WSIB Staff Reductions Aimed at “Improving Service”, “Fiscally Responsible”: WSIB Faces $12 Billion Unfunded Liability

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The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has announced staff reductions. The WSIB said on March 21st, 2012 that approximately 129 staff are affected and that more than 100 additional employees elected to voluntarily leave the WSIB.

On its website, the WSIB states that,

“This is part of a long-term business strategy to transform the WSIB into a more effective and efficient organization and to enhance service levels to Ontario’s workers and employers. The WSIB has launched a number of self-serve, eServices and automation improvements in the last two years and more are being implemented in the future. These tools make it easier to transact business with the WSIB and require fewer employees to perform manual tasks and administrative work.

“The WSIB’s current efforts are focused on improving service as well as being fiscally responsible. Along with automation and process improvements, outsourcing certain functions will help the WSIB stay current with modern business practices while allowing WSIB employees to focus on supporting its core business.”

The WSIB states that it faces an unfunded liability of approximately $12 billion dollars, which is a huge number. A recent report by the CD Howe institute says that, “Were the WSIB to discount benefit liabilities at a rate that better reflected the cost of guaranteeing benefits, it would report an unfunded liability about $7.4 billion higher, at $19.7 billion . . .”