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BARRIE, Ont. – Reform of workers’ compensation legislation was the top of the agenda at the bi-annual meeting of the Conference of Canadian Compensation Unions. The unions, which deliver services to injured workers and represent 10,000 workers’ compensation board employees across Canada, met in Barrie October 26 – 28, 2006 to endorse a set of principles for the national reform of legislation covering injured workers.

It is a unique opportunity for representatives of the employees of compensation boards to come together to discuss how the provincial governments are failing to adequately provide for the needs of Canada’s injured workers”, said Wilma Lewis, of the Prince Edward Island Workers’ Compensation Employees Union.

One of the purposes of the meeting was to endorse a universal set of principles that clearly state that all workers and all types of workplace injuries and illnesses should be covered,” said Sandra Wright, president of the Compensation Employees’ Union from British Columbia.

The principles call for a comprehensive public system, which includes universal coverage, prevention of injury and illness programs, including education programs for young workers, indexed pensions and benefits, and coverage of all workplace injuries and illnesses.

Our members deliver the services. We know the system and its failures best. We know how to fix the problems – and we think it is time to sound the alarm. Today we are launching a national campaign calling for the reform of the workers’ compensation systems in all jurisdictions across Canada,” said Harry Goslin, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1750, which represents workers at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario.

This campaign will bring fairness and equity to Canadian workers and their families, and reaffirm the historic compromise, which balances the rights of workers and employers,” stated Dave Cutler, president of CUPE Local 1063, representing Manitoba Compensation Board employees.

Participants were representatives of CUPE and the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).

For further information, please contact:

Sandra Wright
Compensation Employees’ Union British Columbia
(604) 278-4050

Harry Goslin
President, CUPE 1750 Ontario
(416) 580-9838