Privatization – on or off the table?

Public administration of workers’ compensation  and collective liability are core Meredith principles frequently challenged.

In New Zealand, the governing National party’s election pledge to introduce private sector competition into work injury compensation appears to be no longer under consideration. Vigorously opposed by the NZ Council of Trade Unions, privatization is now ‘off the agenda’ according  to ACC’s Chief Executive.. (source: Grant Duncan’s blog Policy Matters, Aug.  29, 2013) Continue reading

More Meredith hearings scheduled

Great news – in response to requests from injured worker groups, Sir Meredith will be visiting the following cities shortly:

Barrie   [flyer]
Monday September 23, 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
Georgian College, Rm 218
One Georgian Drive

North Bay
Monday September 30 from 9:00 – 5:00
OPSEU Union Office 579 Fraser St.

On the East Coast

NB_flagFollowing up on the Minister’s April announcement of a review in response to  public criticism of its workers compensation system, the New Brunswick government recently released a discussion paper and details of a three-year (2013-2016) multi-stage legislative review, the first in 20 years. The review will examine:

  • the status and viability of recommendations made in previous reviews
  • the governance of WorkSafeNB and the Appeals Tribunal
  • the claims and appeals processes
  • dispute resolution
  • benefit payments and practices
  • the relationship between legislation and WorkSafeNB policy

NL_flagIn Newfoundland and Labrador the statutory review of the workers’ compensation system concluded its public consultations in April, but has yet to report.

The CUPE submission (Mar. 2013) emphasizes that a statement of basic principles, such as the Stanhope Manifesto which is consistent with the Meredith Principles, should form the basis for any Newfoundland Labrador changes. The Federation of Labour submission (April 2013) “Restoring fairness to NL’s workers’ compensation system finds the proposed benefits ceiling erodes Meredith’s no-fault cornerstone. The Federation also states their firm view that the experience rating system marks a departure from the historic compromise and “has eroded our system of workers’ compensation, not just in NL, but across the country”.

An August Supreme Court decision affirmed the historic compromise in a Newfoundland workplace death case (Marine Services International Ltd v Ryan Estate) in which two fishermen drowned when their ship capsized. The Court determined that as they were covered under workers’ compensation legislation their estate could not sue for negligence the company nor its employee who had designed and built the vessel.