Today, the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG) celebrates the three year anniversary of its Workers’ Comp Is A Right campaign. The campaign, which has demanded that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) end deeming/phantom jobs, listen to injured worker’s doctors, and stops using pre-existing to cut benefits, has helped raise the profile injured worker issues in Ontario on a local, national, and international scale.
At the same time that ONIWG was ramping up to celebrate the anniversary of their ground breaking campaign, the WSIB announced they would begin a search for a new President and CEO.
ONIWG has always felt that injured workers should play a role in determining who leads the WSIB, and what their main tasks are. The group decided to leverage the attention brought on by their anniversary event to make a point: As the primary recipient of WSIB’s services, injured workers need to be involved in the hiring processes for WSIB’s leadership.
ONIWG wrote a letter to the Premier and Minister of Labour suggesting injured workers should be consulted. Having heard nothing back, the group took matters into their own hands and launched a consultation with injured workers from all over the province to source ideas for an injured worker written job description for the WSIB’s next President and CEO.
Some highlights are pasted below, but you can read the whole job description and sign ONIWG’s petition in support of injured worker participation in the hiring process at change.org/WSIBPresident.
This position requires strong dedication to the community and principles of justice, and the ideal candidate should be able to demonstrate these capacities through previous employment and volunteer experience in a setting relatable to worker’s rights, work injury, disability rights, etc.
Day to day tasks include:
- Meeting with injured workers and their families, primary healthcare providers, worker representatives, injured worker groups, and others who with first-hand experience of the impact of decisions made by the WSIB, in order to learn where the system is failing.
- Lived experience as an injured worker (or family member of an injured worker, or healthcare provider to injured workers) is an asset.
An understanding of the problems with for-profit insurance industry practices is a must.
- Create and oversee a task force that will aggressively look for holes in the compensation system, finding workers who fall through the cracks or face systemic barriers, and implementing progressive changes to the system to make sure no one is left behind.
The President and CEO will receive the maximum injured worker Loss of Earnings benefit payment (approximately $60 000 per year, based on calculating 85% of WSIB’s $95400 maximum insurable earnings, after taxes).
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by a hiring committee that includes those most affected by their actions, including injured workers, advocates, and healthcare professionals, among others.