The union that represents staff at the Workers Compensation Board in Manitoba is joining the call for presumptive coverage for workers who contract COVID-19 on the job.

“As the staff who deal with WCB claims every day, we want to do our part in supporting the front-line heroes who are fighting COVID-19,” said Dennis Kshyk, President of CUPE Local 1063 representing 500 staff at WCB. “Presumptive coverage for workers is the right thing to do, and we believe the Manitoba government can and should be a leader in Canada.”

More front-line staff are being exposed to COVID-19, and while CUPE is calling for more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all workers, presumptive WCB will help any worker who contracts COVID-19 on the job.

CUPE Local 1063 supports the Manitoba Federation of Labour’s call for presumptive WCB coverage and is ready to provide that support to Manitobans.

Today the government made an announcement that WCB should extend relief from penalties for late payments to WCB, but nothing that supports workers on the front-line fighting COVID-19.

“WCB staff are ready and willing to help support our front-line workers however we can, and presumptive WCB coverage is the way to do it,” said Kshyk. “We know how hard health care, school, childcare, emergency services, grocery store workers, cleaners, and others are working to fight COVID-19 and support our community, and they deserve the security of knowing WCB will be there for them.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than 700,000 members.  In Manitoba, CUPE represents approximately 37,000 members working in health care facilities, personal care homes, school divisions, municipal services, social services, childcare centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services.