Injured workers at greater risk by massive cut to benefits

Injured workers at greater risk by massive cut to benefits

The Ontario Workers’ Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is slashing its budget by 30%!

The WSIB recently announced an end to its unfunded liability (any financial obligation that does not have savings set aside for it), which is resulting in cuts across the system. The Board intends to cut premiums by a full 30%. GLR Gary Hynes, responsible for Health and Safety at IAM Canada, says, “this is the same as cutting the budget by that amount! They’ve already cut payments to injured workers by 66% by 2015 – this will be devastating to those who depend on those payments.”

The cuts are part of the new Conservative government’s austerity program where they say they will lower taxes, reduce red tape and create jobs. Workers know this is just another ruse to implement more hardships on workers and their families and give massive tax cuts to corporations and employers without getting any job-creation guarantees.

The cuts instituted by the WSIB have taken place despite the number of claims dropping by more than one-third since 2015. “The Liberals were hard enough to deal with because of their cuts. The Conservative will rain down more havoc on injured workers,” said Hynes.

Wayne Gates, Ontario NDP Labour critic said the cuts are “a kick in the teeth for workers in this province.”

Under the Wynne Liberals, injured workers’ claims were alarmingly reduced. Under the Ford Conservatives, it has already gotten much worse. Corporations are benefitting while injured workers are experiencing greater hardship.

Nearly 46% of workers are living on the verge of poverty 5 years after their injury and highlights the injustice of the regulatory framework.