Nov 252018
 

From Injured Workers Online:

Workers’ compensation: morality versus the business case

The experience of being injured at work and claiming workers’ compensation can greatly influence injured workers’ possibilities for rehabilitation and successful return to work. A new study examines why some claims are prolonged, conflicted and frequently associated with confrontational interactions between Ontario workers and others in the compensation system including employers and workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WCB/WSIB) staff. A doctoral thesis  by Dana Howse – Injured Workers’ Moral Engagement in the Compensation System: The Social Production of Problematic Claiming Experience (University of Toronto, Nov. 2017) – examines claiming from the perspective of injured workers in Ontario who have experienced difficult claims.

Her study points to radically different views of our workers’ compensation system. Based on interviews with injured workers, advocates and health care providers, she found that these injured workers experienced and understood the workers’ compensation system in moral terms: they see workers’ compensation as part of our justice system and evaluate experiences in terms of what is just and unjust, fair and unfair. However, the WSIB’s texts and practices reflected a neo-liberal view of the system where the goals are administrative and financial cost efficiency and policies and procedures are created or changed to achieve them. To move forward and  improve circumstances for injured workers with difficult claims, Dr. Howse suggests the WSIB reconsider its practices and the way its understanding of workers’ compensation is seen by injured workers…  [read ONIWG commentary and Plain language summary and full thesis]

  • Presentation Dec. 7, 10 a.m. EST:  Dr Howse will be discussing her study Friday December 7th  – sign in to the live stream at ONIWG’s Facebook 
    (If you don’t see the streaming video when you arrive at the page, wait a few minutes and try refreshing the page)
Nov 142018
 

By Gerald

Click on the following link:
https://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/news-story/9029941-after-nearly-24-year-wait-wsib-approves-claim-in-1995-cancer-death-of-general-electric-peterborough-worker/

This is a long standing claim that was reviewed and accepted after 24
years. Questionably is why it took 24 years to be accepted when the
courts have determined that claims do not have to be based on scientific
evidence. Claims are to be determined based on a contributing factor
which according to the courts range from a trivial contributing factor
to a probable factor. If there is no evidence to the contrary, the claim
remains in a neutral state and the benefit of doubt by law has to go to
the worker.

If in fact the NDP would honor the commitment made by the former
Conservative Government and open up all long standing claims, most if
not all of the claims would be accepted based on adjudicating the claims
on a lesser standard than the civil law standard that has been used
illegally by the Alberta WCB and the Appeals Commission.

Aug 172018
 

This is a media item that gives a good sense of the human reality in Peterborough right now.  With a tremendous collective effort by many people who worked at GE, their families and many activists and supporters, a significant number of claims have been won.  But even more have been denied on reconsideration.  So there is much work to do.

WSIB is a nightmare, say former Peterborough GE workers and families

May 302018
 

http://rankandfile.ca/all-out-for-injured-workers-day/

Alberta WCB is still broken Bill 30 did nothing to help long term claims. Alberta injured workers do not have the support , manpower or finances to get out there and let the public know the suffering never ends.

For injured workers the reality is clear, the WSIB in Ontario is broken and the loss and pain is on the backs of injured workers.

So every June 1, injured workers and their allies rally at Queen’s Park for Injured Workers Day, to highlight the flaws of the compensation system and the fight we need to continue to bring to the Legislature and the Ministry of Labour.

With just a few days before the election, the rally and march is an opportunity to make a stand, not only for injured workers but for all workers and people concerned about social and economic justice, that we have had enough of austerity and cuts. The rally on June 1, will send a message that no matter who gets elected, the age of austerity is over.

We can be sure that if Doug Ford’s Conservative Party is elected, privatization of the workers’ compensation system will be on his agenda – just as he will push for privatization across the board. We know that if this happens, it is low-income, vulnerable, and marginalized people who will suffer. So the Injured Workers’ Day rally is part of the fightback. We will stand up and resist, and take back our compensation system

On the eve of June 1, the Women of Inspiration, a group which offers support, knowledge transfer, education and outreach to Women Injured at Work, gathers on the lawn of Queen’s Park for “Sleepless in Queen’s Park.” This overnight vigil provides a safe space for injured workers to share poetry and song, and to tell stories of their battles for fair compensation because, if “injured workers can’t sleep; how can their elected representatives?”

On the following day of June 1 at 11:30am, injured workers and advocates join the Women of Inspiration at Queen’s Park to rally for Injured Worker’s Day. Joined by labour and community allies, injured workers from across Ontario will take to the streets, marching on the Ministry of Labour, calling on the government to deliver fairness from the workers’ compensation system.

In its 35th year, the theme for this year’s Injured Workers Day is driven by the success and hard work of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG). ONIWG is an umbrella organization of injured worker groups in communities spread throughout the province, campaigning on the theme that Workers’ Comp is a Right. This campaign is demanding the compensation system return to its roots as a system that provides support and support and care for workers who have suffered injuries or illnesses on the job. The key campaign demands for a system that protects everyone are:

  1. No cuts based on phantom jobs
    2. Listen to injured workers’ treating healthcare professionals
    3. Stop cutting benefits based on pre-existing conditions

Through province-wide education and action on these issues, injured workers have successfully pushed their demands onto the political radar. We have collected thousands of petition signatures supporting the campaign demands, and heard MPPs read out the petition dozens of times in the Legislature. We have seen the NDP include injured worker issues in its platform – the first time since 1990 that a political Party has talked explicitly about injured workers. We have seen new injured worker groups form in communities where they did not previously exist.

So we are building. And after years of austerity and cuts, the compensation system is broken and the time is now to pressure those in power to commit to fundamental changes to restore justice. Join us.

May 252018
 

The ONIWG Research Action Committee has put together a one page handout  in advance of June 1st, Injured Workers Day.  This infographic is based on research done by our committee as well as academic research.  Over the last seven years, the  Ontario WSIB has more than doubled its reserved funds while cutting benefits to workers in half – resulting in thousands of workers with a life long work related disability ending up in poverty.

We encourage you to share this info widely – to friends, family and co-workers – and use it as a handout on June 1st.  It can be used as a stand alone piece or you can print it two sided with the Workers Comp is a Right material or local information.