Patterson Report could put workers’ compensation on the road to a long-overdue rebalancing: BCFED

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August 26, 2020 | News Release

(Unceded Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam territories — Vancouver, BC)  Today’s release of Janet Patterson’s report on workers’ compensation in BC is a watershed moment for sick and injured workers, BCFED president Laird Cronk said today.

“For the first time, we’ve had a process that put the voices of sick and injured workers and their families and their experience with the workers’ compensation system in our province front and centre,” Cronk said. “We thank government for releasing this report, which is a mark of respect. It validates workers’ experience with a system that for too long has often been stacked against them.”

He said it will take some time to read the full 516-page report, and the BCFED will respond more substantively soon. But he added that he welcomes its release.

“We’ve started reviewing the report in detail, and based on our very first look, Ms. Patterson has brought a very thoughtful, thorough approach to this report. And her recommendations make it clear she has listened with care and compassion to the workers who came forward to share their insights.”

Cronk said the 47-page addendum summarizing submissions from workers, family members and others to Patterson’s public hearings is especially notable.

“That document sets a new standard for respecting the experience of sick and injured workers. And it should be mandatory reading for everyone who works in this field,” he said.

“Previous governments skewed the workers’ compensation system in favour of employers and against workers,” Cronk said. “Coming so soon after the much-needed reforms in Bill 23, the Patterson Report could put us on the road to finally rebalancing workers’ compensation in BC. And it moves us closer to the goal of a truly worker-centered compensation system.”

“On behalf of all workers in BC, and especially those who’ve been injured or made sick because of their work, I want to deliver a heartfelt thanks to Janet Patterson for everything she’s done.”