Jun 222012
 

Click on the following link http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/workcover-changes-are-messy-ofarrell-20120622-20rg7.html

The NSW government has now agreed to exempt firefighters and paramedics and not just policeman which for any one with a reasonable amount of intelligence results in two classes of workers, those that are exempted from legislation and those who are not exempted. This is the same situation that exists in Alberta and as well across Canada where firefighters and now all first responders are given presumptive status and other workers are not given presumptive status which in my humble opinion results in a class discrimination. According to human rights legislation and as well, the charter, when people are treated differently, this results in discrimination which is illegal. All people are supposed to be treated equally under the law and before the law.

There is absolutely no reason why the NSW workers compensation would have a 4 billion dollars debt, other than through gross mismanagement. Many workers compensation systems are in debt because of poor investment practices. Studies across America have concluded that work reported injuries are drastically down due to workers not reporting accidents for fear of losing their jobs, yet costs to administer the system have skyrocketed with many workers compensation systems blaming medical costs rather than admitting they lost money through poor investment practices. The same thing that is happening in NSW has been happening across America where workers are having their benefits reduced or eliminated due to worker compensation systems debt load and unfunded liabilities. Many people are of the opinion that the debts incurred by WCB systems should be shifted to the governments who are directly responsible for the mess they have created and is something I agree with. Notably, the WSIB are over 14 billion dollars in debt and are contemplating reducing or eliminating benefits which results in shifting the costs to government sponsored programs such as CPP disability programs and provincial social services programs. Over a hundred years ago, the historic agreement between workers and employers was to prevent workers from becoming a charge on family, friends and society and a hundred years later workers are a charge on family, friends and society. That being the case, what is the point of having workers compensation systems? Why have a system that has now become a two tiered system where you have two classes of workers, firefighters, first responders who have dual taxpayer and employer full earning loss benefits as compared to other workers who have no earning loss benefits even though they are supposed to be guaranteed earning loss benefits from worker compensation systems.

Gerry Miller