While injured workers welcome the minimum wage increase (to $15 by 2019) introduced with Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better jobs Act, they remind the government that unless the WSIB’s practice of deeming is ended, this measure will hurt many permanently disabled injured workers by reducing their benefits. [see Backgrounder: Minimum Wage and Deeming (2017)]
Read the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups’ (ONIWG) letter to the Minister of Labour on how an increase in the minimum wage impacts the many injured workers the Board pretends are employed and earning, whether or not they can work or are able to find work in today’s labour market ( an especially difficult one for jobseekers with disabilities). As loss of earnings benefits are based on the difference between pre- and post-injury wages, each increase in the minimum wage means a corresponding cut in benefits for unemployed injured workers deemed at minimum wages. Many will be pushed into greater poverty and forced onto social assistance programs. Costs of occupational injury and disease will be downloaded from the workers’ compensation system onto income support programs funded by the taxpayer [ see full letter].
Give your input to the government on why their “good news” has a dark side, and why there is an urgent need to address deeming to prevent the minimum wage increase hurting injured workers.
The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs will be holding public hearings on Bill 148 in Thunder Bay on July 10, North Bay on July 11, Ottawa on July 12, Kingston on July 13, Windsor-Essex on July 14, London on July 17, Kitchener-Waterloo on July 18, Niagara on July 19, Hamilton on July 20, and Toronto on July 21, 2017.
If you wish to be considered to make an oral presentation , give your contact name, mailing address, phone number, and email address to the Clerk of the Committee, Eric Rennie (firstname.lastname@example.org), by the following deadlines:
- for the week of July 10-14, 2017 – by 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4, 2017
- for the week of July 17-21, 2017 – by 10:00 a.m. on Monday, July 10, 2017
Written submissions may be sent to the Clerk of the Committee at the address below by 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2017:
Room 1405, Whitney Block
Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2
ph: (416) 325-3506 (collect calls accepted)
fax: (416) 325-3505
TTY: (416) 325-3538
- Chart: Effects of WSIB’s deeming policy (2017)
- Fact sheet: Injured workers are part of the Fight for $15 and Fairness (2017)
- Bright Lights Injured Workers’ Group. 2017 June 8.Letter to the Minister re the Unfair Practice of Deeming and the Impact of the Minimum Wage