April 28, 2019: Can we work together in Alberta? Follow Ontario’s supported programs.
To: Unions in Ontario and ONIWG Member Groups
The OFL & ONIWG are sponsoring an exciting Workers’ Compensation Conference on June 20-21 at the IBEW Local 353 Hall in Toronto. The purpose of this conference is to inform our activists and advocates, to review and reinvigorate the Workers’ Comp is a Right campaign, to work with our system partners to make the compensation system fairer for injured workers and to support collaboration with labour and the injured worker community to achieve these goals.
We begin with a special preview of the new Widows of Asbestos documentary about the Peterborough GE workers, followed by a panel discussion on lessons learned in fighting for victims of occupational disease. Afternoon workshop choices are OFL Prevention Links’ Advanced Workshop on Mental Injury Claims, or Mental Health 101, or Accommodation Law. On Friday morning Steven Bittle, Associate Professor of Criminology from the University of Ottawa presents his study on Underreporting Work-Related Deaths in Canada, followed by a panel discussion of what we can do about it. Friday morning will end with a discussion of labour and injured worker groups working together, and the conference will adjourn at 12:30 pm.
The conference will be held at the IBEW Local 353 Hall in Toronto. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites, 175 Wynford Drive, and will be held until May 21, 2019, at a rate of $ 145.00 single or double occupancy.
To reserve a room, contact Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites: 175 Wynford Drive Toronto, Ontario, M3C 1J3, tel: 416-449-4111, toll-free reservation: 1-877-474-6835.
To register, please go to: OFLONIWG2019.eventbrite.ca. A registration fee of $200.00 is set for delegates.
This conference is a must for all workers’ compensation activists! Space is limited, so register early.
News and articles are always being added to Our Blog – please keep checking back for updates! A few of the latest posts:
Too Much Power (Human Rights Commission and WCB)
When will the public be tired of the garbage at the WCB? Will this madness ever stop? Case Managers and DRDRB do not have to know where the leg or the head is on an injured workers body but has the power to cripple a person with their uneducated decisions. They continue to only accept the medical opinion of the paid WCB medical consultant. The appeals commission has denied chronic pain in certain claims that was accepted for years. They don’t even have the jurisdiction to do so. How can some one earn almost $200,000 a year in Alberta and not even review the last three member panel review. Where they found out that nothing in 40 years changed. The case managers and DRDRB still don’t require medical or legal knowledge and typically pick the WCB paid medical consultants opinion over medical specialists and doctors that have treated you for your injury over the last nine or ten years. No wonder an injured worker is left crippled. This is not a joke so why are they still laughing?
Summer/Fall 2018: A major thank-you to Paula Kirman for filming injured workers on June 28 talking about Bill 30 and their personal stories of dealing with the WCB. Here is the video!
Here is information about a new report from the Parkland Institute.
May 2018: All out for Injured Workers’ Day!
April 2018: One of CIWAA’S goals is to have the provincial government re-open all WCB claims that were rejected due to an opinion by an independent medical consultant. We are in the process of gathering information – read more.
March 2018: Check out our Bill 30 Archive including a Summary of Recommendations.
Watch this video from Alberta Primetime, which features an interview with the AFL’s Gil McGowan.
Also, important reading is Ricardo Acuna’s article in VUE Weekly from November: Growing Pains: Workers’ Compensation Board review shows that there is still room for improvement
Update: November 24, 2017: This week’s VUE Weekly features an article about our petition in the context of the WCB review. Thank you Ricardo Acuna for writing it. You can read it here:
Growing Pains: Workers’ Compensation Board review shows that there is still room for improvement
Also, be sure to check out the petition being tabled in the Legislature by MLA Chris Nielsen at his Facebook video page.
And listen to an interview with CIWAA’s Donna Oberik last week on CBC Radio.
Update: November 15, 2017 – CIWAA would like to thank MLA Chris Nielsen for tabling the petition yesterday. Chris was passionate and expressed the concerns of injured workers to the members in the house at the legislation. We want to thank those injured workers that came to support themselves. They came from Calgary and Drumheller. Hats off to all of you.
For those of us that heard every word MLA Chris Nielsen spoke we are extremely grateful and impressed that he understood WCB is still unjust and legislation needs to be changed immediately. CIWAA members still feel that there has not been any recommendations or provisions for those injured workers that have been denied their legitimate injuries because of personal opinion from the paid for WCB chosen doctors. Government needs to re- open up those claims ,start from scratch using medical evidence , clinical evaluation , treating specialists and physicians evidence instead of paid for personal opinion that helped WCB deny the injured workers rights and natural justice.
CIWAA was live today on CBC radio . We must continue to pressure the government to seek the truth be hands on and investigate claims that were closed on personal opinion of the WCB chosen paid doctors. WCB spends millions of dollars on medical investigation (opinions ) in order to deny an injured worker when they could spend a pittance accept medical evidence and give a person back a life worth living after injury.
Update: October 2017
***To read the Canadian Injured Workers Association of Alberta Response to the Final Report of the Alberta Workers Compensation Board Review Panel, click here.***
The Report and Recommendations of the of the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Review Panel was released by the Alberta government in early July.
Congratulations to all injured workers, their advocates and allies who presented their stories, evidence, and experience to the panel. Together our work helped to smash the silence on the failure of the WCB system to provide what injured workers need and its obsession with reducing employer premiums, not caring for injured workers. We spoke out in defence of our rights, our right to be treated with respect and dignity, to the maintenance of our standard of living, to retraining when needed, and to have our health and medical needs taken care of.
The Panel began its work in early 2016. Many injured workers actively took part in the panel’s review, responding to the injured workers questionnaire, giving written submissions to the Panel, participating in meetings organized between the panel and injured workers in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge, as well as “engagement sessions” in which CIWAA participated. We thank our allies and advocates including the Alberta Federation of Labour, many unions and other organizations for their hard work and for the assistance they provided to us.
Many of the 60 recommendations of the Panel, if implemented, will make a positive difference for injured workers. Now we must ensure that what is missing is also included, and continue to work for new legislation which upholds our rights. Stay tuned for discussion of the next chapter of our work!
(To read the full 192 page report, go to Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Review www.alberta.ca/wcb-review.aspx)
The October 19 issue of Workers’ Forum features the article “Compensation is a Right!” by Peggy Morton, as well as CIWAA’s response to the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board Review Panel recommendations. We thank Peggy and Workers’ Forum for their support. You can download the paper in PDF form at this link.
Update: July 7, 2017***Please visit our blog to read the WCB review recommendations and let your voice be heard!*** The Government of Alberta has announced the WCB review recommendations. You can read them here. CIWAA would like to share your comments with the government, as there is still some disconnect of how many injured workers view the WCB. For more information and the opportunity to make a comment, visit our blog post. Here is our written submission to the Alberta WCB Review Panel, which was submitted via email in July of 2016.
Update: May 2017
CIWAA has been busy since the Beyond Workplace Wellness Conference on April 27, 2017 where we were invited by the AUPE & OHS to present our booth representing our views of the problem issues surrounding WCB.
Namely our four pillars are 1) End of the Case Manager bonus system to close files. 2) End the Medical Panel and it’s use of Doctor’s opinions for sale contradicting treating physicians medical evidence. 3) Deeming: where WCB deems you are fit for some type of menial labour 4) Where is the WCB money? Why are we using AISH as a tax payer funded program for injured workers denied by WCB. Provide the WCB insurance as our right and keep the taxpayer (AISH) out of the equation.
Our booth was very busy at the Conference and we generated a lot of signatories for our petition. Thank you to all the AUPE & OHS members who stopped by to chat. Everyone attending the Conference was receptive to our cause.
On April 28, 2017 the CIWAA Executive attended the Day of Mourning sponsored by the Edmonton District and Labour Council at Borden Park. Tributes were paid to the 144 fallen brothers and sisters who were killed in the Alberta workplace in 2016. Very sad to think last year we killed 3 working people a week in Alberta. Shame! Catch Jared Matsunaga-Turnbull’s, Executive Director of the Alberta Workers Health Centre, speech here:
Jared cares about the lives of injured workers and is able to share the suffering through his words and acts of ongoing kindness towards the members of CIWAA. Jared thank you for making the lives of injured workers matter.
On May 1, 2017 CIWAA Executive attended the May Day rally. Due to our members handicaps we were unable to have any of our representatives actually participate in the march. It was another strong showing of working people and we thank the Alberta Federation of Labour for their support and organization of May Day.
CIWAA will be active over the summer following up with all our new contacts and supporters. We are still soliciting signatories for the Petition if you know of a group of people who share our views please mention the importance of our petition in helping to shape the changes that need to be made following the WCB Review.
CIWAA continues to advocate for the WCB to be human. Our government is listening. Incentive Bonus”s for case managers to discard injured workers by closing the claim has been taken away. Of course this does not help the 100,000 plus injured workers still suffering from bought opinion’s and clerks playing doctor but will help future injured workers. Also agriculture workers now have WCB.
Thanks to AWHC, AFL and Black Cat Press local 445 for supplying printing enabling CIWAA to get our message out.