It appears the Ontario Government has once again forgotten the physical and financial pain of injured workers.
Mr. Peter Page, President of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG) sent an open letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty on March 15, 2012 showing that “every time the government or the WSIB raises a concern about its funding level, we find cuts to the benefits of injured workers.” But, as Mr. Page notes, the President of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Mr. David Marshall, will receive a bonus of $80,000 – on top of his $400,000 salary.
Mr. Page goes on to show in his letter that under Mr. Marshall’s leadership, the WSIB has:
- Increased the denial rate of new claims by 50%
- Cut $631 million in benefits
- Slashed Vocational Training from 19 months to 5 months
- Reduced the average annual benefit paid to an injured worker at a 6 year post injury review by 28.6%
- Reduction of 31.3% in permanent impairment awards compared to 2010
- Laid off 200 WSIB staff
The WSIB Board of Directors in September 2011 passed a resolution giving Mr. Marshall the power to approve all operational policies, including changes to those previously approved by the Board of Directors. It appears that Mr. Marshall’s campaign to cut costs is out of control. He stated to the Standing Committee on Public Affairs on February 24, 2010 “I mean you can’t recover this amount of money without some sort of pain somewhere in the system… We are taking it very seriously. It’s in my letter. I don’t get any bonus unless I can meet this target. It’s a very clear target, and we’re going to get there. I’m confident that we will…” (Hansard)
Mr. Marshall’s bonus target is based on achieving reductions to the unfunded liability and “increasing efficiency”, and he has made it very clear that he will do everything in his power to get his $80K bonus – including achieving full funding on the backs of injured workers.
This is not right or fair to injured workers and their families in Ontario.