WorkCover inquiry ‘fixed’ – union
A PARLIAMENTARY inquiry recommending key WorkCover benefits be scrapped or reduced is a whitewash, a union says.
The New South Wales Government ordered the inquiry into the WorkCover scheme, which distributes benefits to injured workers, to try to rein in a $4.1 billion deficit.
The committee examining the scheme recommends benefits for employees injured on the way to and from work be scrapped, with only police exempted.
It also recommends medical expenses be capped and injury benefits be reduced after 13 weeks – replacing the current system of a 100 per cent payout for 26 weeks.
But the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says the inquiry simply rubber-stamped the government’s reform blueprint.
“The inquiry was a fix from start to finish, with the committee stacked by government and pro-government members,” CFMEU president, Rita Mallia, says in a statement.
“. . . It is unconscionable and a blatant attack on our most vulnerable workers – the injured – that will result in the creation of a class of new poor in this state.”
Ms Mallia says exempting police from changes to the travel cover means their lives have been valued higher than others.
The committee’s recommendations were tabled yesterday (Wednesday), several hours after thousands of workers protested over the changes outside Sydney’s Parliament House.