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BURNABY—The Support Staff Education and Adjustment Committee (SSEAC) has some good news for CUPE’s K-12 members seeking apprenticeship training assistance.

In December, the joint union and employer committee agreed to expand funding for apprenticeships, allocating $3.7 million from the Labour Market Adjustments Fund to supplement $3 million from the Apprenticeship Fund.

“We will now be in a position to provide $15,000 per year in wage subsidies to about 95 apprentices, in addition to paying for the tuition, travel, supplies, and EI allowance that we have been doing,” says Marcel Marsolais, CUPE 409 president and SSEAC member.

CUPE 716 president and SSEAC member June Kaiser says that this should be an important incentive for members to participate in the SSEAC apprenticeship program. “This was one of the important achievements from the last round of bargaining and I am pleased that we can improve the benefit to members,” says Kaiser.

For more information on how to access the Apprenticeship Opportunities Fund please see the SSEAC January 15 bulletin. The SSEAC has also released a Trades Workforce Planning Resource Paper.

The SSEAC, a joint initiative of employers and support staff unions in the K-12 sector, has been working on a variety of issues arising from the 2006 round of collective bargaining. One of SSEAC’s responsibilities is to administer the Apprenticeship Opportunities Fund.