Author: Janet

Upcoming Webinars – On the Move Partnership

About the On the Move Partnership –

Across the world a wide range of people are mobile for work – women and men, citizens and temporary foreign workers, new workers and those near retirement. From hours-long daily commutes, to travel that takes workers away from home for days, weeks, months and even years; from mobility within work (truck driving, shipping and others) to mobility to get to and from work; from cars and buses, to trains, ships and planes; from highly-paid top executive jobs, to minimum-wage service jobs; from natural resource dependent industry to natural wonder dependent tourism – the types of mobility are many and changing.

Here are the upcoming webinar events in the series:

Workers’ Compensation Challenges for the Mobile Workforce: Policy and Practice in Canadian Jurisdictions

(Katherine Lippel, Dana Howse and Barbara Nei).

May 30, 2019, 3:30 pm NL/3:00 pm Atlantic/ 2:00 pm Eastern/ 11:00 AM PT

Temporary Foreign Workers: Health and Wellness

(Dalia Gesualdi-Fecteau, Adam Perry and Barbara Neis).

June 10, 2019, 3:30 pm NL /3:00 pm Atlantic/2:00 pm Eastern/ 11:00 AM PT

Occupational Health and Safety Challenges for the Mobile Workforce: Policy and Practice in Canadian Jurisdictions

(Katherine Lippel and Barbara Neis).

July 4, 2019, 3:30 pm NL / 3:00 pm Atlantic/ 2:00 pm Eastern/ 11:00 AM PT

You can view the full event details for each webinar here:

https://www.wwdpi.org/Webinars/health-and-the-mobile-workforce

Cuts Will Make Jobs Less Safe, PCs Warned

NDP critic asks: ‘What exactly is the value of a life of a worker to this government?’

Sara Mojtehedzadeh

The Toronto Star May 15, 2019

Funding cuts to the office tasked with preventing workplace deaths will make workers less safe on the job, opposition critics argued at Queen’s Park on Tuesday.

“No one person should go to work in the province of Ontario and not know if they’re coming home at the end of the day to their families,” said NDP labour critic Wayne Gates during question period.

“What exactly is the value of a life of a worker to this government?”

It comes as the Ministry of Labour’s prevention office – which is tasked with preventing workplace injury, illness and death in the province – faces $16 million in cuts this year.

The cuts emerge despite the fact it is not taxpayer-funded and does not impact the government’s bottom line.

The office’s costs are covered by reimbursements from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Meanwhile, Labour Minister Laurie Scott said Tuesday an extra $512,000 will be dedicated to health and safety enforcement this year.

“We had important decisions to make putting people as a priority,” Scott said.

“We have looked at health and safety programs. We have worked with the partners that deliver these health and safety programs.

“There are other avenues of revenue for them to provide the programs.

“But we have, as I said, again, increased our enforcement budget by half a million dollars,” she said.

The bulk of the cuts will affect research projects on issues such as occupational disease, as well as the province’s independent health and safety associations, which provide ministry-approved training and support to workplaces across Ontario.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Labour announced plans to reform training for workplace joint health and safety committees by allowing some of it to be completed online to “reduce the burden on business while maintaining standardized high-quality training accessible to all workers across Ontario.”

“Slashing funding designed to protect workers, forcing training sessions online and creating unaccountable classes will make workers less safe,” Gates said.

Scott called “modernizing health and safety programs” a positive.

“We have the priority of the workers in mind in health and safety,” she said.

But Chris Buckley, head of the Ontario Federation of Labour, called the funding cuts “alarming.”

“(Doug Ford) professes to be there for the little guy, he professes to be there for the people,” he said.

“He’s got a very odd way of showing it.”

Rob Ellis became a health and safety advocate after his son David was killed in a bakery on his second day on the job.

His organization, MySafeWork, has provided workplace safety education to hundreds of thousands of students across the province.

Ellis told the Star he learned he will no longer receive government funding.

“This is concerning because we’re not told why these cutbacks are taking place and what will replace them,” he said.

“So I am really concerned about youth going out to work.

“I am really concerned about our newcomers who we desperately need to fill in our trades.”

Ellis added, “We’re still excited about saving lives.

“But we’re disappointed that the Ontario government doesn’t feel it’s an important part of remaining competitive.”

Ontario Worker Safety Program Cut by $16M

Budget reduction makes ‘no sense’ because prevention office not funded by province’s taxpayers, advocates say

Sara Mojtehedzadeh

The Toronto Star May 11, 2019

The provincial office tasked with preventing occupational injury, illness and death in Ontario will see $16 million in cuts this year, despite the fact the body is not taxpayer funded and does not impact the government’s bottom line.

The Ministry of Labour’s prevention office budget will drop from more than $119 million in 2018 to $103 million, new budget estimates released by the Ford government show. The bulk of the cuts will impact research projects on issues like occupational disease, as well as the province’s independent health and safety associations, which provide ministry-approved training and support to workplaces across Ontario.

The cutbacks follow a “thorough review of all government programs in order to ensure that valuable programs and services are sustainable,” according to ministry spokesperson Janet Deline, resulting in “difficult decisions with respect to funding agreements.”

But critics say the cuts make “no sense” because the prevention office’s costs are fully reimbursed by the provincial workers’ compensation board and are not borne by the general public.

“It’s not even tax dollars. It makes no sense. It will not affect the provincial deficit,” said Maryth Yachnin, a lawyer with the Toronto-based legal clinic Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario (IAVGO).

“It will ultimately lead to more accidents,” Yachnin said.

Although it operates out of the Ministry of Labour, the prevention office is funded by reimbursements from the workers’ compensation board as part of its mandate to promote safe workplaces. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is funded entirely by employers’ insurance premiums. In exchange for benefits provided by the province’s no-fault compensation system, injured workers give up their right to sue their employer.

Last year, the WSIB eliminated its unfunded liability, or the difference between the projected future costs of paying benefits to injured workers with existing claims and the money in the board’s accident fund. As a result, employers received a 30 per cent reduction in the premiums they are required to pay the WSIB starting in 2019.

Board president Tom Teahan has said the WSIB’s improved financial position would “ensure we can offer the best health-care services” to Ontario workers. In 2018, the WSIB provided $217 million to the ministry to cover occupational health and safety and prevention office costs.

Separately, the government is undertaking a review of the workers’ compensation system with a report to Labour Minister Laurie Scott expected by the end of the year.

“The reduction in spending in this program is part of the ministry’s commitment to achieving value for money and does not impact the government’s fiscal position,” Deline said.

“All programs are subject to expectations around service modernization, cost efficiencies, and value for money.”

As a result, the province’s health and safety associations (HSAs) will see a funding drop of $12 million.

While HSAs generate some of their own revenue through training program fees, other prevention efforts – like the Occupational Health Clinics For Ontario Workers and the Office of the Worker Adviser, both of which have been instrumental in assisting occupational disease victims receive workers’ compensation – do not generate any revenue.

Ministry funding for both those bodies flatlined this year.

Research funding will drop by $1.68 million, from $8.5 million last year to $6.8 million this year. In the past, that money has gone to initiatives like preventing chemical exposure amongst vulnerable nail salon workers and educating migrant farm workers about chemical hazards as well as reducing violence toward health care workers.

“Those are cutting edge issues,” said Andy King, a researcher at McMaster University and the former chair of the ministry’s occupational health and safety research advisory program.

“We’re trying to get some really crunchy research that should not only inform employers about what they should do, but inform inspectors about what they should do.

“But that’s not an interest of this government,” he said.

Deline said a “small portion of the cuts are to some research and grant organizations due to various reasons including end of time-limited project funding, or programs not aligning with prevention priorities.”

King said independent health and safety research that involves both employers and labour in project design has traditionally been a strength in Ontario, but the budget for it was small even before the cutbacks.

“We have a record that’s amazing. At the same time, there’s not a lot of money there,” he said. “This is really important to workers because ideological approaches to research kill workers.”

You are invited to … Take part in a survey to help shape the future of disability and work in Canada

Dear Friend,

We need your help to build a more inclusive labour market for people with disabilities in Canada.
We are the Disability and Work in Canada (DWC) Steering Committee. In the fall of 2018, working with our partners across Canada, we completed a draft strategy that will provide the foundation for a pan-Canadian approach on employment for people with disabilities.
The draft strategy outlines high-level initiatives to achieve our vision: a country in which people with and without disabilities have the same opportunities and choices in careers, jobs and work. https://www.crwdp.ca/en/moving-forward-together-disability-and-work-canada-dwc-initiative
We are seeking your feedback on the draft strategy through an online survey. The goal of the survey is to further develop the strategy and ensure that it is relevant to you and your group or community.
We will be revising the strategy to reflect what we hear from you and others. The revised strategy is expected to be released this fall. To ensure your input is reflected in the revised strategy, please complete the survey by May 3, 2019.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/27L7FQP

Your survey results will be kept confidential. The survey should take you about 15 minutes to complete.
If the survey is not accessible for you to complete, or you have any questions or concerns, please contact by email to Feedback@DWCStrategy.ca.
And please encourage your colleagues to provide their feedback on the draft strategy by forwarding them this email or sending them the survey link above.
You can watch this short video to learn more about the draft strategy and feedback survey:

Thank you in advance for taking the survey and providing feedback on the draft strategy. Your participation will help people with disabilities, business leaders, service providers and policy-makers work together to ensure the necessary supports and services necessary are in place to help make Canada a truly inclusive society.

Invitation à participer au sondage – Aidez-vous à façonner l’avenir de l’invalidité et du travail au Canada
Vous êtes invité(e) à…
Participer au sondage pour nous aider à façonner l’avenir de l’invalidité et du travail au Canada
Nous comptons sur vous pour nous aider à construire des milieux de travail plus inclusifs pour les personnes handicapées au Canada.
Nous sommes un comité de pilotage sur l’invalidité et le travail au Canada. En automne 2018, en collaboration avec nos partenaires au Canada, nous avons mis en œuvre une ébauche de stratégie qui servira de base pour une approche pancanadienne sur l’embauche des personnes handicapées.
Cette ébauche de stratégie comprend les initiatives de haut niveau conduisant à atteindre notre vision : l’emploi au Canada sera inclusif ; les personnes ayant ou non des incapacités auront les mêmes possibilités et choix de carrière, de métier, et de travail. http://www.crwdp.ca/fr/aller-lavant-ensemble-initiative-linvalidite-du-travail-au-canada-itc

Nous aimerons avoir votre avis sur l’ébauche de stratégie par le biais d’un sondage en ligne. Le but de ce sondage est de continuer à élaborer la stratégie et s’assurer qu’elle soit pertinente pour vous, votre groupe, ou votre communauté.
Nous réviserons cette stratégie en fonction de vos rétroactions et de celles du public. La révision de la stratégie sera publiée cet automne. Pour s’assurer que votre opinion soit bien reflétée dans la stratégie révisée, veuillez remplir le sondage d’ici le 3 mai, 2019.

https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/6N3D2S8

Vos réponses resteront confidentielles. Ce questionnaire vous prendra environ 15 minutes.
Si vous avez des problèmes d’accessibilité, ou si vous avez des questions ou préoccupations à ce sujet, veuillez s’il vous plait nous contacter à Feedback@DWCStrategy.ca

et en savoir plus sur l’ébauche de stratégie ainsi que sur les avis recueillis sur le sondage.

Veuillez également encourager vos collègues à nous donner leur avis sur l’ébauche de stratégie en leur transférant ce courriel ou en leur envoyant seulement le lien ci-dessus.
Merci d’avance pour avoir pris le temps de répondre à ce sondage et nous avoir donné votre avis sur l’ébauche de stratégie. Votre participation aidera les personnes handicapées, les chefs d’entreprise, les fournisseurs de services ainsi que les responsables de politiques.

Sincerely / Cordialement
Steve Mantis – ONIWG
Disability and Work in Canada Steering Committee
Le comité de pilotage de l’invalidité et du travail au Canada