TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Associations (OTA) has warned the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) that it should engage the industry in “meaningful and substantive consultations” before acting on a soon-to-be-released WSIB funding review.
OTA president David Bradley is concerned the WSIB could act on recommendations in the report without considering the impact on industry.
“We appreciate the sense of urgency surrounding many of the Funding Review policy elements, but it is essential that the Board engage in comprehensive study and employer engagement before implementation of policies,” said Bradley. “Policies contained in the Funding Review will have a long-standing impact on Ontario employers and warrant years of comprehensive study.”
The report stems from an Auditor General recommendation in 2009, that pointed out the WSIB’s ballooning unfunded liability. The report is expected to stress the need to control costs and increase revenue.
“The trucking industry has seen its premium rates increase 15.5% from 2005-2012 while our total injury rates have declined 34%,” Bradley pointed out. “With the WSIB Board focused on the unfunded liability and the scope of the Funding Review limited to the revenue side of the equation, we are concerned that higher rates will continue to be imposed. The Board must fulfill the recommendation made by the Auditor General and perform a full, transparent review of its expenditures in order to restore financial stability and employer confidence in the system.”
The Funding Review is due to be released any day. OTA hopes to be involved in the discussions before any of its recommendations are implemented.
“OTA enjoyed a collaborative working relationship with WSIB during changes to the classification scheme in 1993 (Revenue Strategy) and the implementation of the experience rating in 1992,” continued Bradley. “As the largest single rate group, the trucking industry stands ready to work with the Board during this period of significant reform to find constructive and positive solutions.”