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 (see current Workers’ Comp Is a Right campaign) about 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.
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
Workers’ Comp is a Right campaign
September 2017 ONIWG launched its current campaign calling for an end to some of the main methods by which the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is cutting benefits and sending people into poverty. The 3 demands: No cuts based on phantom jobs – Listen to injured workers’ treating healthcare professionals – Stop cutting benefits based on ‘pre-existing conditions’. See more details and action toolkit.
Legal Defence Fund
ONIWG is asking injured workers to come forward and support 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
Justice for Injured Workers Ride / Cyclothon Justice pour les accidentés du travail
Long-time injured worker activists Richard Hudon and Peter Page led their third campaign on bike in May 2017 through southeastern Ontario, meeting fellow injured workers 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 Survey, 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 Minister on Deeming and Minimum Wage (post-Bill 148) (Nov. 20, 2017)
- Presentation on Bill 148 (and deeming) to the Standing Committee on Finance & Economic Affairs (Jul. 19, 2017) – see also on video
- Submission re Consultation on Draft Traumatic and Chronic Mental Stress Policy (Jul. 7, 2017)
- Submission: UN Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability (CRPD) (Oct. 6, 2016)
- Press release: Injured Workers Decry Secretive WSIB Annual General Meeting (Sep. 14, 2016)
- Letter to the Premier: WSIB’s Principle of Better at Work contravenes Time to Heal and WSI Legislation (Jul 21, 2016) & Re Better at Work Critique (Nov. 7, 2016)
- Ontario’s WSIB Presents A Miracle On Front Street – what’s really behind the numbers (June 2, 2016)
- ONIWG & IAVGO. Intervener factum to the Supreme Court of Canada re Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, et al. v. Fraser Health Authority, et al. (Jan 4, 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
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” has been reporting to injured workers on the current state of Ontario’s workers’ compensation system since 2012.
The Justice for Injured Workers’ Newspaper Issue No 13 (August. 2017), the must-read newspaper of the Ontario Network for Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG), is now available. Find details about ONIWG’s Provincial Organizing Campaign, Workers’ Compensation is a Right! and the three main demands injured workers and their allies will be advocating in the next provincial election. Find out the various groups in Ontario which offer peer support and how you can organize your own group in communities which do not have them.
In this issue, read about the 3rd Annual ONIWG Justice for Injured Workers “Rights for All!” Bike Ride, reports on June 1st Injured Workers Day, workers struggles for their rights to compensation due to occupational disease and informative interviews.
Requests for issues can be made by contacting
Peter Page, Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For the next issue, No. 14, send current news, articles and photos to: email@example.com
Your support towards the costs of producing the newspaper is appreciated. Please send cheques/donations for the JFIW Newspaper to:
127 Ravenwood Avenue
Thunder Bay ON P7B4H7
Updated November 21, 2017