EDMONTON - The "customer satisfaction" survey that is being used by the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) to defend itself from mounting public criticism is deeply flawed and misleading, says the president of Alberta's largest union organization.
"Over the past few weeks, spokespeople from the WCB have repeatedly trotted out results from their annual client satisfaction survey. They've been using the survey to back up claims that things are running smoothly at the Board and that most people are satisfied with the service they receive," says Audrey Cormack, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.
"Unfortunately, the survey is deeply flawed. The Board only questioned people whose claims have been settled and whose files have been closed. People who are still waiting for a decision on their claims were excluded - as were people who are still receiving compensation payments or services such as rehabilitation therapy, vocational training, or employment counselling."
As a result of the survey's design, Cormack says the Board has failed to get an accurate picture of how its clients - injured workers and employers - really feel about the service they receive.
"The survey neglects to consider the views of the people who are most likely to be dissatisfied," says Cormack. "Given this situation, it's no wonder the WCB gets such high marks. That's what happens when you only question the people who are least likely to complain."
The WCB's satisfaction survey is conducted every year and the results are published in the Board's annual report. The 1998 survey showed satisfaction rates among the people surveyed were up slightly from 1997.
"I have no problem with surveys - they can be useful tools," says Cormack. "But I'm concerned that be excluding so many people, the survey paints a false picture. I'm also concerned that the Board is hiding behind these numbers and using them as an excuse to not address the pressing concerns about service and accountability that are being raised by workers and employers around the province."
For more information call:
Audrey Cormack, AFL President: 483-3021 (wk) 499-6530 (cell) 428-9367 (hm)