Injured workers to rally against O’Farrell’s workers compensation cuts

June 11, 2012

The Injured Workers Support Network released the statement below on June 12.

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Injured Workers Support Network members will tomorrow take to the streets and join unions and community supporters at a rally at NSW Parliament House in protest of the O’Farrell government’s proposed slashing of workers compensation benefits to injured and ill workers.

The NSW Workers Compensation Scheme Committee is due to table the report on the New South Wales Workers Compensation Scheme tomorrow following three days of public hearings.

Injured worker John McPhilbin said: “There is much more to reforms than simply cutting costs. There are a host of human welfare issues to consider. Failure to acknowledge the very real impact of ill-conceived and arbitrary cost cutting of current benefits will have on the lives’ of injured workers and their families presents a very real moral dilemma for the O’Farrell government.

Injured Workers Support Network recent survey of over 300 workers clearly identifies the issues frequently faced by injured workers and their families:

• 59% of injured workers reported having contemplated suicide as a result of their injury.

• 55% said their relationships had suffered significantly.

• 34% said they were now separated or divorced.

• 65% reported their health was “much worse” off than before their work related injury or

A failure to adequately address these issues will have a dire effect on injured workers and their families.

Injured Workers Support Network spokesperson Michelle Burgess said: “The government’s attack on injured workers and their families in the Issues Paper is appalling. Injured workers are already in a vulnerable position in the current scheme and the changes suggested seek only to make injured workers worse off.

“The Injured Workers Support Network is currently preparing its submission to the National Bullying Inquiry.

“Bullying has a direct link to workers compensation issues. The survey also identified injured workers are routinely being bullied by insurers and employers. This has serious consequences for individuals and the wider community. Every Australian has a right to feel safe and respected in the workplace”.

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