The WSIB Funding Review (2010-2011), chaired by Professor Harry Arthurs, followed a series of reports commenting on the Board’s finances, including the 2009 Chair’s Consultation report, and the 2009 Auditor General’s report (s.3.14).
The Review considered unfunded liability, premium rate setting, rate groups, employer incentive programs (experience rating), funding occupational disease claims and indexation of benefits. The injured worker community participated in large numbers, with personal accounts and detailed submissions, and raised related issues that should be considered, particularly universal coverage. Arthurs’ report, “Funding Fairness”, was released in May 2012.
Even before Professor Arthurs had finished his comprehensive report, amendments to the Act (Bill 135, Dec. 2010) and WSIB practices in step with the 2010/2011 KPMG audit were pushed through that were not in line with his eventual report. And now, with the report and its recommendations complete, injured workers are still waiting for the implementation of full cost of living protection, abolition of experience rating, and an increase in employer rates.
Although he supported a transition to full funding, Arthurs made other recommendations that would help injured workers but are being ignored by the WSIB and government:
- The unfunded liability should not be used to treat injured workers unfairly
- All injured workers should be fully and automatically protected from inflation and the rise of the cost of living
- The experience rating system (giving penalties and rebates according to “reported” accidents and “reported” recovery) is a “moral crisis”.
- Injured workers do not have enough resources to speak out
- The WSIB should deal with the issue of universal coverage
The discussion paper released for the Rate Framework Consultation (2013- ), chaired by Douglas Stanley, disregarded the Arthurs’ Funding Review recommendations on rate setting and experience rating. Stanley’s report, “Pricing Fairness”, (2014) was followed by “Rate Framework Modernization” consultations. Completed in 2016, the new rate structure (rejecting suggested changes to experience rating) will go into effect after Jan. 2019.
- Injured Workers’ Consultants. 2011. Submissions to the WSIB Funding Review. Toronto: IWC. Apr. 27, June 15, Aug. 31, Nov. 18.