We want to share how pleased our union and our members are to see the B.C. government's release of the long-awaited review of our workers' compensation system by retired labour lawyer Janet Patterson
The report, released August 26, is not only a victory on the path towards a more worker-centered system but a validation of the lived experience of injured workers in B.C. – including many current and former BCGEU members who courageously shared their experiences as part of the review's public consultation process.
The report offers over 100 recommendations to government in plain language and great detail, including some that our union made in our own comprehensive, written submission. Recommendations of significance to our members include:
- Steps towards improved communication by the WCB
- Protecting workers from retaliation for filing a WCB claim
- A new role for WCB's clinical services that emphasizes collaborating with treating physicians
- Improving the return-to-work process and support for vocational rehabilitation
- Creating a Fair Practices office
- Increasing worker representation on the WCB's Board of Directors
- Measures to address gender and identity-based discrimination in the workers' compensation system
Our union is strongly encouraging government to implement all of Ms. Patterson's recommendations, and as soon as possible.
Your help is needed to amplify our call. Please let your MLA know that you, too, want to see the Patterson report's recommendations implemented immediately, to rebuild your confidence in our workers' compensation system.
Finally, and importantly, I want to express my deepest gratitude for the efforts of injured workers and their families who courageously delivered powerful, personal public testimonies, many of which are excerpted in the report. Because of your contributions, this report is so impactful.
Your shared, lived experience makes it clear that balance must be restored between the interests of workers and employers, now!
Stephanie Smith, President
Doug Kinna, Executive Vice President
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