Injured workers protest WSIB cuts: KPMG recommends cuts to Workers' Compensation benefits

Despite mounting evidence of poverty among injured workers, KPMG promotes further cuts that would force more of them to seek social assistance or become homeless.

Toronto (9 Dec. 2011) - The Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG) accuses the Liberal government of cutting benefits for the injured to try to solve years of underfunding of Ontario's workers' compensation system by businesses.

Just as the City of Toronto brought in consulting firm KPMG to recommend cuts to city services, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has brought in KPMG to reduce compensation benefits to injured workers.

Despite mounting evidence of poverty among injured workers, KPMG promotes further cuts that would force more of them to seek social assistance or become homeless. Not happy with the cuts already made by former Conservative Premier Mike Harris, KPMG wants more. They advocate more denials of initial injuries and recurrences and cuts to awards for pain and suffering. Workers unable to return to work would face "perpetual probation" by a Board committed to cost cutting. Even financial help to travel for medical care is on the chopping block.

The public institution known as Workers' Compensation arose out of an historic compromise in 1915, where injured workers lost the right to sue employers, in exchange for a just compensation system. Now they stand to lose both, in the hands of a cruel "cost cutting outfit." KPMG is out to destroy any "faint hope" injured workers have for fairness.

ONIWG will ask the minister of labour to put a stop to the KPMG report — because the WSIB management has already approved the KPMG recommendations. "The WSIB is hiding behind the accountants." says Karl Crevar, Treasurer of ONIWG. "Accountants don't care about the history and purpose of the WCB. KPMG is a blueprint for the end of workers' compensation. If the WSIB management can't say 'no' to KPMG, maybe its time for the Minister to put someone who cares about workers' compensation in charge of the WSIB."

The Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups and the minister of labour will meet at the annual injured workers Christmas rally on Friday, Dec. 9 at 11:00 am outside the Labour Ministry at 400 University Avenue in Toronto, Ontario. The annual event is always colourful and, this year, expect to see prisoner's suits that dramatize the KPMG's criticism of those who offer "faint hope" to injured workers and the KPMG sentence of perpetual probation for injured workers.

More information:

Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

Issues and Campaigns