SA Unions responds to the new Impairment Assessment Guidelines
The Treasurer’s commentary on his new assessment guidelines reads like he’s the champion of working people. The truth, as it usually is with the Treasurer, is buried in technicality. Rob Lucas’s double deduction remains in the new guidelines. The Return to Work Act requires a monetary deduction be applied for previous compensation paid for the same injury site. The new Impairment Assessment Guidelines now additionally require a deduction for pre-existing and asymptomatic injuries.
The Treasurer’s consultation process on the new guidelines has been widely criticised by doctors, lawyers, advocates and workers. The new guidelines themselves are set to face similar criticism.
Quotes attributable to SA Unions Secretary Dale Beasley
“To this day, the Treasurer has failed to consult with trade unions on these changes, who represent the interests of workers every day and represent injured workers navigating the Return to Work system. The fact that South Aussie workers and their unions were excluded from discussions which impact workers’ entitlements, says a lot about where workers are on the government’s priority list.”
“Workers are of course pleased to see some of the proposed changes dropped in their entirety. But the Treasurer’s attempt to sneak other cuts through, buried in technicality, undoes any goodwill. The Treasurer’s double-dipping double deduction rule is the perfect example.”
“The fact is this process was unacceptable from the start and South Aussies deserve more transparency and less trickery from this government.”
“Over the last month in a campaign coordinated by SA Unions, 12,393 email messages have been sent by South Aussies to our Parliamentarians. Their messages were simple; support the ALP’s bill which requires that any changes to the Impairment Assessment Guidelines undergo parliamentary debate and oversight. South Aussie workers want proper democratic process to be applied to any changes in workers’ rights. It’s clear that South Australians do not believe the Minister of the day should have unfettered power to make changes to the entitlements of injured workers, whether they be a Labor or Liberal Minister.”
“If I was Steven Marshall, I’d be thinking very carefully about whether I’d prefer to have this issue resolved in parliament, or via the ballot box in March.”
All Media Enquiries: Dale Beasley – 0433 847 325