NDP commits to improve safety in every workplace and workers’ lives

Saint John, September 19, 2018 – The NDP is committed to improve the daily lives of workers.  Our plan for $10/day child care spaces in schools, open from 6am to 6pm, will greatly benefit workers with flexible schedules and at a cost that works for them.  Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, plus the labour laws reform for better working conditions and addressing precarious work, will improve lives of thousand of New Brunswickers.

‘’Stable, secure jobs that pay a decent wage provide benefits to entire families and to the greater community. But above all, we need to make sure workers are safe in their workplace.’’ – Jennifer McKenzie

There has been a major effort by employers in recent months to prevent employer assessment from rising to meet increased Worksafe costs . A Task Force was formed by the Gallant Government in 2017 which reported in July. The NDP doesn’t want to critique the work of the task force, but we want to outline the key elements in our vision for Worksafe.

An NDP government  would create a much greater emphasis on a culture of safety in every workplace in the province. And :

  • Keep the powers of Appeal tribunal to insure Worksafe operates within the bounds of its legislation.

  • Insure employer assessments are sufficient to meet the costs of Worksafe

  • End the three day waiting period

‘’The only real way to reduce Worksafe costs is to reduce workplace injuries. We all want our daughter, husband, friend, neighbour to come back home after their day at work. We can’t afford to not take action to protect the safety of workers.‘’ – Jennifer McKenzie

Worksafe NB has had artificially low employer assessments for much of the last twenty five years as a result of changes made in 1993 to cut benefits to injured workers including the 3 day waiting period for compensation for injury.

In recent years the courts have criticised the practice of Worksafe to use policies to ignore  clear legislative requirements. Changes to the appeals system has meant that more has to be paid out in benefits to injured workers.

Worksafe as worker compensation legislation must keep its original mandate to provide a no fault insurance fund to pay compensation both in temporary benefits and in pensions for all injured workers paid for out of employer assessments.