VTHC WorkCover protest at VWA

rallyVTHC unions attended a demonstration at the offices of the Victorian WorkCover Authority on 25th August to protest about the recommendations from the Hanks Accident Compensation Act review due to be handed to the Minister for WorkCover Tim Holding.

The protest meeting was well attended with over 150 people present. Those in attendance included representatives from the following: AMIEU: AEU: AMWU: ANF: ASU: CEPU Postal division: CPSU/SPSF: CFMEU: MEAA: NTEU: TPA: TCFUA: UFU: Representatives from the injured workers' group and VTHC staff.

rallyVTHC President/AEU President Ann Taylor opened the meeting advising those in attendance that Peter Hanks QC was to hand his recommendations to Minister Holding today (25th August) and that the regulator the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) who made $ 1.2 Billion in so called profit had paid $750 million to the State government last financial year. Ann also made clear that a VWA document dated June 2008, detailed the process of the legislative change timelines.

rallyInjured Worker Frank Globan indicated that he had been treated badly through the WorkCover process, had been to the ACCS twice and a Medical Panel. Frank indicated that the Medical Panel found in his favour, and that although a decision of the Medical Panel is binding on all parties the employer had appealed on a question of law to the Supreme Court, and the decision was nullified. Frank indicated he was required to now proceed back to the Medical Panel.

AMIEU Secretary Graham Bird as a member of the Review's Stakeholder Reference Group established by Peter Hanks QC, provided details of some of the changes that would clearly be to the detriment to injured workers if the Victorian government accepted the changes. Graham referred to the proposal to exclude stress related injury if an employer took "a reasonable management action".

rallyCPSU/SPSF WorkCover Officer Geoff Lewin addressed the meeting advising that it was inappropriate for the regulator who was also the decision maker on workers claims to be setting down the legislative timeframe for government.

Ann Taylor concluded the meeting, advising those in attendance that the VTHC would fight against any cuts that were detrimental to injured workers, and all those present and more would be back to join with injured workers, whilst this time at the VWA, next time it will be at the government door step.