Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

April 05, 2011 17:01 ET

"All Ontario workers deserve protection-not just 72%", CUPE Ontario President tells WSIB funding review

CUPE Ontario President joins Local 1750 President at Arthurs Commission to call for a workers' compensation system that puts workers-not ideology-first

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) - Ontario's system of compensating injured workers must move beyond the failed "ideologically motivated experiments" of the past 15 years and embrace four key principles to cover every worker in the Province," the President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario (CUPE Ontario) said today.

"All Ontario workers deserve protection, not just the 72 per cent of workers currently covered. It's the right thing to do and doing so helps ensure the system's long-term financial viability by collectively pooling employer risk" Fred Hahn told the Arthurs Commission today in Toronto.

"The fact that this commission doesn't have this issue as part of its mandate is a major problem the government needs to address. It's an issue CUPE and many other groups have identified," he added.

The Commission is reviewing funding of Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), and will make recommendations on the Board's financial future to the WSIB and the Government early next year.

Hahn and Harry Goslin, President of CUPE Local 1750, representing WSIB employees, made a joint presentation today to the Commission, which began public hearings today at the Delta Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. The Commission will visit several communities across Ontario over the next month.

Goslin noted that 15 years of "ideologically motivated experiments" have left Ontario with the lowest level of injured workers with workers compensation coverage in Canada.

"The goal of the compensation system must be to ensure that workers who are injured at work or who acquire an occupationally related disease are compensated fairly and provided with appropriate and timely support and services to enable them to achieve their potential as participants in the workforce," said Goslin.

Both Hahn and Goslin urged the Commission to embrace four key principles for the WSIB:

a) Comprehensive coverage for all workers encompassing all work-related disabilities, injuries or illnesses,
b) Public management and delivery on a not-for-profit basis,
c) Independent, arms-length decision making and premium setting, with all employers being treated equally, and
d) Ensuring that the WSIB is responsible for both compensation and for injury and accident prevention, with a focus on training workers with respect to workplace hazards and their rights and obligations under health and safety legislation.

"Had these principles been respected in the past 15 years, there would not be a funding review underway today," said Hahn.

To view CUPE Ontario and Local 1750's Joint submission to the Arthurs Commission, visit www.cupe.on.ca.

Contact Information

  • CUPE Ontario
    Fred Hahn
    President
    416-540-3979
    or
    CUPE Local 1750
    Harry Goslin
    President
    416-530-9838
    or
    CUPE Communications
    Kevin Wilson
    416-821-6641
    or
    CUPE Communications
    Wendy Forbes
    416-292-3999