SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

California | East Bay | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Labor & Workers

View other events for the week of 8/15/2014

Title: Oakland Protest Speakout Against Attack On CA Health & Safety and Injured Workers
START DATE: Friday August 15
TIME: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location Details:
Elihu Harris State Building
1515 Clay Street, Auditorium Oakland, CA
Event Type: Other
Health and safety advocates and injured workers will be speaking out against the frontal attack on Cal-OSHA and injured workers with pro-insurance legislation like SB 863. Art Pulaski the California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer and Angie Wei the legislative director of the California AFL-CIO and chair of the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation have colluded with the insurance industry and bosses to help attack Cal-OSHA and workers compensation.

8/15 Injured Workers National Network Will Be Mobilizing To Speakout Against the SB 863 and The Attack On Cal-Osha

On 8/15/2014 there will be a meeting of the California Commission On Health and Safety And Workers Compensation in
Oakland . This commission which is run by supporters of deregulation of health and safety and workers compensation has been
involved in pushing SB 863 which was a frontal attack on California injured workers. This bill passed by Brown, the Democratic
politicians and Art Pulaski, the Executive Director of the California AFL-CIO and Angie Wei, the legislative director of the
California AFL-CIO has put more obstacles in the way to get injured workers medical treatment and outsourced the
determinations of injuries to the corrupt Maximus corporation which was awarded a $40 million dollar contract to
send workers cases to anonymous doctors who are not even required to be licensed in California.
The Commission has also refused to do any studies about the starvation and liquidation of Cal-OSHA and the
escalating death and injuries in explosions and fires at refineries and chemical plants in California.
It is time to speak out against the travesty and continuing attack on the 18.5 million workers in California and their
right to a health and safe workplace and medical treatment and compensation when they are injured.
Pulaski and Wei have also allowed a political purge of the DIR and Cal-OSHA by Christine Baker the Executive Director who
has refused to have proper staffing of Cal-Osha.
Injured Workers National Network
http://www.iwnn.org


8/15 CA Commission On Health And Safety & Workers Compensation Meeting • Evaluation of Senate Bill 863
DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

COMMISSION ON HEALTH AND SAFETY AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
1515 Clay Street, 17th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

Telephone: (510) 622-3959 Fax: (510) 622-3265
Email: CHSWC [at] dir.ca.gov Website: http://www.dir.ca.gov/chswc

NOTICE OF MEETING

Date: Friday, August 15, 2014 Time: 10:00 am
Place: Elihu Harris State Building

1515 Clay Street, Auditorium Oakland, CA

AGENDA

•  Approval of Minutes from the December 13, 2013 CHSWC Meeting Angie Wei, Chair/Christy Bouma, Acting Chair

•  Approval of Minutes from the March 6, 2014 CHSWC Meeting Angie Wei, Chair/Christy Bouma, Acting Chair

• DIR Updates by Director of the Department of Industrial Relations Christine Baker, Director, DIR

Destie Overpeck, Acting Administrative Director, DWC Dr. Rupali Das, Medical Director, DWC

• Update on RAND Studies:

• Disability Evaluation and Medical Treatment

• Ambulatory Surgery Center

• Home Health Care Fee Schedule

• Evaluation of Senate Bill 863

Barbara Wynn, RAND

• Report on the Public Self Insured Study Mark Priven, Bickmore

• Proposal for a Study on the Frequency and Severity of Sharps Injuries Among Non- Healthcare Occupations

Frank Neuhauser, UC Berkeley

• CHSWC Report
Eduardo Enz, CHSWC

• Other Business / Proposals / Public Questions and Comments

 May result in an action item for CHSWC consideration and/or vote

* Please Note: Public comments are limited to three minutes per speaker. Agenda topics are subject to CHSWC review and approval.

The agenda may be adjusted depending upon the time needed for each item. Members of the public should plan sufficient time to pass through building security.

California Job Safety Weakened By ‘Friends of Labor’ Politicians
http://labornotes.org/2014/08/viewpoint-california-job-safety-weakened-friends-labor-politicians
August 08, 2014


A severely corroded pipe at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California, caused an explosion in August 2012 that nearly killed several workers and sickened thousands in the town. Cal/OSHA inspectors have been cut by Democrat Jerry Brown's administration. Photo: U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

For their own protection, California workers and their unions had better start raising hell about the erosion of job safety protections since Democrat Jerry Brown became governor four years ago with strong labor backing.

Since 1973, California has run its own “state plan” program with regulations and enforcement, Cal/OSHA—widely seen as more effective than Federal OSHA.

However, since Brown appointed Christine Baker as director of the department that controls job safety funding and staffing, Cal/OSHA has been put on a “starvation diet” that has undermined its effectiveness.

In 2012, the last year for which there is confirmed data, 375 California workers were killed on the job—meaning every single day a Californian goes to work but never returns home. Thousands more die annually due to occupational diseases contracted at work.

That year 14,000 workers were hospitalized after job injuries, and there were 40,220 reported cases of lost workdays (median days lost = 21 days). State workers comp data indicates there were 646 workplace amputations that year.

Nevertheless, under Brown and Baker, Cal/OSHA has been slowly stripped of the resources, staffing, and political will necessary to reduce this carnage.
In January 2011 Brown inherited from Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger a Cal/OSHA inspectorate of 195 field compliance officers. By July 2014, there were only 175 filled enforcement inspector positions.

For California’s 18.6 million civilian labor force, those 175 positions represent an inspector-to-worker ratio of one inspector to 106,286 workers. This ratio is much worse than Fed OSHA’s ratio of one to 66,000, Washington state’s ratio of one to 33,000, or Oregon’s ratio of one to 28,000.

Even if all 18 vacancies were filled, the total number of field enforcement officers would be 193—below Schwarzenegger’s level, and also well below the number of California Fish & Game wardens (250) currently in the field.

Surely Californians deserve the same level of state safety protections as workers in other states—or as the wildlife in their own state?

Promoting Partnership

In addition to restricting resources, Brown and Baker have promoted the standard Republican approach to regulatory enforcement at Cal/OSHA. They believe that the vast majority of employers either do the right thing, or would do the right thing if they knew how. So Cal/OSHA’s priority, they say, should be compliance assistance, partnerships and consultation for these responsible employers.

For the small layer of employers they consider bad actors, traditional regulatory action is required to eliminate unfair competition. But for responsible employers making a good-faith effort who make an honest mistake, Baker and Brown maintain, Cal/OSHA should not be issuing “gotcha” citations and fines proposed by workplace inspectors.

And it’s getting worse. After an intense campaign against her by California employers and their lobbyists, Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess was forced to resign by Baker in September 2013. After that, the department has deprioritized the agency’s across-the-board enforcement, instead promoting Baker’s “new paradigm” of compliance assistance and partnerships with employers, especially large, politically-connected firms.

Unions Missing

The problems that Cal/OSHA faces—lack of resources, of staffing, and of aggressive inspecting—are reflected in many other states where job safety agencies have even fewer resources and even more business-friendly attitudes than Cal/OSHA under Brown.

Other states will hardly be motivated to raise the bar by California’s example. Instead, nearby Washington and Oregon may soon face employer pressure to follow Cal/OSHA’s downward trajectory.

Unfortunately, California’s top labor officials seem more concerned with maintaining friendly relations with the Brown Administration and preserving labor’s political capital for issues they deem more important than health and safety. Since labor cannot get everything it wants in Sacramento, the union thinking goes, lobbying priorities have to be set, and some issues pushed to the bottom of the list.

Unfortunately, occupational health and safety has not been a high priority of organized labor for several decades now. The results of that political expediency are painfully clear in workplaces around the state.

If it were not for grassroots pressure from the labor movement, there would have been no
Federal OSHA Act enacted in 1970, nor Cal/OSHA established in 1973. Building a base of worker health and safety advocates—in union and non-union shops alike—is the key to strengthening OSHA enforcement today, both on the shop floor and in the halls of the state Capitol. This will require a member-driven change of approach for many union and workers’ rights organizations.

In California and elsewhere, workers and their organizations need to hold elected officials’ and their appointees’ feet to fire, and not let them weaken crucial safety regulations and effective enforcement any further.

Garrett Brown retired from Cal/OSHA in January 2014 after 18 years as a field compliance officer and 2.5 years as Special Assistant to the Chief in Cal/OSHA headquarters. In July 2014, he established an “Inside Cal/OSHA” website at insidecalosha.org. Brown is a member of the Professional Engineers in California Government union.

- See more at: http://labornotes.org/2014/08/viewpoint-california-job-safety-weakened-friends-labor-politicians#sthash.qU4Ea323.dpuf



Life And Death! The Attack On OSHA, Workers Health And Safety And Injured Workers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVeEzoOerbI&feature=
An educational conference was held on July 19, 2014 in San Francisco
on the attack on OSHA and health and safety as well as the growing
crisis for injured workers and the corruption by the insurance
industry and employers of the workers compensation system
for injured workers.
Speaking were
Carrie Clark, California Healthy Workplace Advocates
Dr. Larry Rose, Former Cal-OSHA Medical Unit Director
Jen Wallis, Railroad Workers United Health and Safety Advocate IBT BLET Division 238, BNSF
Dr. Andrea Polk, Expert On Workers Comp AFT 2121 and QME Examiner
Former Teacher At The Martin Luther King Middle School In San Francisco and Former Member of UESF
Daniel Berman, Author of "Death On The Job"
JaeHa Jung, Director of Telecommunications and IT Korean Railway Workers Union KRWU
It was sponsored by the Injured Workers National Network IWNN.org
Facebook Injured Workers National Network - IWNN
Production of Labor Video Project http://www.laborvideo.org

SB 863: Landmark Workers’ Comp Reform to Support Injured Workers
http://www.calaborfed.org/index.php/site/page/sb_863_landmark_workers_comp_reform_to_support_injured_workers
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski

"Finally, there’s a solution to the growing workers’ compensation crisis – a bill that provides a system-wide benefit increase of $860 million for injured workers, while reducing delays and friction that waste time and money.
"SB 863 is a landmark proposal that achieves a true rarity in Sacramento. It finds a way to increase benefits while reducing costs. After months of negotiations between labor and management, and a statewide listening tour hosted by the Department of Industrial Relations, a comprehensive reform deal was struck that benefits both workers and employers.
"Under this proposal, workers receive a 30 percent benefit increase. Those injured on the job will receive faster, higher quality medical treatment. Workers on permanent disability will receive a benefit increase and quicker payments of benefits. Dispute resolution is expedited, freeing up hundreds of millions of dollars that go straight to injured workers and their families. By cutting waste in the system, benefit increases were made possible while overall costs were reduced.
"Injured workers have suffered enough under Arnold Schwarzenegger’s draconian cutbacks to workers’ compensation. SB 863 puts more money in the pockets of injured workers while strengthening the system for years to come. Doing nothing is not an option. Under the current system, insurance costs are expected to rise by 18% in January. SB 863 is the right reform at a critical time.
"Opponents of SB 863, many of whom profit from the system, have engaged in a campaign of misinformation in an effort to protect the failed status quo. Not only are the reforms proposed in SB 863 necessary, they’re literally a lifeline for the system and the workers it benefits.
"SB 863 tackles the toughest challenges facing the workers’ compensation system head on, providing fresh hope to injured workers that have suffered for eight years under the failed reforms of the Schwarzenegger Administration. It’s time for real reform that puts injured workers first. We urge the legislature to pass SB 863 today, sending it to Gov. Brown for his signature."

CA AFL-CIO Angie Wei Gets Carrie Nevans Community Service Award For Selling Injured Workers Down The River
Newsline No. 05-13
February 6, 2013
Twitter @CA_DIR
Facebook
2013 Carrie Nevans community service awards announced

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), a division of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 Carrie Nevans Community Service Award. This year’s award in Northern California goes to Angie Wei, Legislative Director of the California Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Sean McNally, president of KBA Engineering in Bakersfield is the Southern California recipient. Both are commissioners with the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation. The awards will be presented at the upcoming 20th annual DWC educational conference luncheons.

“We received many outstanding nominations but Ms. Wei’s and Mr. McNally’s collaborative contributions to the workers’ compensation community with their work on Senate Bill 863 were stellar” said DIR Director Christine Baker.

“Their exceptional efforts were instrumental in negotiating and developing a reform package that drastically improves the system. They personally spent hundreds of hours to craft a bill that increased benefits to injured workers and produced cost-saving efficiencies that both labor and management could agree to,” continued Ms. Baker.

Ms. Wei has been with the California Labor Federation since 2000. She previously worked as an advocate for the California Immigrant Welfare Coalition and served as a public policy director for the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

As is noted above, Mr. McNally is the President of KBA Engineering in Bakersfield. He is a licensed general contractor and serves as a trustee for the Self Insurer’s Security Fund and is very active in the community in leadership capacities. Sean has been certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in workers’ compensation and was a partner at Hanna, Brophy, MacLean, McAleer and Jensen. He received his B.A. degree from the University of San Francisco and J. D. from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

The DWC’s 20th annual educational conference is the largest workers’ compensation training in the state and allows claims administrators, attorneys, medical providers, return to work specialists, employers, and others to learn about the most recent developments in the system as well as on-going DWC programs. This year’s conference has many sessions devoted to SB 863 and its successful implementation. The Los Angeles conference (Feb. 28-March 1, 2013) has been sold out for several weeks, however registration is still open for the Oakland training, which take place March 4-5, 2013 at the Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel.

###
CA SB 863: Why Are Worker Advocates In Opposition?
Posted on 28 August 2012

http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/sb-863-why-are-worker-advocates-opposition

Time For CA AFL-CIO Legislative Director To Resign

Angie Wei is the Legislative Director of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, which represents 2.1 million members of 1,200 manufacturing, service, construction, and public sector unions. This article originally appeared on the Labor's Edge.


Submitted by Stan (not verified) on Tue, 08/28/2012 - 8:41am.
Jerry Brown is showing his true colors as a wolf "Schwarzenegger" in "Democrat's" clothing. This Governor appears to be firmly in the pockets of Corporate & like minded special interest. It's just more of the same shady & secret backroom deals w/ special interest, which are not unlike what Schwarzenegger did w/ the SB899 debacle...everyone should be asking how many times has this type of situation has worked well for the general public?

Actual injured workers (remember them?) never get a say in the process, a seat at the table, or is their ever worsening plight considered as they are increasingly lining up at poverty soup lines begging for crumbs in the WC system...they are merely pawns in a dirty & dangerous chess game for big dollars.

None of those pundits behind SB863 has ever been injured on the job; or have they faced this dehumanizing & dysfunctional system that employs diabolical "D" tactics of...Delay, Deny, and Demonizing injured workers...

What Schwarzenegger did to hard working & honest workers who were injured on the job was an outrageous travesty...What Jerry Brown and these insider cronies are doing is much worse; adding more insult to injury...rubbing salt in the wounds of every California average Joe that gets up each day & goes to work...not knowing they are just an injury away from being tossed into a never ending cycle of dehumanization and sorrow.

The California Workers Compensation System is so dysfunctional; it doesn't need another bad reform...it needs a serious dismantling...the Great Compromise has turned into nothing more than a Great Corporate $Give Away$...& a never ending nightmare for anyone who experiences a significant injury on the job & is thrown into this unforgiving and grossly unfair system.

Injured workers deserve better...as citizens of a Nation that once prided itself in the rule of law & equal justice for all....isn’t it about time to once again allow those wronged & injured in the work place by no fault of their own; the constitutionally promised ability to seek actual justice in a court of law before a jury of their peers...not in some Sacramento derived & rigged system that only serves the bureaucrats & money barons.

quote from an appellate lawyer "What an ideal world it would be for business if injured workers just accepted the few crumbs they get, did not contest the denials, just remained silent and unrepresented. If only these injured workers would be sheep that go quietly and without protest to slaughter instead of hiring lawyers to help them with their claims."

With all due respect to Angie Wei; This bill sb863 in actual reality decreases benefits and due process rights retroactively to most injured workers. It places injured workers further under the thumb of the insurance barons who are all about profits before all else. sb863 decreases access to unbiased & needed medical care..

The secrecy in which this bill has been created and exclusion of effected parties from the process is wrong & is enough in itself to make this poor legislation. This attempt to ram rod a bill through the legislature without proper & independent evaluation of sb863 devastating effects is plain sleazy. Angie Wei appears to be just another Sacramento political animal wearing different bureaucrats stripes; making workers comp & injured workers once again nothing more than a political football. She does not speak for the many thousands of injured workers in California. So who is she really speaking for?

This is a bad bill, bad politics, bad policy, and another horrendous & inexcusable set back for the good workers of California …

• reply

Reform???
Submitted by Trotdoc (not verified) on Tue, 08/28/2012 - 11:22am.
I fully agree with the above comment. As a psychiatrist who has been involved in the system for 20 years (with a "defense" reputation - I am certainly not carrying water for applicant "mills") I can confirm what the article states regarding the decimation of the system over the last several years. I have personally seen patients of mine suffer needlessly due to clinically vacuous, corrupt UR determinations, and I have evaluated 100's of QME/AME in which legitimately injured workers never received indicated treatment. This bill will only make things worse. "The devil is in the details" and the details are NOT friendly either to legitimately injured workers nor honest doctors. The insurance companies already are out of control, manipulating the law, disregarding the law. This will only make it worse. True reform is needed. But this is NOT true reform. No Difference from the last go-round, when I contacted every member of the "select committee" to offer non-partisan, clinically-sound suggestions - and all I got back was being put on every campaign-fund solicitation mailing list, Dem and Rep.




By Julius Young

Boxer & Gerson, Oakland, CA
Publisher Of WorkersCompZone.com Blog

Today the legislature is holding an informational hearing on SB 863, a comprehensive workers’ comp reform bill.

Although the bill has some good elements, has been improved from recent versions and although any progressive workers’ comp reform effort may involve some compromises, SB 863 has too many takeaways for workers and should be rejected.

Supporters of SB 863 originally touted that SB 863 would result in $1.4 billion in system savings for employers while delivering $740 million in increased workers benefits, a 2:1 ratio in favor of employers. The California Labor Federation has touted that the bill would result in savings, relieving economic pressures of increasing workers’ comp costs.

But as late as yesterday, California’s Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau questioned the long term savings effect of SB 863, projecting that it might increase workers comp costs. This has raised concern among members of the business community.

But why would worker advocates be concerned about SB 863?
Consider these issues:

Workers Lose Medical Rights
Under SB 863, workers would lose their right to a face to face medical exam as part of an appeal of treatment denials.

Judges Are Stripped Of Authority Over Medical Disputes
Workers comp judges would be stripped of ability to hear treatment denial appeals except under the most extreme circumstances.

Costly New Dispute Resolution System Is Added
Additional costs would be added to the system as a massive Independent Medical Review system would be put in place on top of the current utilization review system. Advocates for SB 863 have not produced detailed studies documenting the costs of an large IMR system and haw those costs would compare with the current system of face to face QME reviewers.

Cost Drivers Are Not Addressed
Despite studies showing that cost containment measures such as utilization review have been increasing “cost drivers” in the comp system, SB 863 does essentially nothing to control utilization review costs.

Benefits Likely Shifted From The More Disabled
SB 863 appears to shift benefit increases to less disabled workers rather than more disabled workers who by definition are likely to have higher earnings losses. SB 863 eliminates the concept of “diminished future earning capacity” from the Labor Code (a concept used in an important case known as Ogilvie), making it harder for workers with severe earnings losses to recoup fair awards.

Proving Disability Is Made More Difficult
SB 863 does increase monies paid for some percentages of disability but reduces the ability of workers to prove those levels of disability. For example, a 50% disability rating would receive more money under SB 863 than under current law but by eliminating the “diminished future earning capacity concept” and other criteria, SB 863 makes it less likely that the worker would be found 50% disabled. That’s one reason worker advocates have questioned the projections of supporters.

WCIRB Report Confirms Concerns About Accuracy Of Proponents’ Statistics
The recent WCIRB analysis seems to confirm these concerns. The report from the WCIRB’s chief actuary shows a decrease in permanent disability benefits of $130 million due to “elimination of the impact of the Ogilvie decision”. According to the WCIRB, that consists of an $80 million drop in benefits and an additional $50 million due to decreased claims filing. The WCIRB also projected further decreases in PD payments due to elimination of consideration of sleep disorders, sexual dysfunction and psychiatric residuals of physical injuries.

The bottom line is that the WCIRB analysis raises major questions about the accuracy of projections of labor advocates who claim SB will deliver large increases to workers.

Transparency Has Been A Problem
Advocates of SB 863, including the Department of Industrial Relations, have failed to produce their own studies and data showing the basis for their projections. The DIR failed to voluntarily reveal information about a memo that questioned the constitutionality of the Independent Medical Review provision s of the bill.

Injured workers suffered many losses under the Schwarzenegger-era SB 899. Since that time workers have seen a large drop in permanent disability payments and treatment delays have led to massive complaints about the system.

It would be a terrible development if the legislature rushes into a “fix” for SB 899 that results in further takeaways for workers.

There are many areas in California’s works comp system that need attention. Parts of SB 863 are a good start, but the bill needs more analysis, more work and should be rejected.

Let’s not have “foie gras” style California workers’ comp reform.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Starting in 1979, Julius Young has represented thousands of individuals who have sustained life-changing injuries or illnesses while on the job. A partner of Boxer&Gerson since 1988, he practices workers’ compensation and disability law in Oakland.



New California workers’ compensation law cuts mental health coverage, sparks concern among medical and legal communities

New worker's compensation laws would impact mental health benefits for injured workers.
By Stephen M. Pfeiffer, PhD
http://www.lajollalight.com/2012/09/16/new-california-worker’s-compensation-law-cuts-mental-health-coverage-sparks-concern-among-medical-and-legal-communities/
Earlier this month, lawmakers passed a newCalifornia workers’ compensation law that stands to enact a series of changes to the current system in an effort to cut insurance costs. According to CBS News, measure SB863 was approved in the California Senate by a 68-4 vote, and in the State Assembly by a similarly lopsided margin. However, while the vote went overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, the vast majority of those involved in the decision did not have an opportunity to even so much as read the measure prior to the floor vote, which was held on the last day of the Legislature’s session. The bill’s passage has thus prompted grave concern among those affected by the legislation — including injured workers, doctors, attorneys and psychologists – who view the vote as a back-room deal enacted without proper input and review.
CBS News reports that SB863 would alter the manner in which worker’s compensation benefits are calculated, including the elimination of coverage for mental health disorders secondary to physical injuries. Under the new law, the section dealing with the elimination of disability benefits for psychological injuries which are added as secondary disabilities to physical injuries constitutes what many critics of the bill call a terrible step backwards for the system. Additional concerns have been raised over the fact that most of those who voted on the measure did not in fact have the chance to read, no less fully understand the bill. As Democratic Assemblyman Ben Hueso of San Diego told CBS, “I can’t take a vote on something I can’t explain.” Hueso was one of several lawmakers who refused to participate in the vote; but with strong support and swift intervention from California Governor Jerry Brown, SB863 passed — despite initial voter resistance among members of the State Legislature — in a period of less than 24 hours.
As an experienced clinical and forensic psychologist and Qualified Medical Evaluator, I would argue that the SB863’s provisions regarding mental health coverage discriminate against workers who have sustained serious physical injuries and subsequently develop mental problems (depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.) as a direct result of those injuries. While there are certainly some worker’s compensation cases in which claims of psychological injury are not valid, there are an abundance of cases in which significant psychological disability does in fact result directly from traumatic physical injury. To operate under a law that functions as if no such disabilities exist would, I believe, be a huge disservice to injured workers. Furthermore, this section of the law turns back the hands of time by re-establishing discrimination against individuals with mental disorders in not recognizing the validity of their injuries. This inequity was corrected several years ago at both the federal and state levels when mental health parity legislation required that private health insurance companies respond to and treat physical and mental disorders equally.
For more information about SB863 and the medical and legal communities’ efforts to challenge portions of the legislation, contact me via email at stephen [at] pfeifferphd.com or go online, to http://www.pfeifferphd.com.

CA AFL-CIO Executive Director Art Pulaski Backs Anti-Injured Worker Workers Comp "reform" Bill
SB 863: Landmark Workers’ Comp Reform to Support Injured Workers
http://www.calaborfed.org/index.php/site/page/sb_863_landmark_workers_comp_reform_to_support_injured_workers
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski

"Finally, there’s a solution to the growing workers’ compensation crisis – a bill that provides a system-wide benefit increase of $860 million for injured workers, while reducing delays and friction that waste time and money.
"SB 863 is a landmark proposal that achieves a true rarity in Sacramento. It finds a way to increase benefits while reducing costs. After months of negotiations between labor and management, and a statewide listening tour hosted by the Department of Industrial Relations, a comprehensive reform deal was struck that benefits both workers and employers.
"Under this proposal, workers receive a 30 percent benefit increase. Those injured on the job will receive faster, higher quality medical treatment. Workers on permanent disability will receive a benefit increase and quicker payments of benefits. Dispute resolution is expedited, freeing up hundreds of millions of dollars that go straight to injured workers and their families. By cutting waste in the system, benefit increases were made possible while overall costs were reduced.
"Injured workers have suffered enough under Arnold Schwarzenegger’s draconian cutbacks to workers’ compensation. SB 863 puts more money in the pockets of injured workers while strengthening the system for years to come. Doing nothing is not an option. Under the current system, insurance costs are expected to rise by 18% in January. SB 863 is the right reform at a critical time.
"Opponents of SB 863, many of whom profit from the system, have engaged in a campaign of misinformation in an effort to protect the failed status quo. Not only are the reforms proposed in SB 863 necessary, they’re literally a lifeline for the system and the workers it benefits.
"SB 863 tackles the toughest challenges facing the workers’ compensation system head on, providing fresh hope to injured workers that have suffered for eight years under the failed reforms of the Schwarzenegger Administration. It’s time for real reform that puts injured workers first. We urge the legislature to pass SB 863 today, sending it to Gov. Brown for his signature."



Added to the calendar on Saturday Aug 9th, 2014 4:50 PM

iCal Import this event into your personal calendar.
§CA AFL-CIO head Art Pulaski
by Injured Workers National Network IWNN Saturday Aug 9th, 2014 4:51 PM
pulaski__art.jpeg
pulaski__art.jpeg

California AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Treasurer has colluded with Governor Brown, the insurance industry and bosses to allow the destruction of Cal-OSHA and to help destroy the benefits for injured workers.
§Angie Wei, of the AFL-CIO
by Injured Workers National Network IWNN Saturday Aug 9th, 2014 4:51 PM
wei__angie_chswc.jpg
wei__angie_chswc.jpg

Angie Wei, who is Art Pulaski's Legislative Director has become a corporate shill for the insurance industry and California bosses. Her main goal she says is to save money for the insurance industry and employers. She is also the chair of the California Commission On Health and Safety and Workers Compensation.
§Christine Baker, Director Of DIR
by Injured Workers National Network IWNN Saturday Aug 9th, 2014 4:51 PM
baker__christine.jpg
baker__christine.jpg

The director of the California Division of Industrial Relations has terrorized health and safety staff and is an operative of Chevron and other criminal corporations. She is backed by Jerry Brown, Art Pulaski and Angie Wei of the California AFL-CIO.