Since 2013, the WSIB has been engaged in what they call a “Rate Framework Consultation.” In simpler language, this means that the Board is planning on changing some of the specifics of the way that your compensation system is funded.
Before the Board makes any changes, they are engaging in a broad consultation process, allowing workers, employers, and their respective advocates to give input [see some of the clinic and injured worker groups submissions to the consultation]
Injured Workers’ groups, organized labour, and other advocacy groups invested considerable time and effort into participating in this process under the assumption that even if their input was not adopted into the final recommendations, that they would at least be acknowledged.
However, when the WSIB gave a public update on its consultation process in December of 2015, they barely made any mention of the substantial input submitted by the worker-side. In fact, only one of the 40 some-odd sides in the Board’s PowerPoint presentation mentioned workers’ concerns. To add insult to injury, these concerns were buried within a section called “Additional Stakeholder Feedback“.
Workers are not “additional stakeholders” in their own compensation system – they are the reason it exists, and it is unacceptable to be characterized this way.
One of the groups, the Experience Rating Working Group, that had made a submission to the consultation process decided to take their concerns to the Chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, and wrote a letter stating their concerns and demanding a response. The letter states that:
We are greatly dismayed with the consultations’ representation of worker concerns at the recent December 1st stakeholder update session. After many organizations and individuals on the worker-side spent countless hours writing submissions, making presentations, and meeting with Board officials and consultants, it was disheartening to see our concerns misrepresented and reduced to one bullet point in the second last slide. And while many of us will once again invest significant resources into making submissions before your March 2016 deadline, which we fear you will also ignore, we do still want to articulate our frustrations with the update.
As you will see, our frustrations centre on the lack of weight given to injured worker perspectives, and the seeming lack of attention paid to the issues that we raised…” [ read full letter ]