BeHumanWCB encourages workers to tell their stories to government review
Edmonton – A coalition of workers’ rights organizations is urging the WCB review panel to make the Workers’ Compensation system more human.
This fall, the provincial government is conducting a review of Alberta’s Workers Compensation Board. In order to ensure that workers are heard during this review process, the Canadian Injured Workers Association of Alberta and the Alberta Federation of Labour have partnered to create the ‘Be Human WCB’ campaign, which encourages Albertans to share their experiences with the WCB.
“We’re putting a human face on those who are being chewed up by a system that has become heartless,” Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said. “Injured workers are ill-served by a heartless WCB system. They need a system that treats them as humans, not numbers or liabilities.”
Workers’ Compensation exists to help workers who are injured at work. Whenever possible, the system is supposed to get workers healthy enough to return to their jobs. Unfortunately, Alberta’s WCB system has not been working as well as it should.
“It’s not just my experience – I’ve spoken to worker after worker after worker who has had a terrible time dealing with the WCB,” CIWAA executive director Donna Oberik said. “The system doesn’t treat workers like people – they get denied legitimate claims and face a bureaucratic nightmare that never gets resolved. The life they knew is over. The system needs to be more human.”
When WCB turns down a legitimate workplace injury, that individual worker and their family end up paying. But the costs extend beyond that, as these injured workers end up in the public healthcare system costing all of us more money.
“Too often, the WCB has treated employers as the client instead of injured workers,” McGowan said. “They’ve focused on denying legitimate claims from injured workers in order to keep employer premiums low. That cannot continue.”
To learn more about the WCB, or to write an e-mail to the WCB review panel, visit www.BeHumanWCB.ca
Olav Rokne, Communications Director, Alberta Federation of Labour at 780.218.4351 (cell) or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.