Another Injured worker hurt by NSW workcover reforms

injured-worker-hurt-by-nsw-workcover-reforms

Mr Crammond, an 70 year old injured worker who suffers a constant and incurable high-pitched ringing in his ears probably will no longer have his hearing aids replaced under the new, vicious NSW workcover reforms. Mr Grammond hit the nail on the coffin when he stated the “law as it stands” now is “unconstitutional”. He also stated rightly that he sees his settlement as a contract, and “if the government said a new law will wipe your contract . . . it’s just not on.”

Another Injured worker hurt by NSW workcover reforms

Injured workers hurt by reforms

By Ellie-Marie Watts – July 16, 2013 – in the Port Stephens Examiner

SHOCKED: Corlette’s Glenn Crammond has been caught out by changes to his workplace injury claim.

The effects of the state government’s reforms to workers’ compensation has reached Port Stephens with one man only recently made aware of the changes that apply to him a year later.

On June 19, 2012, the NSW state government made major changes to workers’ compensation entitlements that saw cuts on weekly benefits, limits placed on medical payments and eliminated access to lump sum payments for pain and suffering.

A report published last month by Unions NSW, Workers Compensation Cuts: One Year On, said the changes “significantly cut the rights and entitlements of injured workers”.

“Twelve months after the introduction of these changes, injured workers and their families have felt the impact,” the report said.

“For many this [change] has caused severe economic hardship, pressure on family life, and feelings of despair and fear.”

Corlette resident Glenn Crammond, 70, is one person to have been affected by the reforms.

He is now faced with a $6000 bill for new hearing aids he was previously entitled to under his workplace injury claim, which was settled in 1997.

“I was really shocked,” Mr Crammond said.
“All of a sudden I couldn’t get hearing aids.”

The aircraft engineer developed tinnitus, a constant and incurable high-pitched ringing in his ears, as a result of working for a long period of time with high-powered aircraft in the Royal Australian Air Force.

Through his settlement he was awarded hearing aids which, along with their maintenance, Mr Crammond could have replaced every four years.

In 16 years he has only done so once, in 2008, with his second pair now seeing him having to pay $6000 if the insurance company does not honour his 1997 settlement.

Mr Crammond said the “law as it stands” now is “unconstitutional”.

“I see my settlement as a contract,” he said.

“If the government said a new law will wipe your contract . . . it’s just not on.”

 

Source: http://www.portstephensexaminer.com.au/story/1641942/injured-workers-hurt-by-reforms/?cs=761

9 Responses to “Another Injured worker hurt by NSW workcover reforms”

  1. Must agree, with Bunny and Pauline Pope.   Unions don’t get funding from government, in fact they prop up for the government. Remember Work Choices the Unions spent Millions of  $$$$ on a massive advertising Blitz. The result was very effective Howard lost his seat and government. When the state election comes around the unions will commence a massive campaign reminding every citizen of the O’Farrell governments conduct and their favouritism towards business, insurers and the shooters party.

    Perhaps we contact the legal firm handling the Goudappel appeal, they seem to be fighting for the injured in good faith and not waiting for the election to start the fight.

  2. I think and Injured Workers Union is a great idea, but of course it could never be registered as such since the unions have been badly compromised since the days of “Australia Reconstructed”. Unions give money to the Labour Party. They may apply for and get Govt funding for employing/training people, but they do not get directly funded.

    Perhaps we could set up a co-operative Progress Association to plan and fight for Injured Workers rights.

  3. Xchanging I don’t know where you got that from but I can assure that unions get no money from the government. They are funded by the fees they charge their members and if you work directly for the union, those fees pay you. As far as a class action is concerned, it is too early to launch anything, most injured workers have not been thrown off the system yet. Any non insurance biased law firm would be able to take it on, but they are non commital at the moment (waiting for the Goudappel decision). There is a very strong argument against retrospectivity because it goes against English Common law and the way the amendments have been structured would give any lawyer an easy thing to win. In the legitimate legislation (pre 2012) any amendments added were to the benefit of the injured worker (and it states whatever it replaced was repealed). With these amendments they have almost just cut and pasted over various sections. Check out Section 43 in the legitimate legislation and then look at the amendments, no acknowledgement that it has been repealed (because it wasn’t), it also states that the case manager’s decision cannot be appealed unless you go to the Supreme Court (not Workcover Commission, not the Appeals Court, directly to the highest court in NSW and the most expensive), that is exactly what Hitler did with the judiciary as did Mussolini and Franco. Taking away people’s rights is a characteristic of Fascism and has to be fought. There are several ways to do this, individually take on specific aspects of the amendments (like Goudappel has done), class action which would cost less but taking on the retrospective (and Goudappel may make this possible as the judgement of the Appeals Court has stated that the amendments cannot take away the rights and privledges a person had prior to them and the law has to be ‘Knowable’ – meaning Goudappel did not know the law would change) or the best but most time consuming and costly is to challenge it on the basis it breaks the constitution. This would be done by constitutional lawyers and could go to the High court of Australia. I have simplified a lot and left out some stuff (I don’t want to give the enemy too much info), but the important thing is to not give up hope (and that is so hard) and try to be patient. We have to win because if we don’t, this type of illegal use of privatising legislation (they handed everything to private enterprise, the Insurance companies) will extend to other areas and affect a lot more people. Rise up to the challenge everyone and fight this.

  4. Yes At A Loss that could help a lot. I am also thinking a funding drive to raise money for legal action might help too. What we are going through is like an ethnic cleansing of injured workers, get rid of us. They think if they load us all onto the welfare system, then we can be forgotten, BUT we are not welfare recipients as they cannot get work. We cannot get work but also many of us cannot work which makes us victims, victims of the negligence of our employer and if we let them get away with this, then workers have no protection at all except to sue for strict negligence and punitive damages (which hopefully a few will do to help us give them the message).

    • Bunny I contacted a Law firm about a class action and never heard back from them, I followed up over several weeks  and had no contact this particular law firm claims they fight for right fight for workers fight for the community and social issues. they are a very, very large firm. Fact of the matter is to find a Legal Firm that is willing to take on the disgusting legislation that was rammed through will prove the most difficult.

      • A class action, I think it would be very difficult! This isn’t a case of taking down a fraudulent private enterprise, here everyone is in this dirty business and insurance companies and their monies can buy anyone ESPECIALLY POLITICIANS!

        Regarding an injured workers Union now I give you one example: years ago one local Union’s representatives regularly used to visit a big company, the guys were great and supportive although everyone employees stayed away from any commitment. Some time later I was walking on a main street in the city, there were 5-6 of those Union’s representatives protesting and chanting guess why? They wanted their salary back!!! The Unions are financially funded by Government so that is why UNIONS have no power because they worry to loose the financial support. Just think we already got too many Unions funded by tax payers so we want one more fighting for workers’ rights but having a different colour? The same game happens with NEW political parties, they promise Rights back to disadvantaged people but all they do is draining more money from the coffin, it’s all about business!

        Xchangingvictim July 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm
  5. I just want to scream !!! These ‘amendments’ are unfair, change the whole intention of the Workers Comp Act and have to be challenged. There is no indication that any of the original clauses have been repealed, in fact whole sections have been taken out and replaced with Nazi type statements like the decision of the case manager is final and you can only appeal it to the Supreme Court, that is a total denial of our common law rights. CLASS ACTION NOW !!!! If all injured workers put in $10 each we could mount the challenge and because it is such a dog’s breakfast of changes, we would definitely win.

    • IM IN !

      All we need is a law firm willing to take on their Legal Mates like Pearce and the insurance cronies

    • Bunny How about an injured workers union ?

      Perhaps then we will be heard