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Sept 11 2007
Workers Compensation Unions "sound the alarm" - injured
worker asks WHY?
"We know the system and its failures best. We know how
to fix the problems and think it's time to sound the alarm. Today we are
launching a national campaign calling for the reform of the workers'
compensation systems in all jurisdictions across Canada."
"What alarm, Mr. Mahoney? Could it be your own employees
know of, and want to put a stop to, the unfair practices and tactics used by
All Injured Workers Need Fair Treatment
Sir: Re: Steven Mahoney's letter to the
editor ("Chairperson defends record of the WSIB," The Observer, Aug. 29, 2007,)
replying to my letter "Candidate stances on WSIB important, The Observer, Aug.
First, I would like to apologize to Mr. Mahoney for
misquoting his salary.
As for me castigating Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
employees, I wonder why then the WSIB employee's own union (CUPE) Local 1750,
stated at the Conference of Canadian Compensation Unions held in Barrie Oct.
31, 2006, "We know the system and its failures best. We know how to fix the
problems and think it's time to sound the alarm. Today we are launching a
national campaign calling for the reform of the workers' compensation systems
in all jurisdictions across Canada"(Harry Goslin, president). What alarm, Mr.
Mahoney? Could it be your own employees know of, and want to put a stop to, the
unfair practices and tactics used by the WSIB?
Mr. Mahoney stated, "Our number one mandate is to prevent
injuries, illnesses and fatalities and we all need to work together to that
end." Since when has that become the number one mandate of the WSIB? What
happened to the serving of the stakeholders, employers and the needs of injured
workers, all on equal ground in accordance with the "Historic Compromise" and
the Meredith Report enacted into legislation in 1915? Isn't that supposed to be
the number one mandate of the WSIB?
It would seem Mr. Mahoney is playing politics by pulling the
old "bait and switch." I agree that it's important for us all to focus on
workplace safety, but it's just as if not more important for all injured
workers to receive fair and equitable financial benefits and medical care,
without question. This practice does not happen.
Injured workers have also reported being constantly
threatened by WSIB staff and pushed to psychological breaking points where they
either give up completely on their WSIB claim or they return to the labour
market while still suffering from their original injuries, all because the
current WSIB legislation allows for that to happen. In Ontario, the fact that
an injured worker even applies for Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits
(CPP(D) can be looked upon as the injured worker having the intention of not
returning to the workforce (WSIB Operational Policy Manual).
The injured worker is free to apply for CPP(D) at any time
during the WSIB process according to the same OPM section, but then a
presumption of non-co-operation may be made if they apply. One hundred per cent
of the CPP(D) benefit is then taken from the injured workers by the WSIB, to
"offset" the injured workers financial benefits in order to prevent the injured
worker surpassing the WSIB's deemed benefit cap.
The next government of Ontario must be aware that it's not
only the injured workers who suffer because of the WSIB, but the taxpayers also
suffer when the WSIB, a privately funded commission, transfers its obligations
to publicly funded programs such as OHIP, ODSP and Welfare by denying injured
workers medical treatment and what they rightfully deserve as fair financial
compensation for work place injuries.
Aug. 23, 2007 - injured worker asks questions about the WSIB to
Ontario provincial election candidates in newspaper:
- Letter to
the editor from P.C. Clare,
"Candidate stances on WSIB important" - (The
Observer, Aug. 23, 2007) -
Aug. 29, 2007 - WSIB
responds negatively in letter to same newspaper:
- Response to P.
C. Clare from WSIB Chairperson, Steven W. Mahoney,
"Chairperson defends record of the WSIB" (The
Observer, Aug. 29, 2007)
Aug. 29, 2007 - the CIWS
responds to both letters:
Response from the CIWS to the
Sarnia Observer Editorials re: Mr. Mahoney (WSIB) and Mr. Clare's Letters -
sent August 29, 2007 - (Published in the
Observer Set 5 2007)
Sept. 11, 2007 - PC
Clare's response: All Injured Workers Need Fair
October 4, 2007 - PC Clare
receives answers from Steve Mahoney and responds: Answers on WSIB
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