Thursday, May 05, 2011

A message about the future of your L and I insurance.

Many of you don’t know me, but I’m a state representative from the 3rd District in Spokane. I worked as a concrete finisher and a labor representative. A lunch bucket guy with a high school education who finds himself in the Legislature.

Lately, I'm reminded of the old adage that you don’t pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel (today it’s by the tanker car).

Here’s why I’m reminded: Recently, my hometown newspaper, the Spokesman Review, wrote a patently false editorial, “Industrial insurance reform hits labor hurdle,” and called me out by name.

What was false about it? Well, too much to get into here, so I’ll just limit my critique to the headline: They’re not supporting industrial insurance “reform;” they’re really advocating injured worker exploitation, and proponents didn’t just hit a “hurdle,” they hit a brick wall of common sense.

You see, business interests are pushing proposals, like ESB 5566, that could have catastrophically injured workers coerced into accepting lump-sum buyouts rather than the workers’ compensation benefits they are owed and have paid for.

When these workers find themselves unable to take care of themselves after these settlements run out, they’ll have to turn to taxpayer-funded social safety net programs. To me, that’s an abuse of the working families and taxpayers that I go to work every day to serve, but the Spokesman Review, with a flawed analysis that didn't consider the facts, jumped into the debate.

That’s why I need your help today to urge my colleagues in the legislature to vote NO on lump-sum buyouts. Click here to contact them with our easy-to-use tool.

Many of my colleagues have stood up and said we will not stand for these lump-sum buyouts, or any other attack on injured workers. Now we’re trying to convince more legislators that there are better ways to improve workers’ comp than putting people in their most vulnerable hour at further risk. We need your help.

There will be action to change our workers’ comp system in some way this special session, and the people who have the power to decide what those changes are need to hear from you, their constituent.

Help us help injured workers. Speak truth to power. Click here to contact your legislators.

Tell them we have a strong workers’ comp system where employers already pay consistently among the lowest costs in the nation, and where Washington workers are the only ones in the country who help pay into the system.

Tell them that lump-sum buyouts are abusive and unfair and have no place in our balanced system; and, that as a taxpayer, you are not willing to bear employers’ costs for workplace injuries.

Tell them that improvements to the system are welcome as long as they don’t threaten injured workers’ ability to get the care they need and actually bring efficiencies to real issues we see in our system.

But please talk to them today. I need your help, and more importantly, so do the injured workers under threat in this special session.


Timm Ormsby
Representative, District 3

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

In a nod to the Royal Wedding, today's Labor Quote is from the always popular Marquis of Carmarthen

"For what purpose were they suffered to go to that country [the American colonies], unless the profit of their labour should return to their masters here?"

The Marquis of Carmarthen commenting before the British Parliament in 1774 on the purpose of establishing colonies in North America