ONIWG is a provincial voice for workers who have been injured or made ill on the job. We have first-hand experience of the WCB/WSIB system, know it needs improvement and take united action to make this happen. A democratically governed organization, ONIWG has been representing workers since 1991.
Our 22 member groups have strong community roots, working closely with other local groups and agencies to advance the interests of injured workers. These include labour councils and labour unions, and legal clinics who provide advice and support. We also work with the local Office of the Worker Advisor, our Members of Provincial Parliament, and in municipal governments.
Despite no longer receiving provincial funding, ONIWG continues to lobby and raise public awareness about injured workers’ rights and what needs to be fixed in Ontario’s broken workers’ compensation system. We speak up for injured worker rights with submissions and street rallies, petitions, research , media action, workshops & conferences (see presentations to the June 2015 joint OFL/ONIWG WCB Conference).
ONIWG groups in your community [Directory]
- offer peer support – meet other workers who face the same challenges that you do
- provide information on dealing with the compensation system
- give you an opportunity to join the fight for justice
What we are fighting towards!
- Reform of the Workers’ Compensation Act and Policy and a return to the founding principles.
- Dignity, Respect and Justice must be the foundation for a renewed Workers’ Compensation System
- An Act with the stated purpose to truly assist and compensate workers injured, made sick and disabled at work
A leader in the struggle against Bill 99, ONIWG continues to campaign for a just compensation system through law reform, for fairness in Board policy, dignity and respect in Board practice. With research, submissions and presentations, it documents those concerns and makes recommendations for the Legislative Assembly, Ministers and the WCB/WSIB. On the street, it co-organizes public rallies such as Injured Workers’ Day, Day of Mourning, RSI Awareness Day, the Annual Christmas demo outside the Ministry of Labour and the May pickets. Through press conferences and social media it shares the concerns and experiences of injured workers.
Current & recent actions
Legal Defence Fund
ONIWG is asking injured workers to come forward and help launch a legal challenge against the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) in order to:
- bring in full cost of living protection for all injured workers’ benefits
- provide pensions for workers with permanent disabilities and eliminate the deeming system – injured workers need real jobs and job security or full compensation
Read why ONIWG is launching this challenge and how you can support it.
Justice for Injured Workers Ride / Cyclothon “Justice pour les accidentés du travail”
Long-time injured worker activists Richard Hudon and Peter Page are undertaking their second 600 km ride May 25 to June 1st 2016. This year they bike through southwestern Ontario, meeting fellow injured workers, collecting their messages for Queen’s Park and raising public awareness of concerns with Ontario’s workers’ compensation system.
Recording the evidence
ONIWG researches how the workers’ compensation affects injured workers’ experience and conditions. In 2012 it conducted its second Injured Workers Poverty Surveys, led by York University’s Bonnie Heath, to document real-life financial, social and health impacts of work injury and dealing with the Compensation Board.
As a partner organization in the Research Action Alliance on the Consequences of Work Injury (2006-2011) and the Bancroft Institute, ONIWG contributes valuable worker-focused research and evidence for the community and policy-makers.
- Letter to the Premier on WSIB Misuse of IWH update on Adequacy of Workers Compensation Benefits in Ontario (May 11, 2016)
- Prescription Over-ruled – Report on How Ontario’s WSIB Systematically Ignores the Advice of Medical Professionals (Nov. 5, 2015) – co-published with the OFL
- From Experience Rating to Rating Experience - Submission to the Rate Framework Consultation (Oct. 1, 2015)
- Letter to the WSIB Chair on downplaying poverty (Sep. 2, 2015)
See Resources for more ONIWG publications. For additional material by and about ONIWG, search the IWC Library catalogue.
ONIWG’s newspaper “Justice for Injured Workers” began publication in 2012. From updates and analysis on new policy and reforms, a roundup of injured worker activities and campaigns around the province, and review of media coverage, JFIW provides a comprehensive report on the current state of Ontario’s workers’ compensation system.
To request copies of JFIW, issued approximately twice a year, contact Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups:
R.R. 1, Kaministiquia ON P0T 1X0 ph: (905)577-3362 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated May 18, 2016