Injured workers from across the state join together calling on the Baird Government to restore justice to the state’s workers compensation scheme.

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June 19 2015 marks the third anniversary of the cuts that resulted in more than 5000 seriously injured NSW workers being cut off from weekly payments and 20,000, workers with long term injuries, losing coverage for medical treatment. This is despite the scheme now enjoying a near $4 billion surplus. 

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said with this kind of profit sitting in the coffers there can be no argument against restoring fair benefits including medical compensation to injured workers.

“The purpose of a workers compensation scheme is to provide support to injured workers, not for money to sit in the pockets of insurance companies. With a multi-billion dollar surplus, nothing less than the full restoration of medical expenses, the re-establishment of journey cover and the reinstatement of court settlements is acceptable.”

Earlier in June The Rev Fred Nile MLC, Leader of the Christian Democratic Party agreed to conduct an inquiry to identify the hardships experienced by injured workers under the 2012 changes and Mr Lennon said this is an important first step.

“Three years on we are calling on the Baird Government to allocate the full $3 billion-plus surplus to injured workers and let the scheme do what it was set up to do in the first place: provide much needed assistance to injured workers in their time of need,” he said. 

Unions are further concerned over changes to the national workers compensation scheme that if passed in the Senate will further dilute protections for injured workers across the country.

The Abbott Government’s Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Comcare) Bill restricts eligibility for accessing compensation and rehabilitation services, reduces or cuts compensation payments and makes it harder for injured workers to appeal unfair decisions resulting in lower safety standards and shifting the costs of workplace injuries from employers to workers.

“The Liberals cannot be allowed to continue to punish workers and push profits into the pockets of business.  As it stands workers in NSW have some of the poorest protections when it comes to workers compensation but Abbott’s Comcare changes will result in a new low for workers across the nation as employers abandon state and territory schemes to save money at the expense of workers. We need to stand up against these changes and restore justice for injured workers.”

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