.

“We’re optimistic that this bursary will help with the serious recruitment issues and staff shortages we have been experiencing in the long term care sector,” says Louise Riley, chairperson of the CUPE NS Long Term Care Coordinating Committee.

“We also hope this measure will lead to an increase in the hours of personal care per resident per day. CUPE has been calling for all publicly funded long term care facilities to reach a minimum of 4.1 hours of care per resident per day,” adds Riley.

“This is definitely a step in the right direction,” says CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen. “Restoring the bursary program is something our union has been advocating for some time.”

Reinstatement of the financial support for CCA program students at a Nova Scotia public institution ($5,000 bursary) cancelled in 2013 and a new financial support program of grants for study.

Read all the recommendations in CUPE’s “Submission to the Nova Scotia Expert Advisory Panel to Recommend Improvements in Long-Term Care.